Growing Each Day by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Adar 10
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Do not throw a stone into the well from which you drank (Bava Kama 92b).

The Talmud states that this folk saying is related to the Torah commandment, "Do not reject an Egyptian, because you were a dweller in his land" (Deuteronomy 23:8). Since Egypt hosted the Israelites, we, their descendants, must acknowledge our gratitude.

The brief period of tranquility that our ancestors enjoyed in Egypt was followed by decades of ruthless enslavement and brutal oppression. Thousands of newborn Israelite children were murdered. This unspeakable horror more than obscured any favorable treatment they had received earlier, and our natural inclination is to despise the Egyptians with a passion.

The Torah tells us to take a different path. Although we celebrate, every Passover, our liberation from this tyrannical enslavement and commemorate the triumph over our oppressors, we have no right to deny that we did receive some benefit from them. Even though a denial of gratitude might appear well justified in this particular case, it might impact upon us in such a manner that we might also deny gratitude when it is fully deserved.

If people cast stones into the well from which they drank, the well will not be hurt in the least, because it is an inanimate and insensitive object. The act, however, might impact negatively upon those who do it: they might subsequently behave with a lack of gratitude to people as well.

Today I shall...

try to remember to be considerate of anyone who has any time been of help to me, even though his later actions might have been hostile.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Comments (1)

(1) mysteries, February 24, 2010 4:01 PM

There was a person who was known in neighbourhood to be a recluse. The person approached a well. The well had a low water level and was continually replenished by a trickle. The well water was said to have healing properties. The well was not used by the local folk as they had their own sources. One day the person was positioned next to the well edge, the person muttered something for a short while and threw some shiny objects down into the well. then collecting some rocks and stones the person would mark them, mutter something and cast the stones down into the well. The person would to this regularly for a while everyday. The local folk did not pay attention to what was happening. Eventually the water level rose so that now it was in reach of the person who would occassionally take a sample back to the person's hovel. The well was only used by that person.

 

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