Monday, October 31, 2005

The Heavy Boulder

A king once sent his son to distance places to learn wisdom. When the son returned home, he was well versed in all branches of wisdom. The king then told his son to take a large stone, the size of a millstone, and bring it up to the palace attic.

The son looked at the stone and realized that he would not be able to lift it. It was a huge, heavy boulder. He felt very bad because he would not be able to fulfill his father's request. The king then explained his true intention to his son: "Did you really think that I wanted you to carry this huge boulder? Even will all your wisdom, you could not do it. My intention is that you take a hammer and break the boulder into small pieces. You will then be able to bring the entire boulder up into the attic."

The Rebbe explained that G-d wants us to "lift our hearts with our hands, to our Father in Heaven" (Eichah 3:41). But our hearts may be like huge, heavy stones, which we cannot possibly lift, no matter what we do. What we must do is take the hammer of words, and break and crumble our hearts of stone. Then we can lift them up to G-d.

(Shivchei Moharan 23a #5)