The Environment

The Human Condition

If Not Higher

Literal Comprehension: Early every Friday morning, at the time of penitential prayer, the Rabbi of Nemirov disappeared. He wasn’t found at home too. People thought, he went to heaven at that time. But a Litvak didn’t believe it. He decided to find the truth. He secretly went to the Rabbi’s room and watched every activity of the Rabbi during the night before for Friday. In the next morning, the Rabbi left the home as a peasant out of the city. Litvak secretly follows him. In the forest, he Shoppach a tree and made a bundle of sticks. He comes back to the city with the bundle of sticks and sold it to a sick Jewish woman on credit. He also helped to burn the fire. while burning fire, he recited different portions and penitential prayers. Litvak was impressed by the Rabbi’s action and become his disciple.

Interpretation: This story tells us that heaven is there where one finds the pleasure of helping the poor, sick and old person. The true spirit of religion is to help others. It isn’t only limited to going to Temples and Churches and worship or pray Gods and Goddesses. One can please God by helping the helpless ones.

Critical Thinking: This religious story raises some doubts in my mind. In the story, it is said that a religious leader goes to help a sick and old woman at the time of prayer. Can we really find such person in this materialistic world? It also talks about heaven high in the sky. Is there really a heaven? Next, It says one can get heavenly pleasure by serving others or by sacrificing one’s pleasures. For others can we really apply it in our lives?

Assimilation: This story has impressed me a lot and has also taught a good lesson. Before reading this story, I used to think only about heaven where one can go after his/her death. But now, I know that heaven is also here on Earth. I have a great desire now to serve humanity and reach heaven like Rabbi.