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If somebody left something important at your house, would you give it to anyone else? That’s the question Mrs. Gold asks her daughter to encourage her to learn a life-long lesson. Find out what was left, and why this question contains such a crucial message, in this story retold by Cantor Ellen Dreskin.
Once, there was a king who set out on a mission in his kingdom to learn about his reputation. He travelled from town to town and eventually met a happy old man and his wife. After asking them why they were so joyous, they replied, “God takes care of us.” The king was furious—it’s him who takes care of the people, not God! What the man and his wife do next teach everyone in the kingdom, including the king, what it means to be taken care of. Rabbi Mark Kaiserman, the rabbi at Reform Temple of Forest Hills retells the story. For a written version, see “The Wooden Sword” in The Jewish Story Finder by Sharon Barcan Elswit.
It’s time for the princess to get married, and the king and queen want to make sure that she marries her best match. There are three brothers in the running, and in order to decide which one will marry the princess, the king and queen set up a contest: the brother who gives the princess the greatest gift will become her husband. The brothers travel far and wide, and the oldest finds a magic carpet, the middle brother finds a magic mirror, and the youngest finds a special apple. Which gift is best? Rabbi Matt Gewirtz retells the story, which is adapted from The Magic Pomegranate: A Jewish Folktale by Peninnah Schram.