Thursday

The Old Stories Are The Best

This old legend was sent to me by my friend Michael Wetzler in response to one of my prosperity mail-outs.

An old Jewish man and his wife lived in the country near the time of the great Jewish holy man, the Baal Shem Tov. They were very poor, and all they had was a scrawny old cow. They accepted the life they felt that they had been given.

One day, the old man met the Baal Shem Tov, who had come to their area. The Baal Shem was with a few of his advisors, and asked the man if he could come for a meal that evening. The man was honoured and went back to his wife, but they were desparate they did not know how they could afford to feed the assembled company. The man knew the only thing he could do was sell the scrawny cow. So that night there was a sumptuous feast for the Baal Shem and
his entourage.

They ate the couple out of house and home, and then left.

After they had left the wife acknowledged that now they were in an even worse state...the husband was desparate. He did not know what to do, so went out into the forest, and prayed with all his might for all the things that they had never had.....At that moment he heard a noise and he saw an old man lying and groaning on the ground. He went to help, and the man looking up at him, saw a loving kind face, and was grateful. He told him he was dying, but the old Jewish man said no, all he needed was a little support and comfort and he would be well. As he lay there the man told the story of how he had lived and made much money, and now all his family wanted him for was the money, and they didn't care. He was pleased because he had now buried it all, and they could not get at it.

Then he put his hand in his pocket, saying he wanted to repay the kindness and warm heart of the old jewish man....as he did this he died. However he had removed a slip from his pocket which turned out to be the map to the buried treasure!

A year later the Baal Shem tov and his retinue passed the Old Jewish man and his wife in a stately carriage, and looking as if they had no care in the world.

The students asked the Baal Shem Tov, amazed, how that poor old man with nothing could suddenly be like that.

The Baal Shem Tov smiled and replied: "Before we came, the man and his wife made do with what they had. They never asked for more. They never thought they could have more. They just had and lived with the scrawny old cow. We had to help them get rid of the scrawny old cow, so that the old man could really pray and ask for what he needed.

"When HaShem [the Lord] heard the depth of his prayers, he was ready to respond, and so he did."

There are two important points to the story - firstly, what is your scrawny cow? What is it that you hold onto for security - because without it you fear you would have nothing? If you are seeking proseperity, there will be something. I found four scrawny old cows in my life thanks to Michael's sending me the story - and three of them have already gone. It was quite scary but, as one of them was a means of making a living for me (but which I had stopped enjoying doing), it made me ASK for what I do want. I hadn't done so in that area before because I didn't have the time or the ability to travel - because I had to attend to my scrawny old cow!

Getting rid of this particular 'cow' had some guilt feelings attached because it was something that serves others and there's the slight 'you're letting people down' syndrome. But you know what? That's a scrawny cow too. And guess what? Someone else who will truly enjoy the work has already jumped at the opportunity to take my place!

The other thing is to note that the old man and his wife didn't have any trouble in accepting the treasure! Jewish people can teach us a lot about attitudes to money - they don't have the spirituality-poverty consciousness that other faiths have developed. If the idea of keeping the treasure makes you feel uncomfortable it's because of an inherent feeling of a lack of self-worth which is worth examining. Of course it's wonderful to be generous and give to others but think of it like this: You have a car and you want to give other people lifts to places - that's great. But you must fuel, service, maintain, clean and take general care of that car otherwise the lifts you offer will be uncomfortable, ineffective and unsuccessful - they won't help others at all. And if you have a lovely, elegant, powerful car in full working order (which I do, thank God!) then not only can you offer great lifts but you can inspire other people to learn prosperity consciousness - and they too can teach it on.

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