The Parable Of The Rabbi And His Treasure

The following parable is one that came from a book my friend Karen gave me, titled “Finding Yourself In Transition” by Robert Brumet. It appears in its final two pages and is a standalone story that not only summarized the book quite nicely, but also moved me greatly, which I will explain after it.

Rabbi Eisik was a very pious man – and a very poor man who lived in city named Cracow. He was so poor that he lived in a one-room house with only a dirt floor. One night he dreamed he was in the great city of Prague, which was many miles from his home. In the dream, he walked throughout the streets of the city admiring the beautiful buildings. Eventually he came to the edge of the city where he saw a bridge, and beyond the bridge a great palace. He walked across the bridge and began to dig, whereupon he discovered a buried chest. He opened the chest, and it was filled with gold, diamonds, and treasures of every sort!

When this dream was repeated for the third time, Eisik was convinced that it was a sign from God. He grabbed a shovel and began the long journey to Prague. After many days of walking, he was very tired and his feet were sore. Finally, he reached the city. Although he had never been in this city before, he recognized many of the buildings from his dream. And sure enough, he discovered the bridge, and beyond it, the palace. He crossed the bridge and began to dig. Soon his shovel struck something! It was the buried chest! With trembling hands and pounding heart, he opened the chest …. and it was empty.

Brokenhearted as never before, Eisik began to weep – and then sob uncontrollably. Suddenly, he felt a hand upon his shoulder; it was a young man wearing the suit of a palace guard. “What happened old man? Why are you crying?” Eisik recounted the story. Upon hearing the tale, the young man laughed with scorn. “You are a foolish old man to put such faith in dreams – dreams are nonsense. I myself have many foolish dreams, and I pay no heed to any of them. Why, just last night I had a dream about a poor rabbi who was digging a hole in the middle of the dirt floor of his home, and there he found a buried chest – filled with treasure! Now, doesn’t that show you how foolish dreams can be?”

Immediately, Eisik was on his feet. With renewed energy, he commenced the long journey back home. And there he discovered the priceless treasure buried within the place he had lived in poverty most of his life…

This story really touched my heart for several reasons. One of those deals with dreams, as I do believe that God speaks to us through them, except I think we often discard many of them as pure nonsense or totally misinterpret their meaning. Personally, I’ve had a number of dreams myself over the years that have provided answers and guidance to prayers I had put out there to God, which is why I pay attention to them now, especially if one repeats itself or particularly sticks with me for days to weeks, or even months to years afterward.

A second reason why this story touched my heart relates to the Rabbi discovering his treasure in the very home he had lived for most of his life, after seeking it first in a place that was many miles away from his home. You see, I always used to look for treasure everywhere else too, in some other person, place, or thing. But, I’ve been coming to realize that my treasure has been right where my feet have been planted all of my life. In other words, it’s been within me, I just never tapped into it because my focus was consistently elsewhere. I am starting to trust that this inner treasure will fully manifest when God sees I’m ready for it to manifest.

And finally, the last reason why this story really touched my heart actually deals with how this book came into my life. When I received it, well over a year ago now, I had quickly tossed it aside, not feeling called to its subject material. And there it sat, in the trunk of my car, up until a few weeks ago when my spirit moved me one day to try reading a few pages of it. Once I did, I couldn’t put it down and it was then I realized I wouldn’t really have appreciated or understood its contents if I had read it at any point in the past year. So, like the Rabbi’s buried treasure that appeared when he was ready, this book became a buried treasure of sorts for me too, one that I feel God knew precisely when I’d be completely ready to receive it…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson