Losing Your Money Or Your Patience

Robert Strand

rabbiwalkingThere's an old story the Hassidic Jews tell of a man who once made a bet of $500 with a friend that he could get a certain Rabbi, who was famous for his patience, to blow his stack. So the man went loudly banging on the rabbi's door at midnight and to further irritate him, he asked a stupid question: "Why do the Babylonians have round heads?"

To this rude, inconvenient and vulgar shout, the rabbi smiled and quietly answered, "Because they have inexperienced mid-wives."

Frustrated, the man left...he returned later at an even more inconsiderate time, banged on the door and bellowed: "I want to know why rabbis have weak eyes." This time, he thought the rabbi will lose it. But no.

The undisturbed rabbi quietly answered, "Because they live in the desert and the wind drives sand into their eyes."

He had tried again and failed. The man left. But he was ready to try once more, this time more crass than ever but now afraid he was losing his money, he decided to directly insult the patient rabbi: "May there never be another man in the world like you" he screamed.

"And why?" patiently answered the rabbi.

"Because I just lost $500 dollars on you!" he shouted back.

"Oh," replied the rabbi, "it is not entirely lost, because it will teach you not to be so impatient. Besides, it is better for you to lose $500 than it is for me to lose my patience!"

How quickly or easily do you lose your patience or become angry? Think about it.

"A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense" (Proverbs 19:11).