Monday, November 23, 2020

The Treasure

In his book Souls on Fire, Elie Wiesel told the traditional Hasidic Jewish story of Eizek, son of Yekel of Krakow. Martin Buber also told it; both attributed it to Rabbi Bunam of Pshishke in the early 1800s. Impoverished and unfortunate, Eizek sought the Lord’s help, and in a dream he was told about a treasure buried under a bridge in the shadow of the palace in the city of Prague. The dream recurred with increasing urgency twice more, as Eizek was reluctant to take an expensive and difficult trip. But faithfully, Eizek made the difficult journey to recover this treasure, and in the process got himself arrested for his suspicious behavior in poking around outside the royal palace. In the course of his interrogations he told the officer who was in charge about the dream the Lord had given him about the treasure, because he was too frightened to make anything up. The commander laughed out loud at the thought of anyone listening to his dreams, let alone undertaking such a difficult and dangerous journey in obedience to a dream! And then, mockingly, the commander told Eizek about a recurring dream that he himself had been having about a treasure buried under the stove of a poor man’s house in - Krakow! “Can you see me going from house to house (in that city),” the commander asked Eizek, “tearing down all the stoves, searching for that nonexistent treasure?” With that, he released Eizek and sent him on his way. Without any hesitation, Eizek went straight home, moved his stove, dug a hole in his floor and found the treasure right where the commander had dreamed it would be!

There are three common interpretations. There may be other lessons I cannot see, as that is the way of tales.  The most usual understanding is that we do not need to travel to far places to find spiritual treasure.  It was at home all along!  The second is that we must travel to other places in order to recognise the treasure at home. The third is that there was a treasure in both places, but only one belonged to Eizek.


Donna B. said...

There might be a lesson about the commander. Don't scoff what you don't understand?

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