I am writing this to each of you at this time of Rosh HaShana with such a feeling of gratitude. You don’t know how connected and appreciative we are of each of you in the Diaspora. Please know that you are with us here in Israel always!
Our theme this year at BFL has been about healing and building family. To this end last week we had an absolute masterclass event at the Beit Achim with nationally famous songwriter, Eviatar Banai. Eviatar spoke and sang to over 180 of our soldiers and spouses about faith and how things we are ashamed about can transform before our eyes.
This was hard to believe until he told the most incredible story. Before I share the story, here are the photos of what happened to our couple’s as he told it.
And now for the story:
The story goes that a Water Bearer had two large pots; each hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house. The cracked pot arrived only half full.
For two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what is perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the Water Bearer one day by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
The pot answered, “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value for your efforts,” the pot said.
The Water Bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion, he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill after filling up in the stream, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it up. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, we would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
The connection to how we carry our injuries is obvious. We have been looking at the crack as it relates to our marriages and children and not at the seeds we are watering. What a message for Rosh HaShanah.
May this year bring incredible closeness with your family and may teach each other to see that our cracks are watering seeds.
!שנה טובה! אוהבים אתכם
From Yaniv and all our soldiers in Israel
ps. A huge Mazal Tov to 14 of our brothers as well as Rabbi Chaim and BFL partners, Bobby Sulkin, David Rostov, and Brad Conroy, who all summited Mount Kilimanjaro on Monday!