13 Sivan 5779 / Sunday, June 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Shelach Lecho
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The Wind and the Sun    

The Wind and the Sun

The difference between flamboyant power and silent strength in a delightful dramatization of an old Yiddish parable that...


Flamboyant power vs. silent strength
The sun was peacefully doing its task, minding its own business in the westbound lane of the November sky over Manhattan. A strong westerly wind off the Atlantic swept by in a fury, and called out, "Hey, Sun, wanna bet that I'm stronger than you are?"
The sun merely smiled, ignoring the swaggering young wind, and continuing quietly in its path.
This time, the wind - in a show of dare - sideswiped the sun. "Hey, big shot, you think you're too good to answer me? I'll prove that I'm stronger than you are! I'm challenging you to a contest, and."
The only way to dispose of this cocky nuisance, thought the sun, is to play his silly game. "How do you propose to prove that your strength is superior to mine?"
"Easy," said the wind, itching for a good bout. "Do you see that man walking down Madison Avenue? Whoever knocks his overcoat off, is the stronger! Agreed?"
"I accept your challenge with pleasure," answered the sun calmly. "You go first."
The businessman was on his way downtown, strolling down the sidewalk and enjoying the crisp autumn morning. Suddenly, a cold wind came off the East River, sending a chill down his spine. While standing at the intersection of 34th Street, he buttoned his overcoat.


A strong westerly wind off the Atlantic swept by in a fury, and called out, "Hey, Sun, wanna bet that I'm stronger than you are?"
The wind flew into a rage - it didn't expect that reaction! It blew harder, in gusts of 35 miles per hour.
Between 32nd and 31st Street, the businessman pulled a warm woolen scarf and a pair of kid gloves out of his coat pocket, put them on, and continued walking.
The wind became furious - it accelerated to a near hurricane level of 60 mph, breaking tree branches, uplifting rafters, and blowing debris all over the city. The businessman only clutched his coat tighter.
Suddenly, a thunderous voice barreled down from the upper atmosphere. "Who gave you permission to damage New York City? Stop those antics immediately!" The wind blushed in embarrassment at the no-nonsense reprimand, and instantly toned itself down to a 6 mph breeze.
"You've failed," said the sun. "Now watch me!"
The sun melted a few high-altitude cirrus clouds that were in its way, and gently cast its rays on Manhattan's East Side. The temperature rose from 43F to 61F. The businessman removed his gloves and scarf, and put them back in his pocket.
The sun smiled on Madison Avenue, and the temperature rose to 69F. The businessman reopened the buttons of his overcoat.
By the time the businessman reached the park at the corner of 26th Street, the sky was a deep royal blue and the temperature was a summery 74F. His eye caught a vacant, sun-drenched bench in the middle of the park. "What a great place for a coffee break," he thought.
The businessman placed his attaché case on the bench, flipped open its two clasps, and pulled out a thermos. He removed his overcoat, and draped over the back of the bench. He loosened his tie, opened his shirt collar, and poured himself a delightful cup of coffee while basking in the benign sunlight.
The wind lowered its head in utter shame.
"Well," said the sun modestly, "The gentleman is no longer wearing his overcoat, so that makes me the winner." Sans bravado, the sun resumed its silent way westward.
* * *
The wind made quite a show of strength - breaking trees, knocking rafters off roofs, and blowing debris all over New York. Yet, it couldn't blow away the businessman's overcoat. The sun - gently, unassumingly, in a demonstration of silent strength - did the job.
If your personal load of stress feels like a heavy winter parka in a Miami Beach summer, silent strength will work for you too. Many of our articles here at Breslev Israel are designed to help you feel good about yourself, with enhanced inner strength and improved emotional comfort - no matter who you are or what your background is. In time, you'll be amazed to discover that overcoming stress is as simple as removing your overcoat.
(We invite you to visit Rabbi Lazer Brody’s award-winning daily web journal Lazer Beams

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