The king decided one day that he wanted to see his old friend and loyal subject so he sent a message to his friend, inviting him to the palace.
The reply from the friend came back, "I would love to come, but I'm sick, and I cannot be near the king when I'm sick. I would make the king sick and disrupt the audience."
The king sent back his doctor who cured the friend. Again the king invited, "Come!"
The subject again demurred saying that he did not have the appropriate clothing to appear before the king.
The King sent forth garments and again invited his subject, "Come!"
The subject came, but at the antechamber paused, and said, I cannot enter. My shoes are worn and stained from the journey. I cannot wear them into the king.
The king sent out a pair of shoes. "Come to me!" He invited.
The subject said, "I'm nervous. I'm afraid. You're the king, and I'm a lowly subject. Why me? Why do you want me?"
And the king said, "If I wanted to hurt you, I would not need to bring you into my presence. I could send out the force of my armies, or a single soldier, or a tax collector, or any manner of disturbance. I love you. I miss you. For me to express those things, you must come to me and stand in my presence."
And the servant came.
I picked up a calendar at the bookstore yesterday, but with it, I also picked up some cantorial CDs. I'd been thinking for some time I wanted the holiday melodies to listen to. I found a set of likely CDs. I looked at the track list in order to make my decision from a number of CDs they had laid out on the table. I bought the ones that had the songs I wanted to hear listed on it. I wasn't when I got to my car that I looked at the CDs themselves for more information.
It wasn't the fact that Leonard Nemoy was narrating this set that surprised me. To me, he's a vulcan first and a Jew second, but, of course, not everyone sees it that way, including, I expect, himself. That was unexpected, I'll admit, but what really surprised me, although, again, it shouldn't, was that on the CD that I picked up, one of the cantorial soloists was cassie_o's father-in-law. Not only that, without checking what songs he was doing, I recognized him instantly. I heard him sing, and I said, "That's him. Gotta be." And I checked the track listing, and sure enough. It was the 5th song on the CD and the first one that had him listed as the soloist.
I have studies and I have learned, but ultimately, I know nothing. Ultimately in religion as in so many things, I rely on chance, on good companions, and on providence or luck, my own efforts amount to little, but my efforts are absolutely required.
Gmar Chatima Tova.