Chowder from stones

Hasidic parable.

Once a rich merchant came to Dov Ber, a maggid (Jewish traditional preacher) from Mezhirich. The Rebbe was just eating a modest meal with his disciples, and the merchant joined them.

“Tell me,” – asked the Maggid, – “here you are – a rich and pious man. What do you eat?”

The merchant was flattered that the Maggid mentioned not only his wealth, but also his religious zeal. Indeed, he worked in the sweat of his brow both in the affairs of commerce and in the field of faith.

“You see, Rebbe,” the guest began, clearly pleased with himself, “I could afford the most exquisite dishes, but I’m afraid they might divert me from the path of the righteous. Therefore, I limit myself to the food of the poorest: a piece of bread and a pinch of salt.”

“What a blasphemous disregard for the Creator!” – exclaimed the Maggid. – “He has blessed you with wealth and power, and you refuse those joys that accompany them. It offends God who has given you such blessings. From now on, eat meat and drink good wines every day!”

The guest was shocked. The Maggid’s disciples were also confused. When the merchant left, they began to ask the rabbi to explain these words.

After all, it is obvious that the merchant sincerely tried to avoid worldly temptations, and the Maggid reproached him for this.