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05 September 2010

Today's Torah

Once upon a time there was a lone apple tree amidst a forest of oak trees. One night, the little apple tree looked up and saw the stars through the boughs of the oak trees. And it looked as though the stars were hanging from the branches of the oaks.
The little apple tree prayed, "O God, I really want to have stars hang from my branches like the oak trees." God told the apple tree, "You have your own gifts."
Spring came and the little apple tree grew and blossomed. Not only did her leaves fill in but she was covered with beautiful blossoms. People walking through the forest exclaimed in delight when they found her. They sat and rested and feasted and made love under her shade.
And at night the little apple tree prayed, "O God, I really want to have stars hang from my branches like the oak trees." God told the apple tree, "You have your own gifts. Look at how much joy you bring to everyone who sees you and comes beneath your shade."
Harvest time came and the little apple tree produced bushels of sweet apples. People came and picked her apples. They were so delicious that many ate all they could first and had to start picking them all over again.
That night, the little apple tree prayed, "O God, I really, really want to have stars hang from my branches like the oak trees. Please give me stars. It would make me so happy." God told the apple tree, "You have your own gifts."
The next day, a wind swept through the forest and knocked apples off the tree. Some of the apples hit the ground so hard they burst open. God called down to the apple tree, "Look inside your own apples, you have your own stars and you have had them all along."
[If you want to see the star in an apple cut it horizontally through the mid-line.]
Dear God,
Help me to see my own stars. Help me to be satisfied with the gifts you have given me. Help me not to focus on what others have - or what I mistakenly believe that others have. Help me to love all that I have within and relinquish all desire for that which is without. Amen.

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