A walk in the forest

I heard a Jewish tale that went something like this.

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A rabbi was known to be close to God after a lifetime of prayer and service. His disciples ask him to teach them this way of life, so he took them each week through a forest into a clearing where he lit a fire, led them in prayer, and recalled for them the stories of God as told in the scriptures.

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One day the rabbi died, and partly in remembrance of their teacher, and partly because it meant so much to them personally, the students continued their weekly ritual. They trekked into the forest, lit a fire, prayed, and recalled what they could of the stories of God the rabbi told them.

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Over time they started to forget the stories – they never read them for themselves – so they just walked to the forest, lit the fire, and prayed.

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And then they couldn’t see why they were praying, so they’d go to the clearing and light the fire, and talk of the old days.

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Eventually even that was too much for them and they decided that making the fire was too much fuss, and this group of ‘disciples’ ended their days going for an occasional walk in the forest and talking of the good old days.

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