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Yom Kippur Desperation

One Yom Kippur during the break after shacharis and before mincha, the rabbi of the shul sees a desperate looking man walking shakily towards him. His face is grey and his eyes look tired out. He sits infront of the rabbi panting and out of breath.

"Please Rabbi," he rasps, "I've got to have a drink of water. I'm so thirsty and dry".

The rabbi is astonished and replies sternly, "Don't you realise what you are asking? Today is Yom Kippur when we fast and beg forgiveness, and you want to drink and break your fast. Be strong and do not give in!"

The poor thirsty man is in tears, beside himself, "Please Rabbi, just a small drink. I can't take it anymore!"

The rabbi is not an unkind man, and he is moved by the man's suffering. He ponders for a moment and says finally, "Alright," he calls to the shammes, "give this man a teaspoon of water".

The teaspoon of water is given to the man who now, is driven crazy with thirst. "Please, please! I've got to have a real drink!" he wails.

Reluctantly the rabbi instructs the shammes to give the man a glass of water to quench his terrible thirst. The man gulps down the water, puts down the glass and sighs. He wipes his brow with his hanky and looks at the rabbi in earnest.

"Thank you Rabbi," he says wholeheartedly, "I'll never eat a schmaltz herring on Yom Kippur morning ever again!"













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