March 8, 2023 by Lazer Brody
A chassidic parable teaches us that we don’t have to live a third-class life when there are available upgrades for everyone…
A simple Ukrainian peasant overheard a group of merchants talking in the outdoor market. They used a word he didn’t know called, “Train”. But, by the gist of the conversation, he understood that it was a big wagon that could move on its own. It didn’t need horses to pull it.
“What, no horses? That can’t be,” said the peasant. “Either it has horses to pull it, or else it can’t move.” The peasant was very sure of himself. Surely the city slickers didn’t understand horses and wagons like he did.
The merchants explained that instead of animal power, the locomotive ran on steam power. It burned coal, which in turn boiled water in the train’s boiler, which created steam that propelled the train.
This all sounded very far-fetched to the peasant. After interrogating the merchants, he found out that anyone could not only see the train, but ride on it as well. They warned him though that the tickets were expensive.
The peasant saved kopecks for 3 years until he accumulated a sum of fifty rubles, quite a fortune for a potato-growing peasant. He rode his horse for five hours until he reached the city of Lemburg. He then tied the horse to a big oak tree not far from the train station and left it with a big feed bag around its neck.
At the ticket window, the peasant learned that there were all types of tickets, depending on the seating class and destination. The peasant said to the ticket clerk, “Don’t confuse me with all the details, just sell me a ticket so I can ride the train.”
“How much money do you have?” the ticket clerk asked. The peasant showed him five ten-ruble notes. “In that case, you can take a whole seven-hour train ride to the capital city of Kiev and even sit in the best seat of the best compartment – first-class reserved.” The clerk told the peasant where to wait for the train and at which platform.
The peasant felt really uncomfortable at the platform where he waited. The other people there were all dressed in city-clothes, expensive suits with gold-rimmed spectacles. They all looked like doctors or lawyers. Yet, further down the platform, there was a motley and very loud group of peasants, carrying sacks of fresh vegetables, cackling hens and roosters and baskets full of food. He felt much more at home with this group so he walked down to their end of the platform at waited there for the train.
The train arrived and all the peasants stampeded into the third-class car at the end of the train. The air was stifling. A cloud of garlic, onion and herring filled the over-capacity crammed car. The noise was deafening. Yet, everyone seemed to be having a good time until someone yelled, “Conductor!” Everyone ran to hide. The peasant saw people hiding so he too dived on the floor under his seat. He was the first one who the conductor caught. “You’re going to jail, thief! You can’t ride the train without a ticket!”
“But I have a ticket,” the peasant pleaded.
“Villager, don’t lie to me!”
“Here it is!” said the peasant, showing the conductor his ticket.
The incredulous conductor looked at the peasant’s ticket and couldn’t believe his eyes. “You foolish villager! What are you doing back here in third class when you have a reserved-seat first-class ticket? And even more, what are you hiding from me for when you have such an expensive ticket?”
The peasant answered, “I saw everyone else hiding, so I hid too!”
The peasant sounds silly, doesn’t he? But do you know who he is? He’s every one of us. We think that we’re doomed to live third-class lives like the many millions who live with never-ending stress, anxiety and even clinical depression. We want to be politically and socially correct and flow with the masses. That’s very foolish.
Hashem gives us a first-class ticket. It’s called emuna. It enables us to travel life’s journey in emotional comfort. Emuna is better than first-class. It’s luxury class. It’s your ticket to talking to the Almighty whenever you like. Emuna enables you to solicit His help for whatever you need.
Thinking that there’s no such thing as life without anxiety is like believing that there’s no such thing as a wagon without horses. Bring emuna into your life. See how it helps you in every singles aspect of life. What’s more, it’s the ticket to first-class, and that’s a happy life with a big smile on your face. G-d bless!
You’ll find an assortment of wonderful tickets to a first-class life here.