Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Treasure in a Field, part 1

Katzrin lay quiet.  The town barely breathed.  The small Jewish community slept sweetly tonight, that is, all but one man.  The short stocky farmer waddled through the dark streets with a small lantern and an awkwardly large shovel.  The townspeople called him “ah-Fahr” or “dirt” in reference to his usually disheveled and dirty appearance.  He was a man of the fields and their soils.  Ah-Fahr had produced very little in his life.  He possessed very little to invest in production.  He had inherited from his father the worst soil in the Golan Heights.  Ah-Fahr spent his younger years clearing rocks from his little hillside fields, and still, rocks remained to be cleared.  They were small dusty chips, worth nothing, useless for the building of houses or any good thing.  Ah-Fahr had quite a quarry of those dusty chips and two very worn out hands and a sorrowful wife and six underfed children.  This was the life of Ah-Fahr.  The vineyards of Golan were the most productive in the land, but alas, Ah-Fahr tasted none of the juices.
Yesterday was a different day than today.  Yesterday Ah-Fahr walked in broad daylight through the Katzrin streets with his awkwardly large shovel.  His Jewish neighbors, never minding their own business, asked what he was off to do.  About every fifth individual he passed asked him this question.  He was happy to announce his desire to purchase another field.  He would invest his entire life’s savings into a new field he had discovered on the other side of town.  But, what everyone knew and therefore what everyone laughed at, was Ah-Fahr’s seeming ignorance of the field he was off to examine.  It was another field at the edge of a rocky slope.  It was a useless field, a fruitless field.  Would Ah-Fahr spend more of his vitality on useless fields?  He has produced nothing from what he already owns!  
Ah-Fahr was an optimistic man.  He was a man with merely nothing but willing to invest all.  He was a man who prayed for the opportunity to pour his heart into one thing and to give away its produce.  Ah-Fahr was a man with heart and available hands.  Once he had boasted, “If God would grant me a productive field, I will feed all the poor in the Golan Heights!”  But, his neighbors laughed - Ah-Fahr WAS the poor in the Golan Heights!  How could one with so little ever be capable of giving so much?  I interject: perhaps the townspeople should be more careful with their laughter, for, God answers the prayers of the poor…
Yesterday they laughed at his notion all throughout the Katzrin streets.  Silly Ah-Fahr!  Off to prove himself a fool!  Ah-Fahr had reached the edge of the city.  He stood at the brink of its gate and sighed.  His heart fell heavily.  All of his willingness could not carry him through the journey to the small field he sought to purchase.  The words plagued his optimistic spirit and he turned back.  He careened through every side road and alley to escape the ridicule of the marketplaces with his large shovel heaving upon his strong shoulders and humbled backside.  His jaw weakly sunk into his sad chest and his eyes darted to and fro looking for  a way out of more humiliation.  Perhaps this five foot three clump of human dirt really was a hopelessly silly fool looking for treasures in all the wrong places….
To be continued…

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