Elul Thoughts: 7 Elul

Picturesque

via Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins.

The carpenter that I hired to help me had a rough day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit on him in the middle of the job, and then his pickup truck wouldn’t start.

I drove him home, and on the way he sat in stony silence. When we arrived, though, he invited me to come in for a minute to meet his family and have a drink. As we walked towards the front door, he paused for a moment in front of a small tree, touching the tips of its branches with both hands. I had never seen anyone do that before and I wondered what it meant.

When he got to the door, he underwent an incredible transformation. His face was suddenly wreathed in smiles as he hugged his kids and gave his wife a kiss. Afterwards, he walked me back to my car. As we passed the tree, my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen a few minutes before.

“Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he explained. “I know that I can’t help having some troubles on the job once in a while, but one thing is for sure: My work troubles don’t belong in the house, affecting my family. So what I do is I hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning, when I am on my way out to work, I pick them up again.”

“The funny thing is,” he said with a grin, ”when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there aren’t nearly as many there as I remember hanging up the night before!”

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