Elul Thoughts: 9 Elul

Picturesque

A country boy came to the city for the first time and stayed at an inn. Awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of loud horns, he inquired about the purpose of the horn blasts. Informed that a fire had broken out and that the horn blasts were the city’s fire alarm, he turned over and went back to sleep. When he returned to his village, he reported to the leaders that the people in the city have a wonderful system; when a fire breaks out people blow their horns and before long the fire is out.

The people of the village decided to try this method of fire control. When a fire broke out, there was a deafening blast of horns while the people waited expectantly for the flames to subside. This never happened, and instead, a number of houses burned to the ground.

A sophisticated visitor passing through the village was told the reason for the ear-splitting din and ridiculed the villagers: “Do you think a fire can be put out simply by blowing horns? They only sound an alarm for the people to wake up and take measures to extinguish the fire.”

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