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Story: Pebbles From the Heart

Friday, August 31st, 2012 11:47 am by admin

Pebbles From the Heart

Reuben Kaplan was a talker. At breakfast he told the stories of his dreams from the night before always adding a thick layer of interpretation. On the way to school he told the same stories to his neighbor Sam but this time they seemed a little more detailed, a little bigger. While he hung up his coat and put his lunchbox away, Reuben told the stories to his friend Emily. Only this time, he raised his voice during different parts and when Emily asked him if the stories were true, Reuben just raised his eyebrows and gave her that look.

In their spelling lesson that day Reuben noticed that his friend Jake peered into his backpack every few minutes. Reuben figured that Jake must be hiding something pretty special so he told his friend David that Jake was hiding a pet snake!




But really Jake was just looking for his homework. At lunch Reuben saw that his friend Franny didn’t finish her sandwich. Reuben figured it must because she’s on a diet so he told his friend Annie that Franny was worried about being too fat to fit in the doorway! But really Franny just didn’t like peanut butter and banana sandwiches. On the way home from school Reuben saw his neighbor Mr. Shlimkovitz studying a book very hard and shaking his head. Reuben figured that Mr. Shlimkovitz was having a tough time understanding something so he told his parents that Mr. Shlimkovitz was still learning how to read! But really Mr. Shlimkovitz was studying Torah and disagreed with one of the commentaries.

Every day Reuben talked so much that his parents started to roll their eyes and his friends started to turn away whenever Reuben came around. His parents decided to visit Rabbi Leah for a little help. When Reuben entered Rabbi Leah’s office and saw all of those books he figured that she must know everything so he started to tell her the stories of his dreams from the night before but this time somehow he included a snake and a million peanut butter and banana sandwiches and old Mr. Shlimkovitz who still didn’t know how to read. "Enough!" shouted Rabbi Leah. "Go outside and gather a big handful of pebbles." So he did. He went outside and returned, his hands overflowing with pebbles. Rabbi Leah looked at Reuben very seriously. She selected one pebble from his hands and said "Now Reuben I want you to go back outside and place this pebble back exactly where you found it." Reuben was surprised! He laughed and said, "Rabbi Leah how am I supposed to remember where a little pebble like that goes?" And Rabbi Leah said, "This pebble is too small and unimportant for you to take much notice of it or where it came from." And then suddenly she flung the pebble at the window. Crashing loudly, it shattered the window! Rabbi Leah looked back at Reuben and said "That pebble is just like a word. It was too small for you to take notice but it was powerful enough to break the heart and trust of your friends. After a while you may not remember where your stories come from, but you can be sure that they still hurt people nonetheless." Rabbi Leah pointed to the rest of the pebbles in Reuben’s hands. "What will you do with the rest of these pebbles?" she asked. Reuben decided to carry one or two of those pebbles in his pocket to remind him of his Rabbi’s shattered window and of the fact that each word counts. Every word that comes from our mouths is very powerful.

Adapted by Shira Kline

Origins unknown


©ShirLaLa 2007

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Posted in Activities for home and classroom, Holidays, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, Stories