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Days of Purpose- Days of Fulfillment

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Days of Purpose- Days of Fulfillment

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In Jewish tradition instructive stories and teachings of moral conduct, discipline and practice are called musar. In Days of Purpose – Days of Fulfillment, Cheryl Gunsher follows the musar tradition, sharing her personal stories of spiritual growth and development.
The author’s great, great grandfather, Rabbi Moshe Asher Boyarsky, was a magid, a preacher who used parables to elucidate Torah teachings. In following her great grandfather’s footsteps, Cheryl creates vignettes of Jewish life centered around the Jewish life-cycle.
These stories, these parables, are meant to put us on the path of spiritual healing and involve introspection, mediation, prayer, contemplation, forgiveness and repentance. They speak to what motivates us, what we dream about and what we yearn for. Most of all, perhaps, they speak of freedom, leaving the slavery of our negativity and attaching ourselves to our true spiritual natures, and to God.

From Days of Purpose – Days of Fulfillment
The Golden Fish
The Village was located at the very edge of the Kingdom, bordering the great ocean. It was the poorest of all the towns and villages in the Kingdom: The barren land was full of rocks, and the people of the Village could not raise crops in its soil. Even worse for the villagers was that the ocean bordering their village was frozen.
No one could remember how or when it had happened, but the ocean was covered with a thick, impenetrable layer of ice. This icy barrier prevented the people from fishing, thus making an important food source unavailable to them.
The King, distressed at the plight of the villagers, decided to send for His Minstrel, a man who traveled throughout the Kingdom, singing his songs and gladdening the hearts of all who heard him. The King sent the Minstrel to be His messenger and to travel down to the Village with the frozen ocean. When the Messenger arrived and saw the poverty and the despair of the villagers, his heart was saddened and he was unable to sing his sweet songs.
He felt the hunger and depression that surrounded him and saw the ice that covered over the blue ocean. He left the Village with a heavy heart.
The Minstrel began traveling throughout the Kingdom, not to sing, but to publicize the plight of the villagers and to arouse compassion in the hearts of the people. He asked that at the end of the upcoming festival days, they travel at nightfall to the Village with the frozen ocean. He told them each to come with a glad heart, a smile, and a candle.
When the festival days ended, men, women, and children from all over the Kingdom began their journey to the Village in a remote part of their country. They came singing songs, with gladness in their hearts, smiles on their faces, and candles, just as the King’s Messenger had asked them. They came with the sincere wish of sharing with their less-fortunate country people the joy that they had experienced during the festival days.
The people gathered on the shore, facing the ocean. They lit their candles and smiled, feeling the happiness of helping the villagers in their hearts. Their many separate flames came together to form one great flame, and soon, droplets pooled on the icy surface, and then the water started rippling forth in waves. The King’s Messenger took a net and threw it into the ocean and brought out a golden fish. The fish glittered and shone in the reflection of the great flame. The villagers were overjoyed when they saw the golden fish because they knew now that their ocean contained life. They would no longer be hungry, and they had hope for the future.
The King was greatly pleased with His Messenger and with the people of the Kingdom. He declared that from then on the melting of the ocean would be commemorated in the Village every year at the end of the festival days. Even though the people did not remember how the ocean had originally become frozen, the King wanted them to remember forever how it had melted.

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