Stories 16: Love and holiness

Two brothers, one a bachelor, the other married, owned a farm whose fertile soil yielded an abundance of grain. Half the grain went to one brother and half to the other.

All went well at first. Then, every now and then, the married man began to wake with a start from his sleep at night and think: “This isn’t fair. My brother isn’t married and he gets half the produce of the farm. Here I am with a wife and five kids, so I have all the security I need for my old age. But who will care for my poor brother when he gets old? He needs to save much more for the future than he does at present, so his need is obviously greater than mine.” With that he would get out of bed, steal over to his brother’s place and pour a sack full of grain into his brother’s granary.

The bachelor too began to get these nightly attacks. Every once in a while he would wake from his sleep and say to himself: “This simply isn’t fair. My brother has a wife and five kids and he gets half the produce of the land. Now I have no one except myself to support. So is it just that my poor brother, whose need is obviously greater than mine, should receive exactly as much as I do?” Then he would get out of bed and pour a sack full of grain into his brother’s granary.

One day they got out of bed at the same time and ran into each other, each with a sack of grain on his back! Many years later, after their death, the story leaked out. So when the townsfolk wanted to build a temple they chose the spot at which the two brothers met for they could not think of any place in the town that was holier than that one.

 

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