This particular forum has been idle for so long that I thought a story that our rabbi told from the pulpit a few weeks ago might be food for thought, especially at this time of year. Perhaps some of you have heard it before.

There was an old Jew, a widower, who lived way out at the edge of town. He had heard through the temple ‘grapevine’ that the rabbi would be making the rounds, seeking contributions for the poor.

It was a dark, cold, blustery winter night, and the old man thought to himself, “Well, the rabbi sure won’t be out in this kind of weather.”

No sooner had this thought crossed his mind than there came a knock at the door. “Now who could that be on a night like this?”, thought the old gentleman.

He opened the door and lo and behold, there stood the rabbi, covered with snow and ice!

“Rabbi”, said the old man, “for heaven’s sake, come in from the cold!”

“No, no”, said the rabbi, “I can’t, I haven’t time, I’m just making the rounds, reminding everyone of the…”

“Yes, rabbi, I know, but the weather is awful, PLEASE come in and warm yourself!”

“No, no”, said the rabbi, “I must be going…”

Then the old man grabbed the rabbi by the lapels and literally dragged him into the living room. “Rabbi”, said the man, "sit here by the fire, warm yourself, for goodness sake, why did you keep us out there in the cold?”

“Because”, said the rabbi, “I wanted you to know how it feels to be out in the cold!”