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A tale in time for Mimouna, (the day after Pesach in the Israel). Mimouna is a time to celebrate community, kindness, and friendship. It is a day of great food, fun, faith and hospitality.

Here is a story in the spirit of Mimouna, a story that occurred long before politicians abused and took advantage of the hospitable nature of Mimouna picnics.

Once upon a time, two brothers lived in the same town. One was rich, and one was poor. And when I saw he was poor, I mean he was very poor. He had no money, but he had many sons. Whenever his wife gave birth to a new child, the poor brother would visit his rich brother and ask for some monetary aid. The rich brother was mean and gave his brother no money, no food, bupkus, nada, zilch.

So it came to pass, that the poor man had another child. He went to his brother for help, and none was forthcoming. And so he walked back home, through the streets, through the market, sniffling, and almost crying.

Just then someone walked up to the poor brother, and asked what the problem was. The stranger, some say it was Elijah the prophet, but I am not sure, told the poor brother to go home, clean his keskas pot, place a nice cloth upon it, and take it to the King as a gift. It will bring you great tarbah, or success.

Keskas pot? For those of you who do not know what a keskas pot is, it is a pot that is used to steam keskas, or couscous. It looks a little like a funnel, like a cone.

And so the poor brother did as the stranger suggested, and he brought the gift to the palace, the palace of the king.

"I have a gift for you," the poor man said to the king. He gave the pot, wrapped in the cloth to the king.

The king unwrapped the pot, and to the king, maybe with the aid of the divine, to the king, the keskas pot looked like a crown of precious stones and metals. To the king, it was the loveliest of crowns.

The king was kvelling over the crown and placed it on his head.

The king gave the poor brother five coins, and five dates, and then said, "give this man anything he desires. Give him a house, and place him on the royal payroll." And it was so. Overnight, the brother who had been materially poor, became materially rich.

And the timing was perfect, because the once-poor brother moved into the new house the day before Pesach, so for sure there was no hametz in it. For it was new.

And so, it was the first night of Pesach, when everyone was sitting down for the first seder. And what happens? The rich brother says, " I wonder how my poor brother is? Does he have any matzah? Does he have any wine?" So the rich brother asked his maid to take some matzah and wine to the home of his poor brother.

A little late if you ask me? And why didn't he just invite his poor brother and his family over for the seder? Whatever, let me get on with the story.

And so the maid brought the wine and matzahs to the home of the poor brother. But he was no longer there, for he and the family had moved into the new home that the king had given them. The maid was directed by the neighbors to the new home, and she arrived there with the matzah and wine. She was surprised.

"I have brought some wine and matzah from your brother." She said

"Thank you, but we have plenty," answered the once poor brother. "But please, please join us for the rest of our seder, you should be relaxing and enjoying the holiday tonight."

But the maid did not join them. She hurried back to the rich brother to report on the events of the evening. When the maid told the rich brother of the great wealth of his once poor brother, the rich brother became both curious and jealous. The next morning, he went to his brother's new home to see if the maid had told the truth.

"Welcome, welcome, my brother," the once poor brother told his rich brother. "Please join us for the second seder tonight."

The rich brother joined his brother for the seder, and asked how he became so wealthy. The once-poor brother explained how he met a stranger, and how he brought the keskas pot to the king, who wore it as a crown.

At the end of Pesach, on Mimouna, the rich brother, filled with jealousy, arose early, went to the market and bought a dozen keskas pots and headed for the palace. The king, who was on his way to splash in the Sea, took a peak at the pots, and had the rich brother thrown into jail for trying to mock the king by saying a keskas pot was a crown fit for a king.

And so one the festival of Mimouna, the rich brother learned that jail and not success is what awaits those who are greedy, and those who don't help the community. The End.




http://www.myjewishbooks.com -- Revised: July 1999
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