In the book Hasidic Parables by Aryeh Wineman, he writes “The most basic definition of parable is an imaginative story whose meaning refers to something quite beyond itself; it alludes to an analogy or application not contained within the story proper. A parable is a work of fiction, necessarily brief and compact, which is not told for its own sake, but to make a point and speak a truth.” The book offers of a variety of parables. Our reading for today comes from this book and is entitled The Evil Inclination.  “The Evil Inclination can be likened to one who goes running among people, and his hand is closed shut, no one knowing what he is holding in it. And he deceives people and asks each person, ‘What am I holding in my hand?’ To each person it seems as though he is holding whatever that particular person happens to desire. And so everyone runs after him thinking that whatever he desires is in that runner’s hand. But afterwards, the person running opens his hand and it is empty. Similarly, the Evil Inclination deceives the whole world; everyone pursues it as it deceives each and every person into thinking that whatever he desires is in its hand, each person according to his foolishness and his lusts and desires. And afterwards, in the end, it opens its hand and there is nothing in it, for no one can satisfy his desires through it. Worldly desires can also be linked to rays of sunlight, which appear like pillars of light within a house. But if one grabs those pillars of light to hold them, he discovers that there is nothing at all in his hand. Such is the case with worldly desires.”  The Rabbi invites us to consider one’s basic attitude or assumptions concerning striving and the pursuit of desire.

Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:14
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call
of God in Christ Jesus.”

Reflection Questions:
What are you pursuing?
Who has something you desire and what is it?
What is God calling you to do?

Prayer: Holy God, I press on striving to be more like you. Let that be my strongest desire. Fill my heart and head with such caring that I welcome others as you have welcomed me. Amen.