Lesson on the Road

On one occasion Rabbi Eleazer, son of Rabbi Simeon was coming from Migdal Gedor, from the house of his teacher. He was riding leaisurely on his donkey by the riverside and was feeling happy and elated because he had studied Torah. There he chanced to meet an exceedingly ugly man who greeted him, ‘Peace be upon you, rabbi.’ He however, did not return his greeting but instead said to him, “Raca (‘Empty one’ or ‘good for nothing’) how ugly you are! Is everyone in your town as ugly as you are?” The man replied; “I do not know, but go and tell the craftsman who made me, ‘How ugly is the vessel which you have made.’” When R. Eleazer realized that he had sinned he dismounted from the donkey and prostrated himself before the man and said to him, ‘I submit myself to you, forgive me!” – (Brad H. Young- The Parables).


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