Isaac dies

By Paulo Coelho

A certain rabbi was adored by everyone in his community, who were all enchanted with everything he said.
Apart from Isaac, that is, who never missed an opportunity to contradict the rabbi’s interpretations and point out errors in his teaching. The others were disgusted by Isaac’s behaviour, but could do nothing about it.
One day, Isaac died. During the funeral, the community noticed that the rabbi was looking very sad.
‘Why so sad?’ asked someone. ‘He found fault with everything you did!’
‘I’m not sad for my friend, who is now in heaven,’ replied the rabbi. ‘I am sad for myself. While you all revered me, he challenged me, and so I was forced to improve. Now that he’s gone, I’m afraid I might stop growing.’

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  1. Floroskop says:

    I think this try.

  2. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo and Friends,

    i haven’t written here much lately.. Don’t know why i’ve been slightly distanced.. I’ve read most of your comments and i guess i just needed to be a bit silent for a while. So now i’m back from hiding and am here to give you my two cents comments :)

    I think that in life, we never stop growing, even if we don’t realise it. I feel that although isaac has died, someone else or something else will happen in order to make one think again. Think about who they are and what they believe to be true. As they think, they make a choice, and one experiences the repercussions of this choice. All these experiences builds who we are and slowly we grow with every moment. Its so often things that challenge us in life, often bad things, helps us find our strength, and builds who we are. Its important to keep a clear head in these situation and not be blinded by the hurt, but also be grateful for finding the strength to overcome that hurt. Not everything is as bad as it seems.. We just have to look at the bigger picture and put things into perspective.


    i wish you all of the very best as you strive for your dreams..i pray that you will continue to persist until you fulfill all of them, even when life challenges you.

    oh and friends.. I love you all :)
    thank you for being

  3. agnieszka says:

    Rainer & A.V.C.

    Your soul.


  4. Monika Frotscher says:

    The rabbi is a really good teacher!

  5. A.V.C. says:


    Amen to that!
    Let’s keep moving!

  6. Liara Covert says:

    Hi Paulo.

    Thank you for sharing this story. It reminds me of the wisdom found in your books where you reveal that less can actually say more.

    This post reminds me of a similar story about a senior monk. His peers were after him to discharge an obnoxious pupil who was always swearing and didn’t strike them as “monk material.”

    “Send him on his way,” they urged. But the senior monk refused.

    “I will not do that,” he replied. “This pupil is God’s greatest gift to me.”

    This stunned his peers.

    The senior monk said, “since this pupil has enterd my life, I have become more humble than ever before.”

    His peers simply looked at him, confused.

    “You see, before I met this pupil, I thought I knew everything about patience, understanding, love, compassion and unconditional forgiveness. This pupil reminds me every day how much I still have to learn.”

  7. Pichu says:

    POr eso es importante la democracia, la libre opinion, la oposición y la crí­tica.
    (cuando cada una de ellas se utiliza de la manera correcta)Son factores o armas necesarias para que una sociedad avance, y las grandes transformaciones sean posibles.

    Nice Story !
    God Bless.

  8. Anne-Marie says:

    Two men were having a drink at a hotel bar, not together, but sitting side by side.

    One of the men, who had beside him a large trophy awarding him for some achievement turned to the other man and said without modesty, “Today is the greatest day of my life. I studied for ten years, worked another twenty to get to the top of my field, and just tonight my colleagues and community have recognized my greatest achievement.”

    The other man who was a complete stranger could think of nothing to say, so he congratulated the man and wished him more success in the future. In thanks, and partially because of the celebrating man’s already inebriated state, he offered to buy the stranger a drink.

    Curious about the strange man he had just bought a single malt Scotch for, the man asked what was his story. The stranger replied, “I am also celebrating.”

    “Celebrating!” The man exclaimed, “What’s the ocassion?”

    “I was an orphan. I never went to school so I had to teach myself. My lack of education ruled out the chance of any real profession, but I took what I could do and worked as hard as I could. Since I travel a lot for my work I don’t get to see my wife or daughter that often. But tonight before I came down for dinner my daughter told me she loved me. And she’s my greatest achievement.”

  9. Tania says:

    This happens in life when someone either challenges us or has taken care of us, supported us emotionally ,we think we cannot go on or ever function again little knowing that sometimes the sadest ,most painful lessons make us grow even it we don’t see it then, we learn it as time goes on ,without pain or suffering one cannot grow …Blessings Tania

  10. wanbliska says:

    Maybe a farmer would annoy himself, with only donkeys.

    It’s quite suspicious when a disciple never contradicts.


  11. rainer says:

    Every movement has its anta- and protagonist. If movement is of benefit who will tell that anta- or protagonist is evil?

  12. KUKU says:

    You Rock! Sir Paulo Coelho. During my recent journey to Austin Texas, in the process finding my personal legend as singer/songwriter, my gig bag was stolen at my first performance. The bag contained a book I was reading among other valuables. On my return trip home I decided to get some cappuccino hoping it will remedy my upset stomach,that was when I saw your book, The Alchemist, on the shelve of airport bookstore. I was immediately drawn to it never having heard about the worldwide success of book. Upon boarding my flight a young lady who would end up sitting behind me in airplane commented “great book”. I hadn’t read a page so I smiled back saying “thank you” not knowing I best to reply. At the end of the the short flight, I got up from my sit I commented to the lady that I’m already feeling like I was Santiago.

    I confess to being a slow reader but by midnight of that very day I was on the last pages while enjoying a breakfast/lunch/dinner combination meal at an area restaurant.

    Thank you for helping me to better define my quest for my personal legends, inspiring better conversation between me and my heart and helping better recognize the omen a has I come across them. thank for being part of the soul of the world conspiring in my favor to realize my dream. You are my hero.

    I learnt you were in the music industry for a while. If you have a chance check me out at, my name is KUKU and I’m from Nigeria.

    You and your book are definitely an omen in my journey to realizing my personal legend of singing my songs and playing my guitar for the whole world to hear, and heal.

    Peace and Blessings

  13. Kathleen says:

    That’s a wonderful attitude.
    Kathleen xx

  14. Karen says:

    No ONE person can be adored by EVERYONE…because people are so very different. With no two minds being alike,. Most often I find the “adored” are misleading and false in their words and actions. The one who points out errors, that’s who I relate to the most. The others are too cowardly to speak their minds OR they are simply mere followers that NEVER question what they’re being told. The kind the false leader seeks.
    Not to claim this rabbi was a false leader, it’s just that no one is perfect.
    My guess, the rabbi probably had the most respect for Isaac. The others, they’ll just do what they’re told.