I forgot my prayer book


Illustration by Ken Crane

A Jewish peasant boy came to the big town to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.
But found himself without his prayer book.

The wheel of his cart had come off right in the middle of the woods and it distressed him that this day should pass without his having said his prayers.
He thought:
“The Holy One blessed is enthroned in the heavens and we pray all year long to Him. We especially pray during these two days of Rosh Hashanah when the whole world is being judged and each person is being judged for the rest of the year.
“But I forgot my prayer book”.

So this is the prayer he made:
“I have done something very foolish, Lord.
“I came away from home this morning without my prayer book and my memory is such that I cannot recite a single prayer without it.
“So this is what I am going to do:
“I shall recite the alphabet five times very slowly and you, to whom all prayers are known, will put the letters together to form the prayers I can’t remember.”

And the Holy One said to his angels,
“Of all the prayers I have heard today, this one was undoubtedly the best because it came from a heart that was simple and sincere.”

story takem from The Hasidic Stories Home Page