Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The rabbi and forgiveness

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

This story is attributed to the great Rabbi Bal Shen Tov. It is said that he was standing on top of a hill with a group of students when he saw a band of Cossacks attack the city below and begin massacring the people.

Seeing many of his friends dying and begging for mercy, the Rabbi cried out:

‘Oh, if only I were God!’

A shocked student turned to him and said:

‘Master, how can you utter such a blasphemy? Do you mean that if you were God you would act differently? Do you mean that you think that God often does the wrong thing?’

The Rabbi looked the student in the eye and said:

‘God is always right. But if I were God, I would be able to understand why this is happening.’

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