Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Saving one’s energies

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

Two rabbis are doing all they can to bring spiritual comfort to the Jews in Nazi Germany. Though in mortal fear of their lives, they nevertheless manage to fool the Gestapo – Hitler’s fearsome police – and perform religious ceremonies in various communities.

They are finally discovered and imprisoned. One of the rabbis, terrified at the thought of what might happen next, spends all his time praying. The other rabbi, however, spends the whole day sleeping.

‘How can you do that?’ asks the first rabbi in alarm.

‘I’m saving my energies because I know I’m going to need them.’

‘But aren’t you afraid? Don’t you know what might happen to us?’

‘Until we were imprisoned, I was scared to death, but now that I’m here in this cell, what’s the point of being afraid of something that has already happened. The time for fear is past; now the time for hope has begun.’

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