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Looking for a Golden Dove

“I lost a golden dove please wait for me”, he told the desert caravan head.

Looking for a Golden Dove
Everyone knows that person who eats bread should thank G-d after eating and say the grace after meals. Once a great man ate and wanted to say grace but he had to get up and go. But you can’t just get up and go you need to say the grace after meals. This story took place in the Talmud and the rabbi involved was ready to sacrifice to do the mitzva properly; let’s see the story.

Many years ago a great righteous man lived in Babylon named Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah. Once he went travelling to a faraway place. In those times people didn’t travel by themselves for the roads were dangerous. There could be robbers or wild animals along the way so people traveled in large groups called caravans. They traveled by camel across the desert because a camel can drink a lot of water and travel far distances without needing more water to drink. They would also try to travel at night when it was dark and cool instead of the very hot days.

Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah was in a caravan with many merchants some Jewish and some not. He tried keeping all the mitzvoth and laws that he could even when traveling. Once, he sat down to eat a fast meal with some bread. But he was hardly finished when the head of the caravan said, “quick, it’s time to move on and get to the next place before it gets too hot and there we can rest”. Everyone packed up their bags and got on the camels. Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah saw how everyone was getting ready and going and he was worried that they would leave him behind so he packed up and jumped on his camel and set out with them. But as he was traveling, he remembered that he ate bread and needed to say the grace after the meal. But he was already far away and couldn’t go back and endanger himself if he would take time to say the grace after the meal and be all by himself in the desert.

Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah went to the head of the caravan and told him “I’ve lost something very precious at our previous stop and I need to go back and get it.”  “What is it?” the caravan head asked along with others. He answered “a golden dove, it’s very precious.” Everyone agreed that it was and they waited for him so he could “look for his golden dove”.

Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah went back and said grace after the meal in the place he ate as he was supposed to.  After he finished he thought to himself, “What’s going tpo be with all the people who waited for me that will see me come back empty handed. How can I explain to them that I meant that our mitzvoth are like precious golden doves?” As soon as he though those words he saw something shining up at him through the sand- it was a golden dove! Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah rode back to the caravan with the golden dove and the entire caravan’s people were happy for him. (Based on Berachot 53)
 
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