Among the objects that Rabbi Yosef received an inheritance on the death of his father, the “‘ show” (“the light”) of Lublin, was a clock.
When Rabbi Yosef returned home, to Tulchin, after the seven days of mourning, he had to spend three nights in a hostel because torrential rain had flooded the region. When he wanted to leave, the innkeeper (let’s call him Zev) presented him with the note: Rabbi Yosef could not pay. He offered Zev to choose an object among his assets. It thinks and chooses the clock.
Zev put it at the time, hung it in a room and, initially, appreciated his cheerful chime that faithfully sounded every hour. Then time passed and neither he nor his wife, there were more attention.
* * *
Years later, a’ Hasid spent the night in the hostel, just in the room where the clock was suspended.
That night, Zev was exhausted, he couldn’t get to sleep: the room of ‘ Hasid, you could hear sing and even dance, and this, especially when the carillon put in motion. Zev decided that the next day, he would ask for the ‘Hasid the reason for his exuberance, and happy with his idea, he managed to fall asleep.
In the morning, as if he had read in the thoughts of Zev, the ‘ Hassid, refreshed as if he had slept all night, called Zev:
-You may wonder why I was so happy that night, but I wonder how it is that this clock is in your possession!
Zev did not understand the connection between the two facts but he told to the ‘ Hasid how he acquired this clock.
-I see that you do not understand what bargain you made, says the ‘ Hasid. This clock belonged to my Rabbi, the ‘ show in Lublin! As soon as I heard the chime, I recognized it!
-A clock is a clock, murmured Zev.
-But not at all! I’ll explain what is a clock! Said the ‘ Hasid. People think that a clock only serves to tell them when to get up, when to eat and when to sleep. It’s absurd! People lived for thousands of years without a watch. An animal doesn’t have a watch to see when to indulge in such frivolous activities!
-It of true, recognized Zev, whose curiosity had been aroused.
-A clock reminds people that there is a creation which is the time in this world. When g-d created the world, he created time. The hands that show the hours and minutes we remind every moment g-d gives life to the world and feeds each creature.
-A watch! Really a beautiful object! was enthusiastic Zev.
– But that of not all, continued the ‘ Hasid. The watch also reminds us that time is passing and we need to pay attention. Anything lost can be found but not the time: you can never get it back. When the chime sounds, it’s for us to point out that an hour has been passed: we use it fully, correctly?
-Oh no! When I think of all the hours that I lost! lamented Zev.
-Don’t worry, says the ‘ encouraging Chassid in a tone. Did you know that in Hebrew, the word meaning “year” (“Chana”) may also result in ‘tour’? Imagine someone walking carelessly along a dangerous road until it arrives at a precipice. Suddenly, he realizes where he is then he turns the heels to retrace his steps. The simple fact of turn, or if you want to change direction before it is actually headed on the right path, saved him from danger. In an hour, in a turn in the right direction, everyone can change the course of his life!
-I never saw it that way! exclaimed Zev.
-Now I’ll tell you what is the real secret of this clock, the clock of my Rabbi. This clock is exceptionally accurate and perfect, because in addition to all the virtues specific to each watch, she has a particularly happy chime. Whenever it gets underway, that’s good news, as to tell us that an additional hour of exile has already passed and so we got an extra hour of the time of Moshiach ‘ h.
-So, Reb Zev, said the ‘Hassid, do you understand why I was so happy last night? I heard the chime, I recognized him and I celebrated it with enthusiasm!
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