King Solomon was considered the wisest of all men. People would come from all over to hear his stories and seek his consul. King Solomon was also a master story teller. Many of his best lessons were taught through parable. In one particular tale, about a very sly fox and a beautiful vineyard, the King reminds us to not be deceived by the material world.
According to the story there was once a sly fox who passed by a beautiful vineyard. More luscious than anything he’d ever scene, before. However, a tall, thick fence surrounded the vineyard on all sides. As the fox circled around the fence, he found a small hole in, barely large enough for him to push his head through. The fox could see what luscious grapes grew in the vineyard, and his mouth began to water. But the hole was too small for him. So what did the sly fox do? He fasted for three days until he became so thin that he managed to slip through the hole.
Inside the vineyard the fox began to eat to his heart’s content. He grew bigger and fatter than ever before. Then he wanted to get out of the vineyard. But alas! The hole was too small again. So what did he do? He fasted for three days again, and then just barely managed to slip through the hole and out again.
Turning his head towards the vineyard, the poor fox said: “Vineyard, O’ vineyard! How lovely you look, and how lovely are your fruits and vines. But what good are you to me? just as I came to you, so I leave you…”
And so, our Sages say, it is also with this world. It is a beautiful, luscious, wonderful world, but just as one comes into this world empty-handed, so one leaves it. Only the Torah we study, the mitzvot we performed, and the good deeds we do carry on with us.
Shana Tova U’metukah,
May the New Year be a year filled with peace and goodness.