Sacred Texts  Judaism  Wisdom of the East  Index  Previous  Next 

The Wisdom of Israel, by Edwin Collins, [1910], at


A pious and learned Rabbi, who died quite young, was the subject of this parable.

"A certain king had a vineyard, and he hired a great number of labourers to work in it. There

p. 21

was among them one labourer who worked better and more quickly than all the others, and even more than was necessary. What did the king? He took him by the hand and walked about the vineyard talking with him. And at eventide, all the labourers came to receive their reward, and that labourer came with them, and the king paid him for the full day.

"Then the other labourers complained. They said: 'Behold we have worked all the day while this one only worked two hours, and the king has given him a full day's pay!'

"Then the king said: 'What right have you to be envious? This one did more in his two hours of proper work, than you did, who toiled all day.'

"Thus Rabbi Bun bar Chyia learned more of the Torah in his twenty-eight years of life than many another is able to learn in a hundred years."

Midrash Koheleth on the verse, "Sweet is the Sleep of the Labourer." Comp. Shir hashireem Rabbah on "My Beloved went down to his Garden," etc.
     Bereshith R., Chap. LXII.

Next: The Likeness of a Palm-Tree