Obediah: A Short Story

This story celebrates the love Torah and the great joy of passing that love from generation to generation. It’s great for Shavuot  and Simchat Torah. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

One morning, after his father went to t’fillah, Obediah the sofer’s son snuck into Papa’s workshop to write his own Torah. The workshop was so tidy, the surface of Papa’s desk clean and ready. Obediah took a sheet of parchment from a large wooden drawer. He took a jar of ink and a quill off the shelf and climbed into Papa’s chair so he could reach the top of the desk. He poured some ink into a small glass just like his father. And as he dipped the quill into the ink a shiver of joy went through him. Obediah would write his own Torah! The Torah of his father and his father and his father, who received it from the rabbis, who received it from the prophets, who received it from the judges, who received it from Joshua, who received it from Moses himself, who stood in G-d’s Holy Presence at Mount Sinai. And for a moment Obediah was there, he was there at Sinai with Moshe and Aaron and Miriam. Obediah saw the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud. He heard the blast of G-d’s shofar and the deafening silence that followed. He watched as G-d held the holy mountain over the people’s heads. And Obediah the sofer’s son said to no one in particular, “Na’aseh v’neeshma. I will do, and I will listen.”

So Obediah began to write. Bresheit. In the beginning. Barah. Created. Elohim. G-d. “Yes!” Obediah thought. What could be more true and perfect and full of love then G-d in the beginning creating us in order of give us the Torah? In order to give me the Torah?

Just then, Papa walked into the study. Obediah looked up at Papa and looked back at his work. Drips of ink on the desk. Smudges on the back of the parchment. And three beautiful words of Torah.

“Papa, I’m writing a Torah.”

Papa picked him up and scolded him and told Obediah never to do this again and that Obediah did a beautiful job and never to do this again and how proud Papa was of Obediah and never to do this again. Papa put Obediah back in the chair, a tear of joy in his eye. “We’ll clean this up together,” Papa said out loud. But in his heart Papa said, “Shecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higyanu lazman hazeh.”

And G-d looked down at Obediah and Papa and all the work which in creating G-d had made. And G-d said, “Tov Me-od.” It is very good.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Click here for a list of all of my short stories. Click here for a list of Shavuot prayers and stories.

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