Stories We Tell: Brother and the Car

Judaism has a deep and rich tradition of storytelling, of passing down stories from one generation to the next. To carry on that tradition, Stories We Tell will share a new story with you every Thursday. Whether you listen while driving to work, preparing Shabbat dinner, or taking your kids to school, each episode will give you a new story to reflect on and discuss with the people in your life.

A man was very proud of his new car—it was sleek, new, and everything about it screamed luxury and comfort. One day, the man sees a young boy looking at the car, so he starts a conversation and tells the boy that it was a gift from his brother. The boy was shocked, but what the boy says next is a bigger surprise to the man. Listen to Cantor Ellen Dreskin retell the story, and for a written version, see A Brother Like That in Chicken Soup for the Soul: 20th Anniversary Edition.

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Welcome back to Stories We Tell, a podcast from Judaism has always had a deep and rich tradition of storytelling, and each week we share a new story with you. This week Cantor Ellen Dreskin shares the story of, “The Brother and the Car.”

There was a man who was very proud of his new car. It was sleek, it was red, it was new, it didn't have a scratch or a dent or even a smudge on it. And when you looked in the windows, oh, the technology and the luxury! And and the material of the seats. Everything about the car screamed luxury and comfort.

The man was surprised to come out of his office one afternoon and walk to his car, where he saw a young boy looking at the car. And he stood and observed while the young boy looked at the front of the car. Then he walked around and looked at the back, and then he peered into the windows. The young man was obviously very impressed. The owner of the car approached him and said, “Hey kid, like my car?”

The young man said, “Oh, I love your car. I love the color. I love the shine. I love the exterior. I love the interior.”

And the owner of the car said, “Well, you know, I'm very happy about that car. You know, my brother gave me that car.”

And the young man said, “Wow, really? Your brother gave you this car? It must’ve cost him a fortune.”

And the owner said, “Well yes, I guess it did. But yep, my brother gave me that car.”

The other young man kept looking at the car and looking and finally said, “You know what I wish? You know what I wish more than anything? I wish, I wish-”

The car owner interrupted him and said, “I know what you're going to say. You were going to say that you wish you had a brother like that.”

The young man said, “Oh no sir, that's not what I was going to say at all. I was going to say I wish I could be a brother like that.”

So after hearing the story of “The Brother and the Car,” we're wondering when you've had the chance to value people more than things, and how that feels? If you want to share it with us a bit on social media, we'd love for you to do so. You can find us at and on Twitter, where our handle is @ReformJudaism. Thanks for listening to Stories We Tell this week, and if you enjoyed it please rate and review us on iTunes. You can always find new episodes every Thursday on, where you can also learn more about Jewish rituals, culture, holidays, and more. Stories We Tell is a project of the Union for Reform Judaism, a leading voice in the discussion of modern Jewish life and until next wee, l’hitraot.