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, from ReformJudaism.org, 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. Stories We Tell is a project of the Union for Reform Judaism, a leading voice in the discussion of modern Jewish life.
A woman, walking with her wife around Manhattan, hears a cricket. How could she have heard a cricket among all of the New York City noise? Cantor Rosalie Boxt, URJ Director of Worship tells the story. For a written version of this story, by Rabbi David E. Stern, read Three Times Chai: 54 Rabbis Tell Their Favorite Stories edited by Laney Katz Becker.
Welcome to Stories We Tell, a podcast from ReformJudaism.org. Judaism has always had a deep and rich tradition of storytelling, passing our stories down from one generation to the next. And here, every Thursday we share a new story with you to carry on that tradition. Whether you listen while you're driving to work, or taking the subway, or maybe bringing your children to school, we hope that each week provides you with a new story to reflect on and discuss with the people in your life.
In this episode, Cantor Rosalie Boxt, the director of worship for the Union for Reform Judaism, shares the story of the window box.
One day a woman and her wife were walking down the streets of Manhattan together. And as usual, what surrounded them were the busy sounds of New York City-- the honk of taxi cab horns, the squeal of bus brakes, the ding of bike messenger bells, all of the talking around them. And after a few moments of walking together the woman turned to her wife and said, oh my goodness! Did you hear that?
The woman turns back to her wife and says, did I hear what?
She says, wow! Did you hear that?
She says, no. All I hear is the honk of the taxi cab horns and the squeal of the bus brakes and the ding of the bike messenger bells and all the voices around us. So what's to hear?
The woman turns her wife and says, come with me. They walk to the end of the block. They wait for the light to change. They walk across a very wide avenue, back down the other side of the street. Meanwhile, there's still all of the sounds around them of the honking of the taxi cab and the squealing of the brakes and the ding of the bells and the talking around them.
Woman pulls her wife up to a building. Underneath the window of a storefront is a window box. The woman beckons to her wife and says, come look.
They get to the window box, peer over the side and look in. The woman points to her wife and says, see that?
And the wife says, see what?
She says, there is a cricket.
The woman stands back and looks at her wife and says, what? How could you have heard this cricket? We were on the other side of the street, and all I could hear was the honk of the taxi cabs and the squeal of the bus brakes and the ding of the bike messenger bell and all the voices around us. And you heard this cricket?
The woman smiles and looks at her wife and says, watch this. She reaches into her pocket. She pulls out a quarter. She holds her arm out in front of her and drops the quarter to the ground.
The minute the quarter hits the pavement with a little ping, everything stops. There is no honking of taxi cab horns, no squealing of bus brakes, no ding of bike messenger bells, no talking. Everyone turns to look at the quarter.
The woman turns to her wife and says, you see? It all depends on what you're listening for.
We hope you enjoyed that story. And we're wondering what it is that you listen to and what you hear. And if you think about it and want to share it with us on social media, we'd love to see that happen too. You can find us at Facebook.com/ReformJudaism and on Twitter where our handle is @ReformJudaism.
Thanks for listening to Stories We Tell this week. If you enjoyed it, please rate and review us on iTunes. You can find new episodes every Thursday at ReformJudaism.org, where you can also go to learn more about Jewish rituals and 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 week -- l’hitraot!