R. Bunam used to tell young men who came to him for the first time the story of R. Eisik, son of R. Yekel in Cracow. After many years of great poverty which had never shaken his faith in God, he dreamed someone bade him look for a treasure in Prague, under the bridge which leads to the king’s palace.
When the dream recurred a third time, rabbi Eli Sisk prepared for the journey and set out for Prague. But the bridge was guarded day and night and he did not dare to start digging. Nevertheless he went to the bridge every morning and kept walking around it until the evening.
Finally, the captain of the guards, who had been watching him asked in a kindly way whether he was looking for something or waiting for somebody. Rabbi Eisik told him of the dream which had brought him here from a faraway country. The captain laughed: “And so to please the dream you poor fellow wore out your shoes to come here?! As for having faith in dreams, if I had had it, I should have had to get going when. Dream once told me to go to Crackow and dig for treasure under the stove in a room of a Jew – Eisik, sin of Yekel, that was the name! Eisik, son of Yekel! I can just imagine what it would be like, how I should have to try every house over there, where one half of the Jews are named Eisik and the other Yekel!” And he laughed again.
Rabbi Eisik bowed, traveled home, dug up the treasure under the stove and buy the House of Prayer which is called Eisik’s shul.
Take this story to heart, said Rabbi Bunam, adding, “and make what it says your own: here is something you cannot find anywhere in the world, not even at the zaddik’s and there is nevertheless, a place where you can find it.”
This post is part is part of a collection of poetry, songs, meditations and stories from over 50 years of High Holiday Supplements of Valley Beth Shalom.