Stems Out of Scratches

A king once owned a large, beautiful, flawless gem, of which he was, justifiably, very, very proud, for it had no equal anywhere in the world.

One day, the gem dropped and acquired a deep scratch. The king summoned the most highly skilled jewelers and offered a great reward for anyone who could remove the imperfection from his treasured jewel.

But alas, none could repair the damaged gem, and the king was deeply depressed.
After some time, a gifted lapidary came to the king and promised to make the rare gem even more beautiful than before the mishap. The king, impressed with this expert’s confidence, entrusted his precious stone to his care.

With superb artistry the craftsman engraved a lovely rosebud around the imperfection, the scratch now becoming a strong and graceful stem of the flower.

Some say the king balked at first, but soon renewed his appreciation of his treasure, which now embodied not only its past beauty but new possibilities and directions.

A Parable of the Maggid of Dubno