Following is a famous Jewish legend shared by philosopher, writer, and storyteller Elie Wiesel. In this legend we are reminded that change often comes through the power of stories:
When the great rabbi, the Baal Shem Tov, was alive and sensed disaster coming to his people, he would retreat to a certain part of the forest to make a special fire, chant a specific prayer, and thereby invoke a miracle from God to avert the calamity.
In the next generation, his disciple, compelled to perform the same ritual, didn’t know how to make the fire, but the act of going to the forest and saying the prayer was sufficient for God to cause the miracle.
A generation later, the succeeding rabbi, intent on rescuing his people, didn’t know the ritual for the fire or the prayer, but he could find the special place in the forest, and that was sufficient for God to bring about the miracle.
In the following generation, the next rabbi in line, faced with yet another catastrophe, moaned to God: “I don’t know how to make the fire, say the prayer, or find the place! All I can do is tell the story about it!” And that was sufficient for God because it is said that people live through stories, and God made people because he loves stories.
How you might use this story to invoke change: