formerly "The View From Up Here"

Formerly titled "The View From Up Here" this column began in the Liberty Gazette June 26, 2007.

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November 25, 2014 Thankfulness

The Liberty Gazette
November 25, 2014
Ely Air Lines
By Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely

In this season our culture pays special attention to being thankful for the stuff we have just before we go out and clobber others because we don’t have enough stuff.

Team Ely is thankful for the opportunity to share our love of aviation with our community, for the great responses we hear from friends and neighbors who take the time to read our space, and to Cynthia and her staff at the Liberty Gazette for allowing us to indulge.

A Rabbi recently shared this story with us:
Elijah is known to travel about disguised as a poor man asking for food and a place to rest, and then doing all kinds of good for people before slipping away to his next stop.
One day Rabbi Joshua asked Elijah if he could go with him on his next journey.

"Oh no," replied Elijah, "no one can come with me."
But Rabbi Joshua persisted and finally Elijah gave in, but with this one caveat: "You must not ask any questions."

Rabbi Joshua agreed, and off they went. The first place they came to was the meager shack of a poor couple whose only possession was a cow. The couple graciously let the two men stay with them and treated them kindly. Later that night Rabbi Joshua heard Elijah pray that the couple’s cow would die. The next morning, their only possession was dead and the two sojourners moved on.

The resident of the next stop was a wealthy man who at first denied the two a place to rest for the night, but after hearing much begging agreed to let them sleep on the floor of his barn, if they must. Later that night Rabbi Joshua heard Elijah pray that a wall would be constructed about the man’s property and the next morning all awoke to a four-foot stone wall encircling his land.

"Miraculous," thought Rabbi Joshua, but he was silently confused.

The next stop was at a wealthy synagogue built in silver and gold. The people of the congregation were insulted by these poor beggars but snootily allowed them to sleep on the hard, bare pews. That night Rabbi Joshua heard Elijah’s prayer that all in the congregation would rise up and become leaders.

The next stop was at a synagogue where the people were all poor. They generously offered to help with food and a bed for each traveler. That night Rabbi Joshua heard Elijah’s prayer that only one in the congregation would rise up and become a leader, and all the rest followers.

Rabbi Joshua could take no more and asked, "Why? Why would you pray to enrich the mean and harm the kind people?"

Elijah replied, "You have broken your promise and back you will go, but first I will answer your question."

"With everyone wanting to be a leader, that congregation will fail, but the congregation that has one strong leader will attract more good people, and theirs will thrive and prosper."

Rabbi Joshua nodded, "Okay, but what about that poor couple with the cow? It was their only possession and you prayed that it would die while the rich man received a stone wall!"

"Ah yes," answered Elijah. "Things are not always as they first appear. You see, for the rich man, there is massive buried treasure on his property, and now he will never find it. And as for that couple, the wife was going to die that evening. I prayed that the cow would take her place."

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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