As we have done for the last few months, today we will enjoy another Jewish story. Today’s story comes from the Jewish community in Ethiopia. This is a story that I heard six years ago, when I became friends with Ya-Ya, a lovely fellow who immigrated from Ethiopia to Israel when he was a child.
There are two versions of this story. The first is called, “The Lion and the King’s daughter.” The second is called, “The Lion and the Farmer’s Daughter.” In both, the daughter was twelve years old when her father searched a future husband for her. Along with all the men who wished to be the husband of that beautiful daughter, came a lion.
The lion was huge and scary; his teeth and claws were sharp, his mane was long and all he wanted was to marry this young girl. Her father said, “If you wish to marry my daughter, you should cut your hair.” So the lion shaved his mane and came back to the father, who then told him to cut his nails as well, since the daughter would like to be able to hug him without getting scratched (once they were married, of course). After doing so, the lion came back to the father, who then asked him do do one last thing: to lose his sharp teeth.
The lion did so. He returned to the father’s house and asked, sounding a little strange since he no longer had teeth, to marry the daughter.
Her father answered, “Absolutely not! You gave up your uniqueness, your identity and your character in order to marry my daughter. To a lion that became a cat I certainly won’t give my daughter.”
The lesson is simple, dear friends: when you truly want something in your life, you don’t have to change your identity in order to get it!
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