Simcha's Torah Stories - Miketz
DON'T LET THE CONDUCTOR FOOL YOU
All aboard! All aboard! Train number 593 leaving for Boston on track number 17 in ten minutes at 3:15! All aboard!
Avi, look at this! Did you ever see so many trains, in your life?
Is this your first time at the train station Chaim?
It sure is.
It is quite overwhelming the first time. The station is so big and busy.
All aboard! All aboard! Train number 593 leaving for Boston on track number 17 in five minutes at 3:15! All aboard!
Avi, look at all of those people rushing towards that train bound for Boston. I hope they all make it. They have less than five minutes until it leaves.
Last call! Train number 593 leaving for Boston on track number 17 right now! All aboard!
With that, the big train, filled with people and luggage, pulled slowly away from the station. Chaim and Avi were fascinated by the surroundings. They watched several other trains load and depart the station. Each train left with the same scenario, the conductor shouting "all aboard" three times, and the train pulling away after the last call.
Avi, that man must be very important. When he gives the word, the trains leave the station. Come, I want to ask him a few questions.
Excuse me sir. It is a great privilege and honor to meet you. I am sorry to disturb you. May I interrupt your most important work to ask you a few questions?
Go right ahead, young man.
Can you please explain to what is the maximum speed of the train, and how many cars the locomotive can pull, and how long it can go without refueling, and how many passengers each car can carry, and . . .
I am sorry to interrupt you young man. These are all very good questions and I am sure you have many more, but I cannot answer them.
I really do not know anything about the workings of the trains.
Excuse me for asking sir, but you must know. After all, you are the most important person in the train station. It is clear that you are supervising the whole operation here. You tell each train when to leave.
Young man, I am very flattered by what you are saying, but I am afraid you have it all wrong. I am just the lowly conductor. The Station Manager runs this train station. He sits up in the office. He never comes down here to the platform. I just carry out his orders. He gives me the schedule and I just announce when each train leaves. They leave based on the Station Manager's directions, not mine.
But I was so sure that you were in charge.
That is because you only see what is happening down here. You have never been up to the office.
Well, thank you very much sir. Again, I'm sorry to have disturbed you.
That's quite all right young man.
Chaim and Avi begin walking home from the train station.
Can you imagine that, Avi? I thought the conductor was the Station Manager.
Believe it our not, Chaim, Rav Yisrael Meir Kagan, the great sage who is known to us as the Chafetz Chaim, says that the train station is a parable to life.
Really Avi? In what way?
The world that we live in is like the train platform. The different people who appear to cause things to happen are like the conductor. G-d is symbolized by the Station Manager. He is really supervising the whole world. He is giving the orders that make things happen. The various "conductors" in the world carry out His directives. You know, Chaim, Yosef HaTzaddik, our ancestor Joseph, was not fooled as you were. He realized that the conductor was just a conductor.
How did he realize that?
He was tested with a very difficult test, which required a tremendous amount of self-control on his part.
Did he pass the test?
He certainly did.
What reward did he receive?
He was thrown into prison for twelve years.
That is what we think, Chaim. However, Yosef HaTzaddik was neither angry with the situation, nor with G-d. He knew that G-d had his reason for this, and he continued to strive to be close to G-d the entire twelve years that he was in prison.
Now I see why he is called Yosef HaTzaddik. He was truly a righteous person. Who would have ever thought that we could learn such an important thing from a visit to the train station?
That is the point, Chaim. When we pay attention to the Station Manager, we can learn something from every event in our lives.
All aboard Avi. We don't want to be late for our Torah studies. The class is about to begin.
Ohr Somayach's Youth Page r
Editor: Reuven Subar
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Layout Design: Michael Treblow
HTML: Eli Ballon
Copyright © 1998 Ohr Somayach International. Send us Feedback.