Two Brothers – a Jewish story

King Soloman wanted to build a temple in which his people could worship God, but he didn’t know where to place it.

‘It must be built on a land which is very special’, he thought. But where could that be?

Late one night, when he was walking through fields, he noticed a man carrying a big sack of grain from one barn to another barn nearby. The man did this three or four times. ‘The man must be a thief’, thought the king, but a little while later, another man appeared. This one was carrying sacks of grain too, but he was taking them back to the original barn!

‘There’s something strange going on here’, thought Soloman, intrigued. ‘I am going to get to the bottom of it.’

The next day he ordered the first man to appear before him.

“Why do you steal grain from your neighbour in the middle of the night?” He asked.

“I am not stealing, your majesty, he is my brother. He is married and has many children, so he needs far more grain than I do, but he won’t take it from me, so at night when he is asleep I secretly take a few bags over to his barn.”

Then Soloman sent for the second man and asked him why he carried grain from one barn to another in the middle of the night.

“I am married with children so I have plenty of help on my farm, but my unmarried brother has to pay for help. He refuses to take any grain from me, so every now and then I secretly take sacks into his barn.” Replied the man.

Soloman called the two men together and told them what he had discovered.

‘No wonder my store of grain never seems to diminish,’ they both said. The two brothers laughed and hugged each other.

‘Now I know where the temple will be built’ said Soloman. The place where brothers love each other so much, is the holiest place in my kingdom.’

From the Shortest Distance by Bill Darlison

My love roger