Two brothers – an agode

We read this very cute agode – legend – in class. I just translated it, in between the homework:

Once upon a time there were two brothers. The older one had no wife and no children. The younger brother had a wife and small children. Both brothers were poor. They had just a small piece of land after their father. They worked on it together.

When they were cutting the grains, they divided the sheaves [kornbåndene] in half. They laid them by their small houses.

I googled “sheaf” and found the two brothers too!

One night the older brother couldn’t sleep. He was thinking about his brother, “my brother has a wife and sons and daughters, my nephews and nieces, and I am alone. It is not fair that I take half of the grains.” And in the middle of the night he took a bundle of sheaves and carried it to the house of this brother and sister-in-law.

The same night the younger brother could also not sleep. He though about his brother, “I feel pity – a rachmones – for him. I have a wife and small children. They can help me in my old age, but he doesn’t have any sons, nor daughters, nor grandchildren. He doesn’t have other brothers nor sisters. He is all alone, poor thing – nebech.” The younger brother went out, took with him a bundle of sheaves and carried it to the house of this brother.

In the morning the brothers saw that they had the same number of sheaves. They were both surprised but said nothing.

The second night the brothers did the same thing once more. The third night, when the brothers carried their sheaves, they saw each other in the middle of the road. With tears in their eyes they kissed each other.

One says that the Temple – Beys haMikdosh – was built on the very spot where the brothers met each other.

“Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph” by Rembrandt. Ephraim and Manasseh are examples in the Bible of brothers who actually get along…

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About goldenemedine

Student of the glorious Yiddish language
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