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The Tightrope Walker

November 1, 2011

This story takes place in a Soviet labor camp during the time of Stalin’s rule. One of the prisoner’s of the camp was Rabbi Mendel Furtefass. Being a Rabbi, he made it a point to get to know all of the other Jewish inmates, who were imprisoned there just because they were Jews. One of the inmates that he met was someone who claimed that he was a tightrope walker. The Rabbi was very curious to learn more, because he couldn’t imagine how anyone could accomplish this feat and why anyone would choose to do something so dangerous. In keeping with his belief that from everyone there is something to be learned he asked for an explanation. Words couldn’t possibly give an adequate understanding as well as a demonstration could. This was impossible until the day Stalin died and the guards relaxed many of the restrictions. So the tightrope walker found a rope and attached it to the outside of two buildings about fifteen yards apart and about ten feet off the ground with no net. At first, he fell after only a few steps since he hadn’t done this in a long time. Then he confidently proceeded to dance across the rope turn around and return. The Rabbi asked “How do you do it?” The tightrope walker answered, “It’s simple. Before I begin, I find an object on the other end and focus on it. I don’t dare take my eyes off the object while I’m walking. I don’t look to the right; I don’t look to the left. As long as I focus on my goal, I make it across.” *

similar to the story of the Road Runner read here

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