I

t has been many years since the once-mighty king stood before a Jewish sage, demanding to understand the idea written by Dovid Hamelech that one of our days is like a thousand years in Hashem’s eyes. Now the king has been kicked off of his throne and forced to hide among the Jews. He converts and begins a new life with them.

The king found his new life as a Jew difficult at first. The laws were confusing, he was an outsider, and he always felt nervous that someone might give away his identity to the enemy waiting beyond the city’s gates.

As time went on, he became inspired by the many mitzvos incumbent upon him, and he made many friends who were extremely kind to him because of the mitzvah to love a convert. His outward appearance reflected the change occurring inside his heart. A long beard hung from his chin, his eyes sparkled with the knowledge of Torah, and a beautiful, large yarmulke sat upon his head.

“It’s time for the next stage of your life,” the kind Jewish bartender told him one day in the beis medrash. “I’m going to find you a wife.”

“I may have learned much Torah since I converted years ago, but I’m still considered an outsider. Who would feel comfortable having me as a husband?”

“Someone who appreciates self-sacrifice and sincerity.”

“You really think someone will even consider me?”

“I don’t think so… I know so!”

*****

Two months later they were dancing together at the king’s wedding. At the sheva brachos, the king stood up to speak. The crowd fell quiet. There was a certain look on the king’s face and they could tell that they were about to hear something special.

The king held up his old crown.

“Take a look at this crown. I used to think that this was my most precious possession. It gave me the authority to rule this entire land as I willed. I used to wake up in the morning, stand by the open window of my palace, and tilt it in different directions so that I could see the sunlight shining off it. It would make my heart sing with joy. After all, having this crown meant I was king.

“But now I know that this crown is worthless. I have learned through my Torah learning that ‘the earth and all its fullness’ belong to Hashem alone. He created it and nothing really exists besides Him. All is under His control. There are no kings nor rulers, only puppets. With this crown, I was His puppet. One of many…”

The king drew out a hammer from his other pocket and set the crown onto the floor.

“There is only one crown in the world that is worth anything: the crown of Torah. If one has the crown of Torah, one can feel pride and contemplate its infinite worth. This crown represents false power, an illusion.”

With those powerful words, the king brought the hammer down onto the crown and battered it with all of his might. It was a tremendous lesson for all those who witnessed this scene.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 764)