Teaching Stories

It is an ancient tradition, across all cultures, for the elders of the community to teach the younger members Life’s important lessons by telling stories. Here is a collection for you to read, and take whatever it is that you need, for yours and your family’s life.

We hope you enjoy them.

A young warrior stood in the centre of the village brandishing his spear and his shield.

“Look at my spear! It can pierce everything. It is the best spear in the world.”

He held up his shield. “Look at my shield. It can withstand anything that comes against it. It is the world’s best shield.”

A quiet voice came from the onlooking crowd. “Then what would happen,” it said, “if your shield were to meet your spear?”


A man was walking on the beach and stooped down and picked up a pebble. Looking at the small stone in his hand, he felt very powerful and thought of how with one action he had taken control of the stone. “How many years have you lain here, and now I hold you in my hand.” The pebble speaks to him, “To you, I am a grain of sand. To me, you are just a passing breeze.”


A man at home heard a knock at the door. He opened it. There was a beggar. He invited him in and gave him a meal – some hot soup with many little circles of melted butter floating on the top. When the beggar left, he thanked the man for his kindness, and later, clearing everything up, he found as many gold coins underneath the dish as there had been circles of butter on the soup. Several days later he told a friend about this. This man pricked up his ear… sure enough, there was a knock on his door one evening. He opened the door and there was a beggar. He invited him in and gave him soup with lots of butter put on top – the greedy man expected a fortune!

The beggar got up and went, thanking the man. Quickly he cleared the dishes away to find the fortune. There underneath the dish was one gold coin… since the great amount of butter had all joined together to make one buttery circle on top of the soup!


When the first whites started getting into Inuit (Eskimo) country, they found lots of exquisite tiny ivory carvings everywhere, even in dumps. The ivory was from seal tusks. When these native people were stuck in a storm and could not travel, they carved these things to pass the time. And then they threw them out because the activity was the thing.


A young mother was having a hard day, with her two little children so demanding, several bills in the post, a broken washing line and a neighbour calling round to unburden her endless complaints about her family and life in general. When her husband arrived home, she broke down in tears which streamed down her face. He reached over to her and gently wiped away her moist tear with his finger and drew it down his own cheek, then the same again on the other cheek. She smiled – He understood – She understood.


Every Sabbath eve, after the service, the Rabbi disappeared into the forest and returned the following morning. Intrigued, the congregation sent the cantor to see where the rabbi went. Deeper and deeper into the forest he followed him until he came to the cottage of an aged Gentile woman. The Rabbi began to chop wood, draw water, feed the animals, and sweep the porch clean.

The cantor went back to the congregation. “Well, did our beloved Rabbi go to heaven?” they asked him. “Oh no,” he replied, “He went much much higher than that.”

Once, several members of a Jewish congregation became helplessly lost in a dense, dark forest. They were delighted when, suddenly, their very own Rabbi appeared, who was himself wandering through these same woods. “Master,” they implored, “we are lost! Please show us the way out of the forest.”

The Rabbi replied, “I do not know the way out either, but I do know which paths lead nowhere. I will show you the ways which won’t work, and then perhaps together we can discover the ones that do.”


The wise and handsome man was reminiscing with good friends who asked him why he had never married. “Ah,” he said, “there was a lady in Kashmir but she talked too much. And there was a beautiful woman in Persia but she was too jealous for me to live with. And in Cairo I met a damsel who had every attraction but she was vain beyond words. Yet I did meet an enchanting girl in Damascus who had every attribute a man could wish for, and she would have suited me perfectly in every way.”

The good friends leaned forward eagerly. “Then why on earth did you not marry her?”

“Ah,” he replied, “she was looking for the perfect man.”