Askmoses-A Jews Resource
What are the (laws of the) Nine Days?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.


Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.

CHAT or LEAVE A MESSAGE

Is a Diamond a Stone?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

Library » Intimacy » Sexual Issues | Subscribe | What is RSS?


PRINT EMAIL COMMENT

Velt was a small but pristine island in the Indian Ocean. With a population of just over three hundred living on two thousand acres of lush grass, tall palms trees, white beaches, and majestic sunsets it was quite the place to live.

While Velt had much we would all envy, it also lacked much we all take for granted. There was hardly a substantial work force, and not much work to be done. The food supply was limited to the few items that grew on the island, and only as much as a season could produce. A system was needed through which Velt could interact with the rest of the world to offer its valuables in return for its necessities.

The queen of Velt was a kind and compassionate woman, an avid intellectual and yet very much a pragmatic. In addition to her many royal treasures she was the possessor of fine gems. This particular asset was extremely dear and very valuable in the eyes of the queen, and she would therefore never use diamonds for simple trades; rather she would only share her gems with a partner who was well worth it.

Many ships would pass not far from the Island en route from Asia to Africa and back. The queen would scout these ships and when she detected a sense of quality in one of the ships a small boat would be sent out with a messenger to invite the ship to the island.

When the queen felt comfortable, and the time seemed right, she would discuss a trade deal with him. If the captain was willing to commit to the proposed deal, he would benefit from the most valuable treasure on the Island – the queen’s precious gems
Once on land the captain would be brought to the palace where he was treated royally for the duration of his stay. From morning to evening the queen would host and entertain him all the while trying to get a sense of his level of integrity. The queen would engage him in long discussions to try and understand his interests and values. Did he appreciate the beauty and serenity of the island? Would he do honest business? Would he be a man of his word? Would he understand the true value of her precious gems?

Often the queen sent a captain back on his way after only a couple of short days on the Island. However, once in while the queen would find a captain of good character with whom she shared common interests and values, and she would invite him to remain in this paradise. When the queen felt comfortable, and the time seemed right, she would discuss a trade deal with him. If the captain was willing to commit to the proposed deal, he would benefit from the most valuable treasure on the Island – the queen’s precious gems.

The method was clear and simple: while the queen’s gems were involved in her trades, she would never use her gems as a negotiating tool to persuade an uncertain captain. Rather, she would only use them as the pinnacle of a trade she thought was otherwise perfect.

The queen’s gems remained private, their value maintained ultimate heights, and they were only shared with the ideal captain for the perfect deal. The island’s population never saw this treasure, but as a whole they benefited greatly from the quality and value of the trades.

Life went on and the queen died. Now the princess became queen. The princess had a more brazen way of thinking. If I am the possessor of such exotic gems, she thought, what use is there if I can’t display them. And so while no one had permission to touch, or much less use them, her gems were constantly on display throughout the palace.

The consequence of this change went unnoticed but existed nonetheless. With gems being around all the time, they lost some of their mystery and magic. In addition to that, they lost some value in the eyes of the queen herself. Now that they were available for all to see she was no longer hesitant to share her gems with only the best of captains and for the best of deals. She continued to meet with fine captains, but her dealings lacked the quality and sustainability known to trades of the past.


ADD A COMMENT

Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).

RELATED CATEGORIES

Life Cycle » Marriage » Courting