The Bottom Line

Adapted from Nissan Mindel and based on a true story from The Talmud

A simple shepherd who didn’t even know how to read was tending his flock in the hills of Judah. He became thirsty and went to a nearby brook to take a drink. As he was drawing the crystal clear water in his palm and putting it to his mouth, something caught his eye.

He saw drops of water falling on a huge stone – drip, drop – and directly where the drops were falling there was a deep hole in the stone. The shepherd was fascinated. He gazed at the drops and at the stone.

“What mighty power there is in a drop of water,” thought the shepherd. “Those soft little drops made a hole in the stone over time. Suppose I began to study little by little, drop by drop. Do you think my stony mind would soften up?”

The shepherd gazed at the drops of water for a long time, and then his mind was made up.

And this is how Akiba the shepherd became the great Rabbi Akiba, the greatest and wisest scholar and teacher of his day, who had 24,000 pupils! He often told them that it was a drop of water that changed his life.