One day `Abdu’l-Bahá went with the Qá’im Maqám to Tiberius. At dinner time a Jewish man approached and watched them eating. `Abdu’l-Bahá said: “I invited him to eat with us but he refused. I realised he was a Jew. I called him over and asked him which foods were Kosher (clean). ‘Is it Kosher for you to eat?’ He said yes. I asked: ‘Is bread Kosher?’ He said yes. I said: ‘Are sugar and lemon juice Kosher?’ He said yes. I said: ‘Is an egg Kosher?’ He said: ‘Yes, but if I boil it myself.'”

Then `Abdu’l-Bahá said: “I took a pan and boiled the egg in it and gave it to him. He said: ‘I have to boil it myself, otherwise it will not be Kosher.’ Again we lit the fire on and he himself cooked the egg and ate it. Then I asked him if he has a home to rent to us. He said he could rent the top floor of his house to us. We agreed.

During the time, we were in his house, in the mornings, he would come upstairs and read the Torah. During his reading of the Torah, he would fidget and read the verses very quickly. One day I said to him: ‘I want to ask you a question.’ He said: ‘Please.’ I said: ‘Would it be preferable for someone to read one of the prayers of His Holiness David with deep attention or read several prayers quickly and thoughtlessly?’ He said: ‘Of course reading more is better.’ I said: ‘Let me give you an example.’ He said: ‘Please’.

I said: ‘Suppose a poor man goes to the king and with utmost courtesy and brevity asks the king for help. Is this better or if he keeps saying: ‘Give! Give! Give! Give! Give!’ Of course the king will say: ‘Throw this wretched man out of here!’

The Jewish man liked this example and laughed a great deal. He understood My meaning.”

Khátirát-i-Habíb, vol. 2

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