Ten sailors are sailing along peacefully on a ship until one of them decides to drill a hole in his cabin. This fable on mutual responsibility teaches readers about belonging, and how each individual can impact society as a whole.
"All the People of Israel are responsible for one another" (Midrash Sifra Leviticus, 7:5)
This story was adapted from and inspired by a midrash describing how the act of a single person impacts many people around him. "All the People of Israel are responsible for one another" is an expression coined by Our Rabbis, and means that each of us is impacted by the actions of others, and is therefore responsible for them.
We are not always aware of the powerful implications of our actions on the world around us. We must remember that just as the sailor only wanted to drill a hole in his cabin, failing to realize that he could sink the entire ship, so each of our actions – be it positive or negative – resonates and ripples in widening circles around us.
Enjoy reading and discussing the book together!
The following story was inspired by the Midrash in Leviticus Rabba 4:6:
מָשָׁל לִבְנֵי אָדָם שֶׁהָיוּ יוֹשְׁבִין בִּסְפִינָה,
נָטַל אֶחָד מֵהֶן מַקְדֵּחַ וְהִתְחִיל קוֹדֵחַ תַּחְתָּיו.
אָמְרוּ לוֹ חֲבֵרָיו: מָה אַתָּה יוֹשֵׁב וְעוֹשֶׂה?
אָמַר לָהֶם: מָה אִכְפַּת לָכֶם, לֹא תַּחְתַּי אֲנִי קוֹדֵחַ?!
אָמְרוּ לוֹ: שֶׁהַמַּיִם עוֹלִין וּמְצִיפִין עָלֵינוּ אֶת הַסְּפִינָה.
A tale of passengers sitting in a ship. One of them took out a drill and started drilling under his seat. The others asked him: “What are you sitting and doing?”, and he replied: “What's it to you? Am I not drilling under my own seat?”. They answered: “When water fills the ship, we’ll all go down!”