From Tales From Reb Nachman (Artscroll / Mesorah)
Retold for children and illustrated by Dovid Sears
A Jewish villager once dreamed about a treasure. In his dream the treasure was near a bridge in the city of Vienna. The very next morning, the villager packed his knapsack with his talis and tefillin, some clothes and a bit of food. Then he began the long, long walk to Vienna.
For many days and nights he trudged through forests and fields, valleys and towns.
When he arrived at last, the soldiers who guarded the city wouldn't let him near the bridge. So day after day, he stood by the side of the road, trying to think of what to do.
One afternoon, a soldier walked up to him and asked, "Why are you standing here?"
The villager was silent for a moment. Perhaps we could be partners, he thought. After all, half a treasure is better than none! So he told the soldier about his dream.
"Only a Jew cares about dreams!" he laughed. "For three nights in a row, I dreamed that in a certain village there was a certain Jew - and he named the man's village and his name - who had a treasure buried in his cellar. But do you think I believe in such foolish things?"
The villager simply thanked the soldier and began the long journey home. For many days and nights he trudged through forests and fields, valleys and towns. Finally, he came to his own little house. Without even sitting down for a cup of hot tea, the man went down to his cellar and started digging. Sure enough, he uncovered a huge treasure. He was able to live comfortably and do many good deeds for the rest of his days.
Later, when people asked him about his long journey, he said, "I really had the treasure all along. But to find it, I had to go to Vienna!"
In our desire to come closer to Hashem, the treasure we are searching for is inside of ourselves. But most of us can't find it alone. First we must go to a Torah sage who can show us how to discover it.
© 1987 Mesorah Publications