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Between Master and Disciples

Two Friends, Part 4 of 10, Apr. 11, 2022

2022-05-23
Lecture Language:English
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You see, war separates people. That is a sad thing, you know? (Yes, Master.) The same with Ukraine and Russia right now. Even if they are not separate bodily, physically, they’re separate in ideology. Means in their ideal. (Yes, Master.) Yeah, that’s why the father even says to the son, “You are a traitor. You should be shot first.” See that? Not even in the battle, the father wants to shoot the son already.

OK, listen, we read some story. One. Last time I promised you. (Thank You, Master.) This story is also from the Jewish Folklore. I just like it because it’s simple. (Yes.) I just like stories anyway. Since I was young, I already liked stories. You know, it’s interesting, (Yes, Master.) (Yes, it is.) and exciting and lifts you up out of your mood a little bit. (Right.) Makes you laugh, makes you cry, and just helps get out of your rut for a while. (Yes.) So, this story is titled, “Two friends.” “Hai người bạn.”

“In one of those cities, there were two friends, two special friends that their wonderous and incredible or strange friendship, is well known to everyone else. At that time, a war broke out between their two countries. (Oh. Yes.) And both of them, each was captured and imprisoned by the other king, the other king’s army.” (Yes, Master.)

Like the Ukrainian friend is imprisoned by Russia, (Right.) in modern time, now. (Yes.) Yes. And the Russian friend is imprisoned by the Ukrainian government, or military. It happens. (Right.)

You see, war separates people. That is a sad thing, you know? (Yes, Master.) The same with Ukraine and Russia right now. Even if they are not separate bodily, physically, they’re separate in ideology. Means in their ideal. (Yes, Master.) Yeah, that’s why the father even says to the son, “You are a traitor. You should be shot first.” See that? Not even in the battle, the father wants to shoot the son already. Or wants him to be shot dead. And the mother falls out with the daughter etc. And friends don’t listen to each other anymore. Cut off. (Right.) Because they cannot believe what the other friend says. (Yes.) The other friend is at the battlefield. (Yes, Master. Yes.) Also witnessing all this atrocity and destruction, but the friend in Russia saw nothing. Only saw like Russian soldiers went out to give blankets and food to Ukrainians and went there just to fix the fascist or the… What else? (Nazis.) Nazis.

“So, both of them are in prison, in the enemy’s country. In different countries. (Yes, Master.) After a long time, after some time, one of the friends is set free. Then he began to travel to the capital of the other country.” Not his country, yeah? The other country. (Yes, Master.) The so-called enemy’s capital in order to visit his friend. He probably didn’t know that his friend is in prison. (Oh, God.) “He traveled there, just like usual.

So, the king of that country heard that there was a person from the enemy’s land who came to his country. So, he presumed that that person must be a spy. (Oh.) So, he ordered to bring this friend in for execution. (Oh, wow.) Yeah, of course, the king’s men immediately caught this guy and brought him out to the execution area. (Yes.) On the way to the execution, this person who was going to be beheaded had a request. He said, ‘Please…’ He requested that he should be brought to see the king, because he has one thing, very important, to tell the king. Because it’s the last wish of the dead man walking, (Yes.) so the people of the king brought him to see him.

He prostrated flat at the feet of the king, asking to delay the execution. The king asked him, ‘But why? Suppose I accept it, what is there for you?’ So, he begged the king, ‘Your majesty formerly, before I came here, I was a very famous businessman in the city where I live. But all my goods and my money are in the hands of all the shop owners, that they have bought from me by credit. They did not pay anything. I have loaned to them also. But I never forced them to make any debt paper. If you kill me now, my wife and children will be in a starving situation. They will not know what to do, because they do not know whom I gave the money to, or I gave the credit, or I loaned money to. And even if they know it, they would not have any way to prove it, to prove that she’s my wife, or anything at all. So, your majesty, I beg you to open your merciful heart. Please, before you kill me, please let me go home for a while. Just a very short while. And then I will collect all the debt, so that my family will have the conditions to continue to survive after I die and never come back again.’” Meaning after he left the world (Yes.) and never comes back.

“The king asked him again, ‘But how do I know for sure that you will come back here? You are asking something impossible. Because you ask me that I have to trust a person who has the death sentence, that I should let you go. And then you would come back here to be killed? Who would believe this? What are you saying?’” But the king was not bad. (Yes.) He has patience, and he did not wave his hand immediately and say, “Take him out and kill him.” (Yes.) He was patient and he talked nicely.

“So, the prisoner said, the dead man walking said, ‘Your majesty, in your capital, I have a friend, and this friend of mine will definitely be willing to guarantee that I will come back. (Right.) He will guarantee that I will come back. One of your citizens.’ And immediately the king ordered for that person to come in front of him.

And then, of course, he came. And the king asked this newly arrived friend, ‘Hey, are you willing to guarantee for this person, he is the one who is already sentenced to death? And he wants to go back home for a while to arrange his business. If he won’t come back to be executed on time, will you die for him, instead?’ So, the friend said, ‘Your majesty, I’m very willing to be the replacement of my friend here. If he doesn’t come back on time, the day that you have ordered, I will accept my death for him.’ (Wow.) So, the king heard that. So he let the one who is sentenced to death to go home for one month. (Oh, wow.)

And during this time he … of course he imprisoned his friend, (Yes.) and he was thinking, ‘I really want to see such a strange phenomenon in this world, that a person is really willing to die for his friend. Such a thing really exists?’

So, after thirty days, the time was up. After thirty days, there was no sight of the friend, (Oh, no.) of the person who was sentenced to die. The one who went home, (Yes, Master.) no sight of him. (Wow.) The sun was almost set. The king ordered the replacement, the friend, (Yes.) the other friend from the prison, and brought him out to behead. (Ohhh.)

At the moment that the axe was already trying on the neck of the prisoner, and almost lifted up to bring it down to chop the head of that prisoner, then everyone heard a very loud acclamation everywhere in the whole capital, that the one who is sentenced to die is already here, has returned.” (Wow.) He probably asked everybody to please shout loud for him, (Oh. Yes.) because he wasn’t there yet. “So, then immediately, this person, the walking dead person before, immediately went to present himself to the king and then immediately he ran, ran, ran to the execution area, the place where the execution was to take place. At that moment, he yanked the axe from the neck of his friend and put it on his own neck. (Wow!) But the other friend yanked it back from him. (Oh.) And then both of them were yanking back and forth, back and forth, and wrestling with each other, determined to take the axe away for themselves.” (Wow.)

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