Recently, a man of Italian American heritage told me that his grandfather was a dairy farmer in Sicily. One day while he was milking his cows, a truck winding on the road alongside his farm parked. Out walked a very thirsty trucker.
The trucker entered the barn and offered to pay for a cup of milk. The good natured farmer squirted an utter directly into a cup. Smilingly, he handed the cup to the trucker. When the trucker was ready to pay, the farmer waved with his hand to indicate that it was a free gift.
About two weeks later, the same trucker returned with a gripe. He stormed angrily into the barn and stridently accused, "You poisoned the milk! I got an upset stomach and vomited right after drinking it."
The farmer calmly pointed all around and explained, "My cows only eat the grass you see all around you. How can the milk possibly be poisoned? Wait a moment ... I think I understand what your problem is. Where do you live good sir?"
"In the city", the trucker responded.
"What milk do you drink there?", inquired the farmer.
"What's commercially sold.", the trucker replied.
"That's it!", smiled the farmer. "The city's commercially sold milk is designed to be high in quantity, but, low in quality. It's barely milk. Your body is not accustomed to the good stuff. That's why your system reacted as it did."
This story got me thinking. Maybe, what I am about to say does not apply to everyone, but, it probably applies to some. It certainly applies to me.
We are in the month of Elul. It's the month of coming closer to our Creator and to our fellow humans. Is it at all possible that we're not accustomed to certain high quality states of emotional closeness; neither with our Creator nor with our fellow humans? Is it at all possible that we let go of potential opportunities to build key relationships because we're not "accustomed to the good stuff"? Maybe, we tell ourselves that we’re uncomfortable getting so vulnerable or so “mushy”. Let’s build up our tolerance for getting closer.