Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

The Naked Truth

Q -How do you make your story more powerful? A – Wrap it around a universal truth.
Do you have a message in your story? Are you trying to pull the dark veil back on Oz? There’s a long history of storytellers who cloak their message in narrative. For example;

A Maggid; literally meaning ‘teller’ in the Jewish tradition is known for bringing the Torah and Jewish diktat to life through parables and stories, much like Jesus Christ in the Bible. In Jewish history this unique skill was epitomized by 18th Century Eastern European Rabbi Yaakov ben Wolf Kranz, known as the Dubner Maggid (1740 – 1804). To aid his audience in comprehending the oft heady passages of the Torah, this talented Maggid created parables about kings, princes, families; children, parents, and other characters so the common person could relate to the Torah’s moral messages.

Hmmm…..Isn’t that what we writers often do; create stories with kings, queens, princes and paupers with sad love stories, money problems, moral dilemmas and so on? I think it is.

Among  Rabbi Yaakov ben Wolf Kranz’s everlasting, ever-relevant teachings, poems, and parables is this one;
Naked Truth and Parable which is applicable to storytelling in any era, because, truth is truth and as a yarn-spinner myself, I believe story is the best way to convey it.

Naked Truth and Parable

Naked Truth walked down the street one day.

People turned their eyes away.

Parable arrived, draped in decoration.

People greeted Parable with celebration.

Naked Truth sat alone, sad and un-attired,

“Why are you so miserable?” Parable inquired.

Naked Truth replied, “I’m not welcome anymore.

No one wants to see me. They chase me from their door.”

“It is hard to look at Naked Truth,” Parable explained.

“Let me dress you up a bit. Your welcome will be gained.”

Parable dressed Naked Truth in story’s fine attire,

With metaphor, poignant prose, and plots to inspire,

With laughter and tears and adventure to unveil,

Together they went forth to spin a tale.

People opened their doors and served them their best.

Naked Truth dressed in story was a welcome guest.

This Jewish tale is retold as a poem by Heather Forest

One comment on “The Naked Truth

  1. Stephen Hayes
    September 12, 2012

    Great poem. Thanks for sharing it.

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on September 12, 2012 by in Jesus Christ, naked truth, rabbi, Storytelling.
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