The rabbi entered the temple early. Not a soul was about. He gravitated towards the ark, opening it to marvel at the beauty of the torahs inside. He heard the creak of a door behind him, and saw from the corner of his eye that the cantor was entering the temple. Immediately the rabbi fell to his knees before the ark and in a fervent voice cried out, "O Lord, I am nothing!" He repeated this prayer in mantra-like fashion as the cantor approached.

The cantor, impressed with this show of piety, dropped to his knees beside the rabbi and joined with him in prayer. Together they chanted: "O Lord, I am nothing! O Lord, I am nothing!"

The door at the rear of the temple creaked once again. This time it was the janitor entering the temple, curious to find out the source of the singing he had heard while mopping the halls. He was so awe-struck by the scene that he threw down his mop and ran beside the rabbi and cantor to join them. He too knelt before the ark and added his voice to the simple prayer: "O Lord, I am nothing! O Lord, I am nothing!"

After a minute of this, the cantor leaned over and nudged the rabbi with his elbow. Pointing to the janitor, the cantor snickered with disdain in a low voice, "Hey, look who thinks he's nothing!"

Added 4/20/97