The Man and the Monster

Rabbi Nolan Lebovitz is thrilled to serve as the Rabbi of Adat Shalom in West Los Angeles.  Since Nolan’s arrival, Adat Shalom has presented innovative programming, has welcomed new members and has announced to once again reestablish a new religious school in the Fall of 2016. Nolan... Read More

Once there was a little boy who suspected that there was a monster in his closet.  Even after his parents assured him that there was not, he would hear strange sounds from behind his closet door.  His closet was dark and deep, and he could never see all the way to the farthest corner in the back.

One night, he awoke to the sounds and ran downstairs to grab a flashlight.  He reentered his room and slowly opened the door of his closet.  He pushed all of the clothes to the side and pointed the bright flashlight toward the deep darkness.  The strong beam of light revealed a scary monster huddled in the back corner.

“Why do you do this to me?”  The young boy asked.

Fangs clenched, the monster offered no comprehendible response.  The monster just loudly roared and tried to lash out.  Quickly, the boy slammed the door and rushed to wake up his parents.  Not believing his story at all, his parents placated him by pushing his dresser in front of the closet door.  The boy grew up without a closet, but never had to face the monster again.

Years later, the boy grew into a man and married and had children of his own.  He lived in his own big house.  Then, one night he woke up to familiar sounds coming from inside his closet.  He slowly approached the closet and carefully peeked inside.

There, crouched inside the darkness, sat the monster.  It was foaming from its clenched jaw.  The man hesitated to confront the monster as he had done as a boy.  He worried about the monster getting past him, and about the safety of his wife and children.  He had more reasons to be cautious than when he was a young boy.  He immediately slammed the door and insisted on moving.

He and his wife found a new home.  In the new house, he removed all of the closets from their master bedroom.

One night, his daughter came rushing into their room, complaining about scary sounds in her closet.  Immediately, he got out of bed, and he followed her into her room.  With his daughter trembling behind him, he opened the door and gazed into her closet at the familiar sight.  Sure enough, there sat the same monster, totally unchanged.  In that moment, he realized that the monster might never go away.

Now, it was his responsibility to confront the monster when needed and protect his family.  From that night on, he slept next to his daughter’s closet door, and his family slept peacefully knowing that he was always there to protect them.