Adarianus Caesar used to walk in Tiberias alleys, when suddenly he noticed an old man digging in the ground making pits to plant trees.
Adrianus was highly impressed and said:”Grandpa, grandpa, if you woke up in your youth, you probably would not have to work when you are old”.
The grandpa answered:”I woke up early and worked late, and what is good for the Lord in Heavens I do”.
Adrianus asked the old man:”How old are you today, grandpa?”
The man said:”I am one hundred years old”.
“You are one hundred years old and you dig in the ground to make pits for planting trees? Does it seem to you that you will live long enough to eat their fruits?”
The old man answered: “If I’ll make it, I shall eat from them and if not – as my parents made effort for me, so I make efforts for my sons!”
Adrianus was impressed from the old man and said:”If you live to eat from these trees, inform me.”
After a while the trees that the old man planted bore figs.
The old man thought in his heart:”This is the time to inform the Caesar, as he asked.”
What did he do? He filled a basket with figs and walked and stood at the palace door of Adrianus.
The guards asked him: “What do you do here?”
And the old man said: “Let me in to the king,” and the guards let him in.
When he entered Adrianus asked him:”What are you doing here?”
The old man replied calmly, “I am the old man that you met when I dug pits to plant trees, and you told me:”If you shall live to eat from them, inform me, and here, I had the privilege and I ate from them, and here are some figs from their fruits”.
Andrianus told his servants:”I order you to bring a seat made out of gold and put the old man on it, and I order you to empty the old man’s basket from fruits and fill it with golden coins.”
The servants asked:”All this respect you pay for this Jewish man?!”
And Adrianus replied:”His Lord respected him and prolonged his life, and I would not respect him?”
Leviticus Rabbah portion 25, sign 5
img: Some rights reserved by ~Prescott