One of the Just Men came to Sodom, determining to save its inhabitants from sin and punishment. Night and day he walked the streets and markets preaching against the greed and theft, falsehood and indifference. In the beginning, people listened and smiled ironically. Then they stopped listening; he no longer even amused them. The killers went on killing; the wise men kept silent, as if there were no just man in their midst. One day, a child, moved by compassion for the unfortunate preacher, approached him with these words. “Poor stranger. You shout; you expend yourself body and soul; don’t you see that it is hopeless?”
“Yes, I see,” answered the Just Man.
“Then why do you go on?”
“I’ll tell you why. In the beginning I thought I could change human beings. Today, I know I cannot. If I still shout today, If I still scream, it is to prevent them from ultimately changing me.”
~~Tales of the Hasidim