To what is it similar?
1. To a man who was punished and chained beside a ferocious attack dog. At times, the dog would bark at the man or maul him while at other times, he would ignore him completely, busying himself by barking at the other dogs, warding them off. Because of his chains, all the man could do was cower in fear and pray to God the dog would not notice him, would not attack and maul him, rather continue barking at the surrounding dogs. After every such prayer, when no dog (the surrounding one or the one he was chained next to) would attack the man, he would say to the dog “good dog! good dog!”. After many such days, someone broke the man’s chains. The man had became so accustomed to living beside the ferocious dog, cowering before it, praying not to be mauled by it and retorting “Good dog! Good dog!”, that instead of getting up and fleeing he just remained where he was. And until today one can find the unchained man laying on the filthy ground beside the vicious attack dog, eating left over scraps and once a week saying: “please God, save me from this good doggie! please don’t let him – or any other dog – maul me to death this weak!”
2. To a man in Germany saying the prayer for “his” government in 1932. (In Germany, some communities continued saying the “prayer for the government” until November of 1938. In Norway – until the closing of the last Shul in 1942. In Denmark – until Rosh Hshanah of 1943. In Antwerp – until late 1941, even after the government surrendered to the Nazis. In France – until the summer of 1942 when the mass deportations began. In Italy – until 1938 with the publication of the “race laws”. In Hungary – until the spring of 1944, when mass deportations began as well. And in Austria – some communities continued praying for the welfare of “their” government until the end of the war.
3. To a man who comes to a formal event and is introduced to a a colleague’s wife. The colleague says to the man: “what do you think of my wife?”. “She seems very nice”, says the man blandly. “it’s ok” says the woman, “Take a nice long look. Stare at me. I don’t mind. Tell me – and everyone else – how beautiful and attractive I am. Wouldn’t you want to spend more time with me? don’t worry – I take it as a complement!”. Not wanting to be disrespectful, the man does as he is told. He looks, he stares, he ogles. The more he looks and the more they speak the more mesmerized he is by her. “If you really think I’m pretty” she exclaims, “prove it and sing me a love song”. Without hesitation the man begins to sing. As he completes his song for his friends wife, his own wife appears besides him and asks: “honey, what’s going on here? did I just hear you sing this woman a love song?” “Don’t worry sweetie” he replies. You look pretty and attractive too. Didn’t I buy you those beautiful cloths and Jewelry you’re wearing? didn’t I spend a whole day just with you last week? here; I’ll sing you a love song too. But please understand that when I’m done singing your song – I still plan on sleeping at her place tonight”.