An Old Jewish Parable explains the Truth of Storytelling

Universal Storyteller
2 min readApr 12, 2023

Some time ago, I stumbled over this old Jewish parable, that goes like that:

“Once upon a time… TRUTH, naked and cold, had been turned away from every door in the village. Her nakedness frightened the people. Taking pity on her, PARABLE gathered her up and took her home. She dressed TRUTH in STORY, warmed her and sent her out again.

Clothed in STORY, TRUTH knocked again at the villagers’ doors and now was welcomed into the peoples’ houses. They invited her to eat at their table and warm herself by their fire … “

The parable has been lingering in my mind ever since, as it reveals some essential truth about storytelling, especially why we are more receptive to stories than isolated facts:

· Stories activate the brain: When we hear a story, it activates different parts of the brain, including those responsible for processing emotions and sensory information. As a result, we become more engaged and more likely to remember the information.

· Stories are relatable: Stories often contain relatable characters and situations, which help us connect to the information on a personal level. This personal connection makes the information more meaningful and memorable.

· Stories provide context: Stories provide a context for the information, helping us to understand its relevance and significance. Context is essential for comprehension and retention of information.

The lesson here is: don’t rely on stand-alone facts only; instead weave a narrative around it. People will be way more receptive to it.



Universal Storyteller

Nicolai Schumann is the founder of Universal Storyteller and teaches storytelling at universities and to corporates.