The story is told of a king who had a wonderful jewel. He would gaze on it often, wondering at its beauty. One day, something startled him and he dropped the jewel causing it to fall. As he picked it up from the hard stone floor the king noticed that the jewel now had a deep crack in it. He sent messengers out to find a craftsman who could repair it, but, no one came forward. Finally after a very long search he found an old jeweler who said he could repair the jewel, but, that the king would have to promise to give him free reign in his work. With no other options, the king assented. The old craftsman set up his workshop and worked continuously for many days (taking time off for Shabbat). Finally he emerged and showed the king the jewel. There in the jewel, the old man had worked the lines of the crack into the pattern of an exquisite flower that appeared deep inside the precious stone. The king gasped and realized that the crack itself had led to the jewel becoming even more precious.
This one was of a simple man who walked every day from his home to the stream with a pole across his broad shoulders and two buckets hanging one from each side. He walked down to the stream, filled the two buckets and walked back up to his house and there emptied the buckets into a large basin from which the family drew water through the day. However, one of the buckets had a crack in it and every day the man had only one and a half buckets of water to pour into the basin. Day after day, this went on. Eventually - late at night after everyone had fallen asleep - the cracked bucket spoke to the man: "I am embarrassed that every day I only bring half the amount of water needed for the basin. Please get rid of me and get a new, whole, unbroken bucket." The next morning the man took his buckets down to the stream. As he did, he spoke to the cracked bucket. "Why do you feel so bad about yourself? Do you see this path we walk every day? One side of it has flowers growing along it, the other side is barren. I knew about your crack -- what you have considered a flaw. Because of your crack, I planted flowers along that side of the path from which you hang. Every day, as I walked back from the stream you have watered these flowers... flowers that we have cut to beautify our simple home. If you did not have a crack, or, if I was to get rid of you and get another bucket without a crack I would need to make special arrangements to water our flowers. I appreciate you because of your crack."