The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

November 12, 2011

A fountain of wisdom gushes forth

There's this tale about a young rabbi from a small village in Eastern Europe who has decided to continue his career in America.

Before he leaves, he seeks out his mentor, a wise, revered older rabbi.

"Rabbi," asks the young man, "what is the secret to life?"

The old sage thinks for several moments and then gives his reply.

"Life," he says, "is a fountain."

The young rabbi nods and leaves to begin his journey. He doesn't exactly understand why life is a fountain, but he's certain that if he gives it enough thought, the answer will surely come to him.

The young rabbi becomes very successful in the United States, with a large synagogue and congregation. He authors several scholarly works and becomes known as one of the most accomplished clergymen in the world.

But still, the question gnaws at him, day after day, week after week, year after year. Why is life like a fountain? Why is life like a fountain?

It's driving him to distraction. He can think of little else.

He devotes his life to the question, bringing together outstanding theological and philosophical minds from the four corners of the Earth. But none of their learned theories satisfies him.

After 30 years, he hears that the old rabbi in Europe is on his death bed. Canceling all his important engagements, the younger rabbi _ now in his late 50s _ boards an airplane, hoping against hope that he's not too late to find out the answer to the question that has haunted him all of his adult life.

He arrives to find the old rabbi still alive. Running to the bedside, his voice shaking with anticipation, the former pupil asks his question.

"Rabbi," he implores, "you must tell me. Why ... why is life like a fountain?"

The wisdom of the ages in the old rabbi's eyes, he ponders his response. Finally, he speaks:

"All right," he says. "so life isn't a fountain."

It is in that vein that I tell you that life is a fountain, and furthermore, here are some other things you should know:

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio
Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column
Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway
Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

Are you more or less religious than your parents?

More religious
Less religious
About the same
     View Results