Posts Tagged ‘philosophical stories’
Posted in stories, tagged Aesop fables, Benny Thomas, Jerusalem, Jubilee year, philosophical stories, Prince of Peace, stories, the Anointed One, the fly and the moving coach, the Messiah, the Rabbi Benn Weiss Stories on June 2, 2012| Leave a Comment »
It was the year of Universal Peace. The Prince of Peace had ascended to the throne and Jerusalem thronged with people who had come to celebrate the event. The aliens simply were not to be seen.
When I went to Paris on some business for the Messiah,- I was his personal secretary, I asked the Rabbi how he was doing without me. He looked in surprise,’What Jake were you absent?’ Rabbi Benn was my friend so I said as if I wasn’t pained by it,’I missed you, rabbi’. I had reinvented myself in so short time, oozing with charm for my new position had rubbed on me immensely, and I was a man of the world, suave diplomat, my diplomatic box full of papers that I had to pass on to various movers and shakers of the city. No one would have said I was a never-do-well lounge lizard at Lido. I explained how I had got rid of the aliens from Jerusalem.
My friend got interested, and I said,’I stuffed their mouth with gold and sent them all to claim the rights to the mines of methane in the Arctic Sea. They think they are going to be oligarchs but I have set my own plans to give a surprise to them.’
Rabbi Benn Weiss raised his eyebrows. ‘I never knew you could be a Machiavelli in so short a time. What is the secret, Jake?’
‘I am the personal secretary of the Messiah. He put his trust in me. I who never wanted a thing than a hand-out for a square meal and a bit of loving and a fine-cut of evening dress to impress the Smart Set, I am full of plans!’
My friend was sure I was beginning to look like the fly who sat on the coach and thought all that cloud of dust raised by the carriage was its doing.’
‘Is that Aesop? Rabbi Benn Weiss, I am not the fly in any case. May be the carriage running on the state’s errand.’
There was an uneasy silence. I was hard up for time. I had to run errands for my master, the Prince of Peace. I got up and said,’Rabbi, I can fix an audience with the Messiah. Imagine the glorious Prince of Peace! One hour interview I can squeeze in any time of the day. Think over it.’
Rabbi Benn Weiss waved me away saying,’ I shall settle for the Messiah of the Book.’
‘What you don’t want to meet him in person?’
The rabbi shook his head and said,’I don’t like the bad company he keeps.’
‘But I am good enough to be your friend!’
‘That is true,’ Rabbi Benn Weiss said sadly,’You are good for the likes of me, but for the Prince of Peace, oh No!’
An Armenian in Paris
Rabbi Benn Weiss followed me close as we made for the exit. ‘I love Art and I know what I like,’ he had said while staring at the canvasses long and hard.
We came out into the sunshine. He asked, ‘What makes Beauty? Is it what is unattainable?’
I nodded. My companion asked, ‘Beauty! Is it because it speaks truth?’
‘Oh yes!’ I said appreciatively, ‘Rabbi, you know the words beauty, art and truth already. Only I need to teach how these connect one another. Once you know how you could be a professional art critic if you want to.’
As we crossed the busy street to the Metro in front of an art store, my companion was for buying a few books to get himself started. ‘Forget books. Forget what that guide at the Gallery was telling you.’ I told him, ‘She was far out Rabbi, but she was a peach.’
Rabbi Benn Weiss glared at me at which I suddenly stopped short. Next moment I called out, ‘See that old lady!’
I told him that I was going to explain art using her as a living example.
My companion who had his eye full of Rubenesque ladies looked at me aghast. ‘See her back is curved and how she leans on her stick?’
‘Is that beauty?’ my friend was skeptical.
‘Why not?’ I asked, ‘Does beauty only reside in a fine form and youth?’ ‘Or does it in my perception of it?’
I was in the mood to explain. ‘Think Rabbi Weiss, I do not know her from Adam. How come I suddenly think of my grandmother who has been dead for ages?’
‘She was most precious to me.’ I felt a lump in my throat and said, ‘This old woman represents a kind of truth to me. Because she is not a trick played on my eye I take it, she is a real human being’.
‘So she stands for truth,’ the Rabbi nodded his head appreciatively.
Rabbi intoned, ’But she is an ugly truth. Old Age is real and makes scarecrows…’
I cut in, ’That is besides the point. My grandmother, dead grandmother represents Truth and she is unattainable’.
‘So dying makes one beautiful?’ the rabbi wanted to know.
Ignoring it I explained, ‘Yet this frail woman down on her last legs brought her image to me.’
I knew Rabbi Benn Weiss didn’t understand me. So I said the truth this old woman carried, went radical changes to impress upon me truth of something else.’
The rabbi said, ’I never knew your grandmother was so important to you.’
I nodded gravely and said, ’I carry that loss. She can no longer make me feel good with her smile and words. But that old decrepit woman out of the blue made me reach that higher sphere, is no longer an idea but real.’
‘Aha,’ the rabbi said with a smile, ‘the old woman represents Beauty in the way she could make her truth connected with something else.’
‘Not just something, but my grandmother!’
‘Yes, if you say so, if you say so.’ he said impressed, ‘why don’t you write to your parents for a change? You can sms them if you want to.’
I said my art of life made me unattainable. ‘My parents want me to be still connected. So would the bill collector’.
‘I want to be alone, as said by the burglar to the cop,’ intoned the rabbi.
A Human Scale©
One evening a beggar approached Rabbi Benn Weiss and said that he was an angel in disguise.” Never mind these tatters, Rabbi,” he said in a conspiratorial tone, “I am indeed an angel sent down to find how many in this City of Peace are worthy to be called His own. So I shall ask you to buy me dinner.”
They were before sidewalk restaurant. “Of course!” Rabbi said and treated him to a hearty meal while he stuck to the usual. The stranger remained by his side even after he had paid the bill and wanted to go home.
It was late.
“I need a place to stay for tonight, Rabbi.”
“Try Wayfarer’s Lodge over there. It is free and clean.” ”You gave me dinner and why refuse me now?”
Benn Weiss interrupted him saying,” A poor man’s dinner is no bother, But to have you under my roof, is more than a man like me can afford.” “But I am an angel!”
“Go tell that to your archangel, my friend. He sent you didn’t he?”
Rabbi Benn Weiss walked on.
Moral:Truth when is stated in human terms must satisfy common sense and sound appropriate for the circumstances.
A Dream By Half©
There was a scholar in Aleppo who was ridiculed by his neighbors. They
were mostly artisans or traders who traded in useful goods and they faulted him “Why study dreams or speak with spirits of the dead?” they asked him.
“I study dreams because I dream myself.” The scholar defended himself. “What about speaking with the spirits of the dead?” “Perhaps I might learn something from my ancestors.” His neighbors snorted at his pigheadedness and left him alone.
A few weeks later the scholar had a dream in which his ancestor visited him and asked, ‘What are you doing with my wealth?’ “ Your wealth? Will you speak plainly?”
‘I had left all my wealth, fearing that my enemies were after me, at the bottom of a dry well behind the house.’ His ancestor described the exact spot and what to look for. Next day the scholar went down into the well and discovered the treasure. But the news of his find got around. It reached the ears of the sultan. The sultan immediately confiscated the treasure trove according to the law of the land. The scholar was at least thankful to the sultan that his life was spared. What was more, a royal pension allowed him to pursue his scholarly interests.
A few months later he had another dream in which his ancestor appeared again to ask the whereabouts of his wealth. ‘You were right grandfather. Your enemies finally got around to it by legal means.’
A dream is left handed version of reality. Only trouble is that you need to let reason rearrange it.If it has not happened as foreseen your rational mind has still an escape clause that it went wrong only as far as sleep had a hand in it.