Life is like a cup of tea

Around the turn of the century a newly ordained rabbi was sent out from his yeshiva on the lower East Side of New York to become the first rabbi to minister to a congregation in Alaska. His old teacher bid him farewell, blessed him, and said, “And remember, my son, always remember—life is like a cup of tea.
The young rabbi went out to Alaska, and he was very busy there, but every now and again he would think of what his teacher had said, and he would wonder what this saying meant. After seven years his congregation let him take a vacation. He went back to New York, visited the yeshiva, and went to see his old teacher. “I’ve always wanted to ask you this,” he said. “When I left the yeshiva, when you gave me your blessing, you said to me— ‘life is like a cup of tea.’ Tell me rebbe, what did you mean?
Life is like a cup of tea?” asked the old man. “I said this?
Yes, you did. What did you mean?” The old man thought for a while, then he said, “Nu, maybe life is not like a cup of tea.

[gelezen in Peter L. Berger, Redeeming Laughter: the comic dimension of human experience (1997), p. XV]


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