Friday, May 26, 2017

Does Jerusalem Exist?

The purpose of this blog is to build a city of peace at the Friday night dinner table.... Please forward / like / tweet....
Happy birthday shoutouts to Joan (turning 80!) and Kyle. And wishing EF a speedy recovery.
(To dedicate a future Table Talk, send an email.)

Ivy - Western WallThis may be a first.

Imagine you found out that you had poison ivy.

How would you react?

Not too thrilled?

This morning, a friend told me just that - that he has poison ivy.

And this news made him happy.

So this week's first question for your table is a riddle:

When would a person be happy to learn he has poison ivy?

The answer (of course) is: when he had thought that he had had something even worse.

You see, for several days, he had thought that the itchy pain keeping him up half the night was shingles.

Shingles is a painful rash caused by the varicella-zoster (chicken pox) virus.

Everyone knows that if you had chicken pox, you're now immune for life, because your blood now has anti-varicella-zosters.

But some of those varicella-zosters stick around 
in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. If your immune system should ever weaken, the virus can wake up....

So that's one secret to being happy even while in pain: knowing that it could be a lot worse.

But Question #2 for your table: Can this wisdom apply to any situation? Could it ever be so bad that a normal person could not be happy?

And here's a real douzy - Could an increase in pain ever make someone happier? (hint)

Our confusion about pain reminds me of our confusion about "peace".

Peace is not the end of war. That's a truce, but that's not shalom.

Shalom is harmony.

So it's ironic that the world's most-contested real estate is called Jerusalem - if you know what the word means.

Hint: in Hebrew, it's Yeru-shalayim.

Now that you know what it means, you can ask this question at your table: Does it exist?

Shabbat Shalom
and Happy Shavuot

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