Friday, March 09, 2018

Rule #1: Don't Panic

The purpose of this email is to ask and answer ultimate questions at the Shabbat table. Please print and share (+ like it, tweet it, forward).
Pesach-handsAt a certain climax in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, we learn that the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is.... "forty-two".

But that begs the question: What's that the answer to?

So in the story, the supercomputer Deep Thought runs an experiment to solve this problem. The experiment is called Earth, another supercomputer, comprised of people who will collectively reveal the answer (meaning, the question whose answer is 42).

Unfortunately, five minutes before the supercomputer-called-Earth is going to finally reveal the solution, the planet is destroyed by the Vogons in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

Therefore - if you're still with me - the
hyper-intelligent (and rather evil) mice need to quickly invent an answer (which is really the question) because they're about to go on the air on a talk show with everybody watching. So after some debate, they decide that the question (whose answer is 42) would most plausibly be: "How many roads must a man walk down?"

Now why am I telling you all this?

Two days ago, our son was at a Torah class where the rabbi quoted the 20th Century Chassidic classic, Nesivos Shalom. The author - the Slonimer Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Noach Berezovsky zt”l - interprets the 42 stages of the Israelites in the wilderness as symbolic of the 42 paths a person walks in a lifetime.


But now for your table: What's more flabbergasting, that Douglas Adams somehow channeled the Nesivos Shalom? Or that we have 42 paths to walk in our lifetime?

It may be hard for you to concentrate right now because you are so preoccupied with preparing for Pesach.

Just in case you are not feeling enough anxiety, your second question for the table is, How many days until Pesach?

I sense that the question makes you uncomfortable, so we have updated the website with a Passover countdown-clock:

Rule #1 in using the clock: Don't panic.

All that you have to do is laugh a bit.

And a little bit more.

And then ask yourself, "How many paths have I walked until now?"

Shabbat Shalom

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