about us     |     subscribe     |     contact us     |     submit article     |     donate     |     speaking tour     |     store     |     ePaper
    Events    Issues    Tradition    E-Paper
 
2022 more..

2021 more..

2020 more..

2019 more..

2018 more..

2017 more..

2016 more..

2015 more..

2014 more..

2013 more..

2012 more..

2011 more..

2010 more..

2009 more..

2008 more..

2007 more..

2006 more..

2005

Coice Vs. Determinisim
Yanki Tauber

 

Anguish of A Soul
Gary Israel

 

When Children Forget their Father
Yanki Tauber

 

A ale of wo Po
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e New Idol
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

I Am Joep
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e orc of Moraliy
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Roo of Violence
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

The Battle of the Stones
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Are You Afraid of Yourelf?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Bye Bye Dependence
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Eaern Coloni
Yanki Tauber

 

Are Jew reaed Differenly?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Camping With G-d
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e ubconiou of G-d
Yanki Tauber

 

Garonomic Univere
Yanki Tauber

 

A Powerful Love ory
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Logic Beind Irael' Wi
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Ak No Weer, Bu ow
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Bleing of Independance
Yanki Tauber

 

Wo Own Judaim?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Wen ilence I a Lie
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

From Bardicov o Japan
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Wen Moe Became a Bookkeeper
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Wa Moe Learned a an Infan
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e ree Layer of elf
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Dea of Convicion
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Man' Miracle
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

My Dear Animal
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

ow o Climb e Ladder of pi
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Grea Eape
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Are You ene?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Virue of Fruraion
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

In e Valley of ear
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Moe V. Gandi
Dov Greenberg

 

Living a Life a Maer
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

ow o Deal Wi empaion an
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Alone p://w
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

O Me! O Life!
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Stuttering
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Wen Your Wife Diagree Wi
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Recipe for a Meaningful Year
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Fuure of Zionim
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Riing from e Ae
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Place of Violence in Relig
Simon Jacobson

 

Radical Exremi or elfle
Yanki Tauber

 

ow o Become a rue Leader
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Fir Femini Revoluion
Yanki Tauber

 

No a imple a 1-2-3
Yanki Tauber

 

Digniy, Love, Monoeim and
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

earcing for Our Loved One
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

I Am a Rock
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Blue Broer
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

piriual izoprenia
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e wo Face of Life
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Wa' Your Favorie ong?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Anecdoe Abou My Faer
Boruch Jacobson

 

What Happens After the Grea High?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Leaderip in e illelian Mo
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Grea Eape
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A ale of ree Maza
Dr. Edwin Suskind

 

Diovering e Cild and Pare
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

War & Peace In Your ome
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Four Queion in e Kabb
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Freedom o Ak Queion
Simon Jacobson

 

Am I Wor Anying?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

ow o Deal wi Conflic
Yanki Tauber

 

earcing for a Beer Relaio
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Miing Feival
Yanki Tauber

 

e owering ervan
Yanki Tauber

 

An Apple, G-d and e Reader'
Chana Weisberg

 

BEFORE E BALE
Simon Jacobson

 

The Identity Crisis of the Jew
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A Call of 4,000 Years
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A Tale of Two Loves
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Wen a Flood I Good For You
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Embracing e enion
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Kabbala of Alcoolim
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

op Blaming e Paleinian
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Moe' Greae our
Yanki Tauber

 

ree Form of Love
Yanki Tauber

 

Bye Bye ome
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Inspiraion On an Empty Stomach
Aaron Moss

 

Death and Life: Three Perspectives
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Running From G-d
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Cenennial Of A Revoluion
Simon Jacobson

 

I Loae Prayer r
Aaron Moss

 

e Coronaion
Yanki Tauber

 

ow o Forgive Yourelf
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

350 Year in America: Ro a
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Ro aana Accouning: ow
Mendel Jacobson\Jerusalem

 

G-d: e or e? r
Aaron Moss

 

U-urn On Wilire
Yossi Marcus

 

In-()o-Far
Mendel Jacobson\Jerusalem

 

A ale of wo poue
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Le U Conole Eac Oer
Simon Jacobson

 

Wen Fear Ielf i e One
Yanki Tauber

 

Crime and Punimen
Yanki Tauber

 

e Fire on e Wrong ide
Yanki Tauber

 

Life I No Abou aiic
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Can Religion Embrace Diveriy
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

My Life Alered Forever
Yochahan & Sarah Rivkin

 

Can I Name My Dog Irael?
Aaron Moss

 

Evil: wo ranlaion
Yanki Tauber

 

Can You Conver o Non-Pracic
Aaron Moss

 

Ode o e eel r
Yanki Tauber

 

Warm Fee p
Yanki Tauber

 

Full Moon Muing
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Dancing Maiden of Jerual
Yanki Tauber

 

Exremi Lover
Dovi Schiner

 

The Intimae Estrangement
Yanki Tauber

 

ree Level of Moral Degenera
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Did Rai Lack a ienific Me
Chaim Miller

 

ow e Vilna Gaon prevened R
Betzalol Naor

 

Doe e Bible ancion Genoci
Simon Jacobson

 

orn Beween Love
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

My Faer and e Prie
Chana Weisberg

 

Can You Oppoe Inermarriage W
Aaron Moss

 

e wo Grea Evil of iory
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Obeed Wi Giving
Dov Greenberg

 

ow Abou e Occupaion?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Pycoanalyi and e Bible
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Madonna' Kabbala
Aaron Moss

 

Are aidic Younger Depriv
Aaron Moss

 

e Lonely Momen
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

 

Click here for a full index

email this article       print this article
 
The Battle of the Stones
By Yosef Y. Jacobson
 

 

The Yeshiva decided to field a rowing team. Unfortunately, they lost race after race. They practiced for hours every day but never managed to come in any better than dead last.
 

The Rosh Yeshiva (the Yeshiva head) finally decided to send Yankel to spy on the Harvard team. So Yankel schlepped off to Cambridge and hid in the bulrushes of the Charles River, from where he  carefully watched the Harvard team as they practiced.
 

Yankel returned to Yeshiva, and announced: "I have figured out their secret."

"What? Tell us," they all wanted to know.
 

"We should have eight guys rowing and only one guy shouting."

The quarrel

The rabbis in the Talmud focus on an apparent grammatical inconsistency in this week’s Torah portion (Vayeitzei).

When Jacob journeys from Beer Sheba to Haran, stopping on the way to rest for the night, the Bible tells us, “He took from the stones of the place, arranged them around his head, and lay down to rest.”

But in the morning when he awakes, we read a slightly different story: “Jacob arose early in the morning, and took the stone he placed around his head and set it up as a pillar.” First we read of “stones,” in the plural; then we read of “the stone,” in the singular. Which one was it? Did Jacob use a single stone or did he employ many stones?

A lovely Talmudic tradition, laden with symbolism, answers the question thus:  Jacob indeed took several stones. The stones began quarreling, each one saying, “Upon me shall this righteous person rest his head.” So G-d combined them all into one stone, and the quarreling ceased. Hence, when Jacob awoke, we read, he “took the stone” in the singular, since all the stones became one.

What is the symbolism behind this imagery? What is the meaning of stones quarreling with each other and then reaching a state of peace?

And one more question: How did the merging of diverse stones into a single entity satisfy their complaint, “Upon me shall this righteous person rest his head?” Even after the stones congealed into a single large stone, the head of Jacob still lie only on one part of the stone. (A simple illustration: Your mattress is made of one peace, yet your head can only lie on one particular space on your mattress). So why didn’t the other parts of the stone (Jacob’s “mattress”) still lament that Jacob’s head is not lying on them?

The Lubavitcher Rebbe once put it thus:

When you feel one with the other, you mind not if the head of the righteous one rests upon him. When the stones are separated from each other, the question becomes, “Who gets the head”? “Why should you get the head, not me”? But when they become one, they do not care who gets the head, because they are one.

Two interpretations of reality

The episode with the stones, then, reflects a profound spiritual truth about human relationships. We can view each other in two distinct ways: as “diverse stones” and as a “single stone.” Both are valid perspectives, fair interpretations of reality. The first is superficial; the second demands profounder scrutiny. Superficially, we are indeed diverse and separate. You are you; I am I. We are strangers. I want the head; you want the head. So we quarrel.

On a deeper level, though, we are one. The universe, humanity, the Jewish people - constitute a single organism. On this level, we are truly part of one essence. Then, I do not mind if you get the head, because you and I are one.

In life it is hard for many of us to truly create room for another, and let them shine brightly. We are scared that they might “get the head” and we will be left out. Some of us spend years to ensure that nobody besides ourselves gets the head.

What is needed is a broadening of consciousness; a cleansing of perception, a gaze into the mystical interrelatedness of all of us. Then I will not only allow, but will celebrate, your emergence in full splendor. Your success will not hinder mine, because we are one. Different “stones” may need to have different positions, yet here is no room for abuse, manipulation, back-stabbing, mistreatment and exploitation, because we are one. One.

Jacob, the father of all Israel, who encompassed within himself the souls of all of Israel, inspired this unity within the “stones” around him. Initially, the stones operated on a superficial level of consciousness, thus quarreling who will get to lie under Jacob’s head. But Jacob inspired in them a deeper consciousness, allowing them for that night to see themselves as a single stone, even while they were diverse.

In our night of nights, we need Jacob’s who know how to inspire the stones around them with this state of consciousness.

E-mailt he author at: YYJ@algemeiner.org 

~~~~~~

Posted on December 9, 2005
email this article       print this article
Copyright 2005 by algemeiner.com. All rights reserved on text and illustrations