The Chosen Quotes
I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.
As you grow older you will discover that the most important things that will happen to you will often come as a result of silly things, as you call them --"ordinary things" is a better expression. That is the way the world is.
You can listen to silence, Reuven. I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. It talks to me sometimes. I feel myself alive in it. It talks. And I can hear it. ... You have to want to listen to it, and then you can hear it. It has a strange, beautiful texture. It doesn't always talk. Sometimes - sometimes it cries, and you can hear the pain of the world in it. It hurts to listen to it then. But you have to.
A man is born into this world with only a tiny spark of goodness in him. The spark is God, it is the soul; the rest is ugliness and evil, a shell. The spark must be guarded like a treasure, it must be nurtured, it must be fanned into flame. It must learn to seek out other sparks, it must dominate the shell. Anything can be a shell, Reuven. Anything. Indifference, laziness, brutality, and genius. Yes, even a great mind can be a shell and choke the spark.
I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life.
Reuven listen to me. The Talmud says that a person should do two things for himself. One is to acquire a teacher. Do you remember the other." "Choose a friend," I said. "Yes. You know what a friend is, Reuven? A Greek philosopher said that two people who are true friends are like two bodies with one soul." I nodded. "Reuven, if you can, make Danny Saunders your friend." "I like him a lot, abba." "No. Listen to me. I am not talking about only liking him. I am telling you to make him your friend and to let him make you his friend.
He taught them that the purpose of a man is to make his life holy--every aspect of his life: eating, drinking praying, sleeping. God is everywhere, he told them, and if it seems at times that He is hidden from us, it is only because we have not yet learned to seek Him correctly.
I went away and cried to the Master of the Universe, "What have you done to me? A mind like this I need for a son? A heart I need for a son, a soul I need for a son, compassion I want from my son, righteousness, mercy, strength to suffer and carry pain, that I want from my son, not a mind without a soul!.
We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye? . . .I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something.
Honest differences of opinion should never be permitted to destroy a friendship, he told me. "Haven't you learned that yet, Reuven?.
Reuven, as you grow older you will discover that the most important thing that will happen to you will often come as a result of silly things, as you call them- "ordinary things" is a better expression. That is the way the world is.