In the Same Boat

A group of people are sitting on a boat when suddenly they see a passenger drilling a hole in the floor.  The scream at him and tell him to stop, but he says, “Mind your own business.  This is my seat, and I can do whatever I want to the floor under it.  Am I telling you what to do?  No.  So why don’t you leave me alone?  Live and let live.  That’s my motto.”

From the 2007 Yom Kuppur prayer book, prepared for the children and family’s service, Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia Center City, though I can’t prove it.

“The Tigers and the Strawberry”

A man was walking through a field when he saw a tiger watching him. The man began to run, and the tiger loped after him. He ran faster, and the tiger ran faster. Suddenly there was a cliff ahead, and the man tried to stop, but his heels skidded and he fell.

But on his way down he grabbed a vine, and amazingly, the vine was strong enough to hold him. And he thought: “Maybe I can figure out a way to climb to the bottom, and get away from the tiger.” But then he looked down and saw a second tiger pacing back and forth at the bottom of the cliff, waiting for him.

So he wrapped his legs around the vine and hung on. “Maybe,” he thought, “I can hang here until the tigers get bored and go away.” But then, just out of his reach, he saw two mice come of out of a hole and begin gnawing on the base of the vine that held him up.

The man closed his eyes and began preparing himself for death. But when he opened his eyes again, he saw a luscious red strawberry growing out of the face of the cliff, hanging right next to him. He plucked the strawberry and ate it. It was the most delicious thing he had ever tasted.

From Doug Muder’s blog Free and Responsible Search, “The Story of Our Deaths.”

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