Missing the Obvious from Judaism
By Nachum Mohl
Sometimes some of the most profound thoughts can be expressed in a joke. Humorous stories and anecdotes have a way of penetrating into the heart and mind of the listener. Here we present a humorous story with a deep moral.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson go camping, and pitch their tent under the stars.
During the night, Holmes wakes his companion and says: "Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you can deduce."
Watson says: "I see millions of stars, and even if a few of those have planets, it's quite likely there are some planets like Earth, and if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life."
WAIT -- BEFORE YOU READ WHAT HOLMES REPLIED, READ AGAIN FROM THE BEGINNING AND GUESS WHAT HOLMES REPLIED.
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Holmes replies: "Watson, you idiot. Somebody stole our tent ..."
This is considered by many to be a very humorous story. What is the point? Dr. Watson, the intelligent friend of Sherlock Holmes, missed the obvious, and you, the intelligent reader also missed the obvious. This was humorous, we really lost nothing, but so too, we realized our lacking. For us, as intelligent individuals should have realized that they had lain down to sleep in a tent; how could they have seen the stars?
But let us continue in that vein.
It is always easier to see what is in front of us than to notice that which is missing. All of the physical attractions of the world are "dangled" in front of our eyes. We see the new cars on the roads, we see the latest fashions on others, we see all of the advertizements. What don't we see? What we don't see is what is missing - our own spirituality!
How many Jews come into this world and miss the obvious? Each Jew has a ticket entitling him to a fortune. He can use it or discard it. The world and all of its urgencies and attractions vie for his attention. A small item like Jewish heritage can soon be overlooked.
Investigate and see what is available in this world, before you get to the next world and they ask you what you did here. You may be shocked to hear that the material achievements will not come with you.
from the January 2002 Edition of the Jewish Magazine