Wednesday, 09 May 2012

Never satisfied

by GYE (See all authors)

An interesting story / parable from the Talmud Tamid 32b

As he (Alexander the Great) was traveling he sat by a spring and began to eat. He had with him some salted fish, and as they were being washed by the spring they gave off a pleasant fragrance; [alternate version: they came back to life]. So he said: This shows that this spring comes from the Garden of Eden. Some say that he took some of the water and washed his face with it; others say that he climbed up the trail that led to the source of the spring until he came to the gate of Gan Eden. He cried out: Open the gate for me! They replied: "This is the gateway to G-d the righteous shall enter through it (Psalms 118:20). He replied: I am a king! I am an important personage. [If you don't admit me, at least] give me something [from Gan Eden]. They gave him an eyeball. He went and weighed all his silver and gold against it, and it did not weigh as much [as the eyeball]. He said to the Rabbis: How is this possible? They replied: It is the eyeball of a human being, [and the human eye] is never satisfied (that is why it weighs more than all your wealth). They took a little dust and covered the eyeball, [meaning: man continues to hoard silver and gold until he is in the grave, covered by dust], and immediately the eyeball was weighed down. And so it says, (Proverbs 27:20) "Sheol and Avaddon are never full; and the eyes of man are never satisfied".