After the children had performed at KAM Isaiah Israel, Simeon Maslin who was the Rabbi at the temple read us a short piece to thank us for entertaining. I was so struck and moved by its beautiful simplicity and truth that I asked him for a copy of it. He gladly obliged. I read and re-read it at least twenty times that day and hundreds of times since then and would like to share it with you.
Our rabbis taught us:
There are two seas in Israel. Both are fed by the waters of the River Jordan.
The first is a jealous mistress. She receives water but refuses to yield any in return. Here there is no splash of fish nor will birds fly overhead. The women and children shun her shores and neither man nor animal will drink from her. Her name is the Dead Sea.
The second sea is as unlike her sister as the day is from the night. As she receives water from the river she yields back an equal amount. Fishermen load their boats with the fish that thrive within her and the air above is filled with the constant movement of birds. The women come down to wash their clothes as their children play and swim in her life-giving waters. Her name is the Sea of Galilee.
There are two kinds of seas in Israel.
There are two kinds of people in the world.
Today Gracie and I brought Spenser home. For the final time he got to be co-pilot, his ashes resting next to me on the passenger seat.
As I drove, the story of “The Two Seas” ran through my head and I thought – how strange.
Humans are complex – we come in two varieties.
Dogs come only in one.