In a previous post (Stop the War) I wrote about the practice of Nevermind, the rare ability to let go of a strongly held position, which for me is epitomized by Liz’s classic retort “in that case, I disagree with my previous statement!”
Staying with the motif, today I offer this story from the Well of the World.
Two men came to the village rabbi with a dispute. What was the dispute about? The details have long been forgotten, but this much of the story remains. First one of the villagers made his case, explaining the ‘facts’ in great detail. The rabbi wrinkled his brow, stroked his beard, thought hard and replied, “ You’re absolutely right!”
Then it was the other man’s turn. He came forward made his case, refuted his adversary point by point, then anxiously awaited the rabbi’s judgement. Again, there was the furrowed brow, again whiskers were tugged, and a judgement was rendered. “You’re absolutely right!” said the rabbi.
It so happened that on that day, the rabbi’s wife was listening to the whole affair from the next room. “Rabbi, what kind of justice is this? These men argue two sides of the question, their positions are completely opposed. They can’t both be right.” Again the rabbi retreated into deep thought. “Aha!” he exclaimed. “You’re absolutely right!
Was the rabbi a fool, a charlatan or a wise man? You’re absolutely right!