Episode 21 - Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries
Talk given at Parklands (Manchester, UK) on 26th February 1978.
There was a Hassid Rabbi; the most wise man that has ever appeared on this globe. He was so wise all his disciples hung on his lips. When he was dying and getting weaker and weaker his disciples asked, “Oh most worthy and wise rabbi that ever lived, will you please, please tell us, is there some super message that you have not revealed to us? Have you got something tremendously important that you have kept secret, as wise men do, until on your deathbed and not before, you will reveal it?"
And he looked very seriously at them and then said, “Yes, I have...there is one thing. If you must have a message most important in the whole of my teaching it is this. LIFE IS A BOWL OF CHERRIES.” Saying which he fell back on the pillow. His disciples flashed this throughout the globe, immediately to all the wise men in all the synagogues and schules in Bowdon, Hale, New York, Omsk, Minsk, Tomsk, throughout all the Jewish world. They flashed it by radio and by ‘phone and by telex and by satellite, and they began to meditate and they meditated very fast because he hadn’t long to live. They meditated very hard but they could not find out what it meant. So, they wired back, by the same procedures, radios telephones, telexes, satellites and they came back, “Quick, rush to the rabbi and tell him we have had this most wonderful message but we have not been able to solve its riddle. We cannot understand it. Please ask him what he has to say about it.” So they told him immediately. And, he looked at them and said, “So, you don’t understand, life is like a bowl of cherries. Well, I’m dying and I am so weak, I can hardly say now. So what am I going to say to you if you don’t understand it? Life is not like a bowl of cherries,” and then he died.
What did the most wise rabbi mean?
A transcript is available at www.eugene-halliday.net.