CLERGY CORNER: A bus of politicians

Posted on 31 January 2018 by LeslieM

A busload of politicians were driving down a country road, when suddenly the bus ran off the road and crashed into an old farmer’s barn. The old farmer got off his tractor and went to investigate. Soon, he dug a hole and buried the politicians. A few days later, the local sheriff came out, saw the crashed bus and asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone. The old farmer told him he had buried them.

The sheriff asked the old farmer, “Lordy, were they ALL dead?”

The old farmer said, “Well, some of them said they weren’t, but you know how the crooked politicians lie.”

Einstein Lost His Ticket

Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist of the last generation who was also somewhat absent minded, was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn’t there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn’t find it.

The conductor said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.”

Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

The conductor rushed back and said, “Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are. No problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.”

Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.”

Friends, it is hard to trust politicians. And today many of us wonder, like Professor Einstein, where we are heading.

Splitting the Atom

The Lubavitcher Rebbe argued that discovery of atomic power must change the way we think—about ourselves, our potential and our responsibility toward our environment.

Atoms — those particles that make up the core of all matter, making up everything we see, touch, smell, and taste — are beyond tiny. A single human hair is about as thick as 500,000 carbon atoms stacked over each other. Your fist contains trillions and trillions of atoms. If one atom was as big as a marble how big would your fist be? About the size of the earth! Or, to put it in other words, all atoms of humanity can fit into a teaspoon. Go figure!

You’d have to be crazy to speculate that as tiny a particle as an atom can have an impact, never mind one that can alter the face of earth. It would seem as foolish as one can get far more absurd than telling me that an ant crawling on my porch will transform civilization.

But that is exactly what we discovered in the 20th Century. As Einstein demonstrated in 1905, there is a huge amount of energy in an atom. When an atom is split, the energy is released, creating a “chain reaction,” splitting more and more atoms, releasing more and more energy. The Manhattan Project successfully used this energy to create nuclear bombs, which devastated Japan and ended the Second World War.

Unlocking the secrets of the atom, fundamentally changed how humans interacted with nature, and created a whole new set of challenges facing humanity. But it also uncovered a vital truth. The tiniest atom, which can’t even be seen by the eye, can generate a reaction that can literally destroy the world! And if this is true of the power to destroy, which runs contrary to the design and purpose of the universe, how much more so when the power is invested positively: Even the tiniest soul can transform the world.

Rabbi Tzvi Dechter is the director of Chabad of North Broward Beaches, located in the Venetian Isle Shopping Center at 2025 E. Sample Rd. in Lighthouse Point. For all upcoming events, please visit www.JewishLHP.com.

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