Wednesday, July 21, 2010


1) From “Strait is the Gate,” by Andre Gide (1909)

“I have torn up all the pages that seemed to me to be well written. (I know what I mean by this.) I ought to have torn up all those in which there was any question of him. I ought to have torn them all up. I could not.

“And already, because I tore up those few pages, I had a little feeling of pride… a pride that I should laugh at if my heart were not so sick.

“It really seemed as though I had done something meritorious, and as though what I had destroyed had been of some importance!”

2) From “The Way of Man,” by Martin Buber (1950)

“A hasid of the Rabbi of Lublin once fasted from one Sabbath to the next. On Friday afternoon he began to suffer such cruel thirst that he thought he would die. He saw a well, went up to it, and prepared to drink. But instantly he realized that because of the one brief hour he had still to endure, he was about to destroy the work of the entire week. He did not drink and went away from the well. Then he was touched by a feeling of pride for having passed this difficult test. When he became aware of it, he said to himself, ‘Better I go and drink then let my heart fall prey to pride.’ He went back to the well, but just as he was going to bend down to draw water, he noticed that his thirst had disappeared. When the Sabbath had begun, he entered his teacher’s house. ‘Patchwork!’ the rabbi called to him, as he crossed the treshhold.”

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