Sunday, September 22, 2019

"Making modest changes" (Adapted from sermon from Rosh HaShanah eve 2018)

Last November, the record was set in Israel for the most expensive document ever to be sold at auction in Israel.


The story of that document starts nearly 100 years ago. In 1922, Albert Einstein had recently learned that he had won the Nobel Prize. He had a previously scheduled lecture in Tokyo, so in Tokyo he was receiving numerous letters and telegrams congratulating him on winning the Nobel Prize. Someone had sent him a package, so a bellboy from the hotel came up to deliver the package to Einstein, who looked in his pocket to find some change to give as a tip to the bellboy. But he didn’t have any.
So he told the bellboy instead: “Let me write you a note. Maybe someday it will become more valuable than a regular tip. And if not, then well I’m just giving you some good advice from my experience.” So he wrote, in German, on the Japanese hotel stationery, these words:


“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”