Despite instructions, warnings and pleading from the government to abstain from lighting firecrackers, this Festival of Lights, the pleas fell largely on deaf ears. Dense smoke and deafening blasts of crackers bursting, clearly revealed the concerned people we really are.

The allegory of the long spoons is a parable that shows the difference between heaven and hell by means of people forced to eat with long spoons. It is attributed to Rabbi Haim of Romshishok.

In the allegory, a man dies and is given a choice to enter heaven or hell!

An angel, the tale says, showed the man two doors. Inside the first one, in the middle of the room, was a large round table with a large pot of vegetable stew. It smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water, but the people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The angel told him, “You have seen Hell.”

Behind the second door, the room appeared exactly the same. There was the large round table with the large pot of wonderful vegetable stew that made the man’s mouth water. The people had the same long-handled spoons, but they were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The man said, “I don’t understand.”

The angel smiled. “It is simple,” he said, “These people learned early on to share and feed one another.”

Looking at that story, one can compare the large pot of stew to a ‘bowl of healing’ but the only way to reach that bowl, is for the ones round the table to feed the other next to them.

And that is exactly how healing will come during this Covid period. We wear masks to prevent someone else getting the virus. Do we? 

We were told not to burst crackers to help those whose lungs were weak, and others fighting the virus. Did we?

But someday as we lie ‘thin and sickly’ we’ll realize that in not wanting to feed others, others are unwilling to feed us. Not just Covid: I see this in the use of loudspeakers, unwanted sound entering homes that don’t need those messages. Machinery noises from those renovating their homes; mindlessly allowing banging and whining to recklessly affect homes of neighbours, even at odd hours.

But those fireworks made me realize, the vaccine is that long spoon! How we use it, will bring either healing or death for you and me..!

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