Translated from the French by Rosmarie Waldrop
"A fact harmless in itself may sometimes
be at the origin of considerable events.
"We never notice right away. This is
my first lesson.
"As for the second: There is no human
discovery that is not mostly a profound manifestation of divine
humor," wrote Reb Gazi.
And Reb Bittar: "What a sense of humor:
God hides us from ourselves so that one day our most natural gestures
may astonish us."
"The greatest of our learned men
were humorists," said Reb Botton. And added: "Living in
a state of sanctity may mean pushing humor all the way to its negation,
which is another form of humor."
"All choice is humorous. All creation,
a wager of humor," wrote Reb Aris.
me an example of God's humor."
me an example of man's humor."
wrote Reb Nassif.
"'The first mark in space was a mark
of humor. What will be the last, the cruelest?' asked Reb Amhat
of Reb Zahar.
the latter replied, 'an invisible point.'
"And he told the story of a man who
one night talked so long with God that his face kept to his death
the same malicious smile, a reflection of his infinite knowledge,"
reported Reb Assoud.
these tears, no doubt to slake our thirst for humor . . .,"
Reb Aris wrote also.
from The Book of Resemblances II, by Edmond Jabès,
translated from the French by Rosmarie Waldrop, published by Wesleyan