In fact, our core needs are much simpler than all this.We could in fact manage perfectly well with very much less.The Book of Life is brought to you by The School of Life – a global organisation dedicated to developing emotional intelligence.
He owned beautiful villas and magnificent furniture.
But he made a habit of regularly sleeping on the floor of an outhouse and eating only stale bread and drinking lukewarm water.
It would instead do something far kinder – and, incidentally, far more conducive to the kind of courageous, entrepreneurial optimism our societies currently ineptly try to foster.
Our culture would be continually presenting us with charming non-tragic tales of riches to rags stories, stories in which people lost money, partners and social standing but ended up coping really rather well with their new lives.
Bibliolatry is not Jewish Classically, how a Jew read and understood the Bible was regulated by the learned, rabbinical tradition No ignorant Jew, in Spain or Germany or Poland, could pretend, even to himself, that he understood the very Hebrew or Aramaic of the Bible or Talmud as well as a learned Jew Why then did Jews never demand an open—i e, vernacular—Bible with nearly the same vehemence as Christians?
I think the answer is to be found in this that many Christians were persuaded that the priests kept the Bible in Latin to keep it from the people, a priestly monopoly, while Jews knew that at least in principle, it was the ideal and the effort of Jewish society that every (male) Jew should be taught all the sacred literature he could master—and, along the way, the Hebrew and Aramaic in which it was written When modern Jews began to rebel against Hebrew in favor of the vernacular, that was not because they resented a rabbinical monopoly What modern Jews resented, in fact, was that the rabbis wanted Hebrew to be a monopoly The rebels thought that their time, and their children's time, was being wasted by rabbis who wanted everyone to be rabbinically learned, or almost (Actually, the scholars tell us that the first full-length translation of any kind was Jewish the Hebrew Bible into Greek In traditional Jewish Bible editions, the Aramaic version has pride of place next to the Hebrew text It alone shares with the text the distinction of being vocalized, and in square characters)Some years ago Isaiah Berlin revived Archilochus's saying.One of the characteristic flaws of our minds is to exaggerate how fragile we might be; to assume that life would be impossible far earlier than it in fact would be.We imagine that we could not live without a certain kind of income or status or health; that it would be a disaster not to have a certain kind of relationship, house or job.But our picture of what is normal is in fact – very often – way out of line with what is actually true and widespread.Many thoughts, fears and desires that we might assume to be uniquely and disconcertingly strange – and that make us feel painfully ashamed – are in fact completely average.Our lives become dominated by a fear of losing, or never getting, things which we could (in fact) do perfectly well without.