The rabbi took a plane trip across the country with his extended family. After boarding his flight and getting himself settled into his seat, he turned to the person sitting next to him and introduced himself. The passenger responded by telling the rabbi that he was a scientist and was on his way to a conference to study the origins of man. The rabbi said that he traveling with his family and was going on a vacation were he would have the opportunity to study and learn with his grandchildren.(misunderstood, partially because this need not be understood as evolution vs. matan Torah, but rather towards where one is directed.)
Over the course of the flight, the two men continued to engage each other in conversation, arguing the world and everything beyond its borders. Every 15 minutes or so they would be interrupted, however, by one of the rabbi's grandchildren, who were sitting at the other end of the plane. One by one, each would gently ask, “Zaidee [grandfather] can I help you? Is there anything you need?
Finally, as the plane was preparing to land, the scientist looked at the rabbi and exclaimed, “Rabbi, how is it that your grandchildren have so much respect for you? I am lucky if my grandkids call me once a week. Yours come visit you every few minutes!!”
The rabbi then turned to the bewildered gentleman and, pausing for effect, explained, “You see, when my grandchildren see me, they see someone who is one step closer to Sinai. When your grandchildren see you, all they look at is someone one step closer to a monkey!!”
Anyhow, what got me thinking about this story is exactly where this story will fail -- namely, in Kolkata. Citing the Reuters story:
Thousands of people are flocking to an impoverished Indian village in eastern West Bengal state to worship a man they believe possesses divine powers because he climbs up trees in seconds, gobbles up bananas and has a "tail."
Devotees say 27-year-old villager Chandre Oraon is an incarnation of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman -- worshipped by millions as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion.Read it all.
We could rewrite the story with these Indian visitors who pay respect to the professor rather than to the rabbi.