I came late to sushi. It wasn’t until a trip to visit my brother who was living in Tokyo that I really came to enjoy it and seek it out. Conveyor belt sushi can do that to a person. In the United States I found that we add another ritual to sushi that is not native to Japan. At the end of the meal fortune cookies come with the bill and often, orange sections. Though not authentic, it is a nice way to end a meal. Something small and sweet and a pithy thought.
Over the years I’ve saved the occasional fortune, especially the one that came at the end of a meal shared with a rabbinic colleague, at which we discussed our views on the World to Come. I was pro and he was con.
“You are headed for a place of sunshine,” it read. Argument settled.
Pretty hard to top that until this week when I met another friend for sushi and Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav turned up. After reading countless fortunes from Confucius and other unnamed and unknown thinkers imagine my surprise to find a Rabbinic text at the end of the meal. I cracked open my fortune cookie only to find this, “The whole world is a narrow bridge but the most important thing is to not be afraid.”
My friend started singing the tune she had learned at Camp Ramah, “Kol ha olam kulo gesher tzar me’od, ve ha ikar lo lefakhed clal.” I laughed and pocketed the fortune to add to my collection.
What’s the strangest place you’ve found a quote from Jewish sources?