During a service at an old synagogue in Eastern Europe, when the Shema prayer was said, half the congregants stood up and half remained sitting. The half that was seated started yelling at those standing to sit down, and the ones standing yelled at the ones sitting to stand up. The rabbi,learned as he was in the Law and commentaries, didn't know what to do. His congregation suggested that he consult a housebound 98 year old man, who was one of the original founders of their temple. The rabbi hoped the elderly man would be able to tell him what the actual temple tradition was, so he went to the nursing home with a representative of each faction of the congregation. The one whose followers stood during Shema said to the old man, "Isn't the tradition to stand during this prayer?" The old man answered, "No, that is not the tradition." The one whose followers sat said, "Then the tradition is to sit during Shema!" The old man answered, "No, that is not the tradition." Then the rabbi said to the old man, "But the congregants fight all the time, yelling at each other about whether they should sit or stand..." The old man interrupted, exclaiming, "THAT is the tradition!"permalink source: Anonymous
The western tradition of crossing the first and second fingers as a way of "attracting" good luck is a holdover from the early history of Christianity, when there was great tension between Christians and non- Christians (called Pagans by early Christians). Early Christians believed that it was important to honor their faith by making the sign of the cross, which is done by touching the body four times. But in the presence of Pagans this act might have given offense or even incited violence. So instead they made a "cross" by unobtrusively crossing their fingers, and many people still do it today. More about all kinds of superstitions: http://home.flash.net/~tinyt/superstitions.html Why is a rabbit's foot thought to be lucky? http://features.LearningKingdom.com/fact/archive/1999/11/01.html Why do people prefer not to walk under ladders? http://features.LearningKingdom.com/fact/archive/1999/12/02.htmlpermalink source: The Learning Kingdom
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.permalink source: Basho Source: Little Zen Companion, Schiller.
[Scripture, tradition and reason are] "not like three different bookshelves, each of which can be ransacked for answers to key questions. Rather, scripture is the bookshelf; tradition is the memory of what people in the house have read and understoodâ€¦from that shelf; and reason is the set of spectacles that people wear in order to make sense of what they read..."permalink source: N.T. Wright, The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture,