ARTICLES

FINDING HAPPINESS IN A BOTTLE

RABBI JONNY ROSS

Dec 1, 2006
A good friend of mine once told me of an interesting encounter he had with the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, who was responsible for the book: “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Dr. Thompson called a conference of students in one of the universities in America and crammed about 200 students into a very small room. He hosted a question and answer session and had next to him a bag of miniature bottles of aftershaves, which he threw out to whomever he felt had asked a real cracker of a question. After a while, my friend raised his hand and asked: “Dr. Thompson, where can we find Greatness today?” Dr. Thompson paused for a moment, then took one of the aftershave bottles and drank it! Whereupon he threw the entire bag at my friend and walked out.
 
My theory is that instead of avoiding his question, he answered it. He drank the aftershave. To him, that was greatness. Doing whatever I like, however I like and no-one’s gonna stop me. The more wacky and outlandish I am, the greater I become.
What is Judaism’s concept of Greatness?
 
The Talmud relates a story of a great Rabbi who while walking in the marketplace met Elijah the Prophet. He asked Elijah “Who in this marketplace is destined for a place in the World to Come?” Elijah pointed out two brothers. The Rabbi asked them what was their business and they replied, “We are comedians and we cheer up people who are depressed”. 
 
Why were these people considered to be great? Is every stand up comedian guaranteed a place in Heaven? No!
 
These two brothers used the gift of happiness to alleviate other people’s pain.
Greatness comes when we use our talents which have been given to us by our Creator for the good, to be the best we can be and to affect those who are around us positively.

TAGS for this article: Happiness | Comedians