How did Rabbi Akiva get started? They said at age 40 he had not even begun to study. Once he was standing at the mouth of the well and said, “Who carved this stone?” They said, “The water that drips constantly every day,” and they also said to him, “Akiva, haven’t you read in the book of Job (14:19), ‘Stones were worn by water.’?” Immediately Rabbi Akiva inferred for himself: Just as the soft water wore down the hard stone, how much the more so can words of Torah, strong as iron, engrave themselves upon my heart of flesh and blood? He immediately returned to study Torah.
This classic legend about the great Rabbi Akiva (great First-Second Century sage and rebel against Rome) invites us to consider water as a metaphor for Torah, or indeed for any goal we may think is “too hard,” or we are “too old” to reach.
Consider and Comment: Is there a small habit you can add each day that will gradually make an impression and change your life, drop by drop?
Featured image: At Rockefeller State Park Preserve, JHD
Enjoy a guide’s perspective on the flow of life, or return to the Gateway of Flowing Water.