A Little Milk, Two Sugars

That’s the way most people drink their coffee – not too weak not too strong. But when you need to stay awake before or after a trying day, many people take their coffee black - straight up, nothing added.
As youngsters, we make it so weak all that is left is the flavor of coffee, sometimes you can’t even tell that it’s coffee. How do we do that? It’s all in the milk- the more you add, the more diluted the coffee.
The land of Israel is bounded by three bodies of water – the Mediterranean, Lake Kinneret (also known as the Sea of Galilee) and the Dead Sea.
The Mediterranean is one of the seven seas that envelop the earth. The Kinneret is land locked – it gets its water from the rain that flows into it from its tributaries. The Kinneret provides the life giving water that is used by Israel and its neighbors. The overflow empties into the famous Jordan, known since Biblical times as the river that separates Israel from its eastern neighbor of the same name.
The Jordan empties into the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is just that. Dead. It has the highest concentration of salt of any sea in the world. It does not and cannot support life. Not fish. Not fauna. Not human.
So here’s the thing.
When you add more milk to the coffee, eventually the coffee taste disappears and its all milk. Why is it that sparkling, clear water has been flowing into the Dead Sea for thousands of years (or millions if you prefer) and yet – it’s still dead? Why didn’t it lose its “taste” of salt?
Leave it to the Holy Land to provide us with a holy lesson.
The Kinneret receives from others and gives to others. It is sweet and life-giving. The Dead Sea only receives. It has no outlet. It never gives of itself. Hence the name – the DEAD Sea.
When you give, you’re alive. When you don’t then, well, maybe it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

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by   Max Anteby

Comments icon June 27, 2012


By allan on June 29, 2012 -- 6:46pm

That’s a deep concept. Interestingly, the Dead Sea was pre-dated by the city of Sedom. I believe they had a similiar problem; only taking in and never giving out. Their existence too couldn’t be sustained…

By rabbiyyrubinstein on March 3, 2013 -- 5:52pm

I was devastated to come to you site and discover there are no lectures by my personal hero, Rabbi Y Y Rubinstein. Why is that? Are you anti-Scottish. Are you happy with the mundane content you have at present. Don’t you love me any more? Please explain the gaping omission.

By Scarlett on August 11, 2013 -- 5:31am

The Dead Sea actually has an excessively high salinity for a few reasons. Your reason is one of them, in a manner of speaking. It only takes in water, the only water loss comes from evaporation, which leaves behind the salt content. This accumulates. 35 different mineral salts are present in high quantities in the Dead Sea. The only living organisms that can survive in it are simple microbes, plants and animals will die from exposure, hence the name “Dead Sea”. Humans, however, will bathe in it, use it’s mud for mud baths, and harvest the salts for therapeutic uses.

By Cris Cocos on January 6, 2015 -- 7:34pm

Should one give with the expectation of receiving later on?

Note - A cup of coffee does sound good right now.

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