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Sounds of Silence


I can still remember when I was about three years old and I was terrified to slide down the “Sputnik”.  The “Sputnik” was this gigantic slide  made from bright coloured metal barrels.  It completely dominated the nursery school playground and for me it loomed like a gigantic monster over the sandpit.  My brother had no fear, he would slide down with glee and not a hint of fear,  but I was petrified.  The mere thought of entering that metal tube would drive me to tears.

I remember visiting the nursery school a few years later, I was perhaps ten years old and I saw a small barreled slide,  its bright colours had faded and it took me a while to realise that this was the terrifying “Sputnik”.  The change that occurred in those few years completely transformed the play ground with its’ overbearing slide.  Or more likely it was the change inside of me.   I wonder what the “Sputnik” looks like now, over 40 years later?  Most probably there is nothing that is left of it.

Thinking about my childhood and “Sputnik”  led me to think about the nature of history and the meaning of time.   It made me realise that time mocks the temporary nature of all that is matter.  Some lasts longer and other quickly dies, but time laughs at it all.

I think about the how long forty years is for me and dear departed “Sputnik”, just a decade short of half of a hundred, a hundred seems like it must be an eternity, two hundred stretches into infinity and three thousand years seems  too long for my internal time machine to measure.  What will be with “Sputnik” in three thousand years time?  Not even a distant memory.

Taking that thought to Pesach made me think “What was the Seder night like three thousand years ago?” The answer is quite shocking, despite perhaps the knaidlach, it was exactly the same.  And if this world would last another three thousand years I know that Seder night will be exactly the same.  The same matza, the same marror and the same magical retelling of the tale of redemption from the Hagadah.

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