The Chinese Bamboo Parable Video

Let’s start by saying I like this video.  I think it’s worth watching.

The Big Idea is that sometimes progress is small; incremental.  Sometimes big changes happen over the course of years, not weeks, so we can’t get frustrated with ourselves for seemingly being in the same place this Rosh Hashanah as we were last year.  It’s all true.

But to my cynical mind, it seems like this video is a pat on the back for complacency.  “Yay, you!  You haven’t made great strides Jewishly, but at least you feel kinda bad about it.  And maybe this coming year will be the year you grow 60 feet in five weeks.”

I know you’re not supposed to wallow, and feeling good is a great thing.  But I guess I expected more from a kiruv organization.  Not hellfire, maybe.  Not brimstone (whatever that is).  But doesn’t this kind of fly in the face of “if you’re not constantly moving up, you’re sliding down?”

I guess I expected more than I’d get from the feel-good sermon of just about every Conservative shul I’ve ever been to.

It occurs to me now – is it because it’s Chinese bamboo?  Not that I’m racist, but is it pandering to the new-age, Eastern-centric mindset with its faux-zen meditativeness and still shots of giant looming bamboo groves?  Bamboo is very zen.  Is

Now go watch the video.



  1. did my first comment go thru!? argh.

    I used this story last year in a sermon about instant gratification. It was called "Prayer in a Twitter World." :-)

    Then someone told me that the whole story about the bamboo is actually inaccurate in some way but I couldn't find any verification of that anywhere.

    I thought this was a little un-aish-like - a little too "lite" as it were for them. But it certainly appealed to a large audience....


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