The monk Tetsugen had a dream: to publish a book in Japanese, containing all the sacred verses. Determined to transform this dream into reality, he began to travel the country in order to raise the necessary money.
However, just as he had managed to get together enough money to begin work on the project, the river Uji flooded, provoking a catastrophe of gigantic proportions. When he saw the victims of the flood, Tetsugen resolved to spend all the money he had collected on relieving the sufferings of the people.
Afterwards, he resumed his struggle to make his dream come true: he went from door to door, he visited the various islands of Japan, and once more he managed to raise the money he needed. When he returned, exultant, to Edo, a cholera epidemic was sweeping the country. Again, the monk used the money to treat the sick and to help the families of the dead.
Undeterred, he returned to his original project. He set off again and, nearly twenty years later, he published seven thousand copies of the sacred verses.
They say that Tetsugen actually published three separate editions of the sacred texts, but the first two are invisible.
A man said to a friend:
'You talk about God as if you knew him personally, down to the colour of his eyes. Why do you need to create something to believe in? Can't you live without that?'
His friend replied:
'Do you have any idea how the Universe was created? Can you explain the miracle of life?'
'Everything around us is the result of chance. Things just happen.'
'Exactly. Well, "Things just happen" is merely another name for God.'
On his deathbed, Jacob summoned his wife, Sarah, to his side.
'Dear Sarah, I want to make my will. To my first-born, Abraham, I am going to leave half of my estate. He is, after all, a man of faith.'
'Oh, don't do that, Jacob! Abraham doesn't need all that money, he's got his own business; besides, he has faith in our religion. Leave it to Isaac, who is in such turmoil about whether or not God exists, and who has still not found his way in the world.'
'All right, I'll leave it to Isaac. And Abraham can have my shares.'
'Like I said, dear Jacob, Abraham doesn't need anything. I'll have the shares and I can always help out the children as and when.'
'You're quite right, Sarah. Now about the land we own in Israel. I think I'll leave it to Deborah.'
'To Deborah! Are you mad, Jacob? She's already got land in Israel. Do you want to make her into a businesswoman and ruin her marriage? I think our daughter Michele is much more in need of help.'
Mustering his last ounce of strength, Jacob sat up indignantly.
'My dear Sarah, you have been an excellent wife, an excellent mother, and I know you want the best for each of your children, but, please show some respect for my opinion. After all, who's dying here, you or me?'