There once was a powerful Japanese emperor who needed a new chief
samurai. So he sent out a declaration throughout the entire known
world that he was searching for a chief.
A year passed, and only three people applied for the very demanding
position: a Japanese samurai, a Chinese samurai, and a Jewish
The emperor asked the Japanese samurai to come in and demonstrate why
he should be the chief samurai. The Japanese samurai opened a
matchbox, and out popped a bumblebee. Whoosh! went his sword. The
bumblebee dropped dead, chopped in half.
The emperor exclaimed, "That is very
impressive!"The emperor then issued the same challenge to the Chinese
samurai, to come in and demonstrate why he should be chosen. The
Chinese samurai also opened a matchbox and out buzzed a fly. Whoosh,
whoosh, whoosh, whoosh! The fly dropped dead, chopped into four small
The emperor exclaimed, "That is very impressive!"
Now the emperor turned to the Jewish samurai, and asked him to
demonstrate why he should be the chief samurai. The Jewish Samurai
opened a matchbox, and out flew a gnat. His flashing sword went
Whoosh! But the gnat was still alive and flying around.
The emperor, obviously disappointed, said, "Very ambitious, but why
is that gnat not dead?"
The Jewish Samurai just smiled and said, "Circumcision is not meant
You are invited to join our Forum
and discuss any issues
pertaining to faith or the search for it.
Your comments are published here instantly.
(To see the current list of
topics your browser must allow Active Content)
Please take a moment to let us know you
Just send us an email to subscribe to our free newsletter.
If you want to talk with someone in person, please feel free to call 212-864-5436
The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and
Executive Director of CrossCurrents.
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here. God and Science (Hypertext Edition,
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion: Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).
Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.