Heaven and Hell

There is an old rabbinic tale: The Lord said to the Rabbi, "Come, I will show you hell."

They entered a room where a group of people sat around a huge pot of stew. Everyone was famished and desperate. Each held a spoon that reached the pot but had a handle so long it could not be used to reach their mouths. The suffering was terrible.

"Come, now I will show you heaven," the Lord said after a while.

They entered another room, identical to the first -- the pot of stew, the group of people, the same long spoons. But there everyone was happy and nourished.

"I don't understand," said the Rabbi. "Why are they happy here when they were miserable in the other room, and everything was the same?"

The Lord smiled, "Ah, but don't you see?" he said. "Here they have learned to feed each other."