Aphorisms by Shalom Freedman

Shalom Freedman has loved aphorisms all his life, and cites some auspicious sources of inspiration in the Jewish wisdom tradition. “The one book which is aphoristic in flavor which struck me earliest on is Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers),” he says. “Also, I return and read again and again in Ecclesiastes (’Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.’)” He is the author of Life as Creation: A Jewish Way of Thinking about the World (Jason Aronson Inc., 1993). His more recent aphoristic inspirations include Lincoln, Kafka, and Borges. “Aphorisms in their density connect in my mind with a certain kind of poetry,” Mr. Freedman says. “Getting there firstest with the mostest meaning.” Here are some of Mr. Freedman’s firstests with the mostests:

‘Virtual’ immortality is now guaranteed to all of us. But no one really knows for how long.

There are just so many things a person can effectively do at one time, probably no more than one.

Atheists are usually not content with denying the existence of God. They feel compelled to prove how much they hate Him.

The purposeless pleasure of endless play is the pointless paradise of meaningless mankind.

The infinite future is more frightening than the finite past.

We are so small we are not even noise for most of the universe.