“Man, this is the life!” I say as I lean back in my empyreanite chair and stretch my legs and arms out as far as they can go. My Talmud is open in front of me, Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” is wafting through the beit midrash, and a cool, balmy breeze wafts through the ether.
My eternal havruta, Shimon Bar Kappara, eyes me from over the top of the large volume of Tractate Sotah that he’s holding up in front of him so as to hide the smaller volume he’s really reading.
“I hate to break this to you,” he says. “But you are neither a man, nor do you have a life.”
“Don’t be such a cynic,” I sigh. “Although I do miss a good cup of really strong Turkish coffee. Nectar just doesn’t do it for me.”
Bar Kappara’s eyes swing left, then right. He reaches into his robe, pulls out a small jar, and pushes it toward me.