A young skeptic, wishing to test the wisdom of a seer, held his closed fist before the venerated man.

“What have I in my hand?” the youth asked.

“A butterfly,” was the answer.

“Is it alive or dead?” queried the youth.

The old man knew that the youth was sporting with him. If he replied dead, the youth would open his hand and let the butterfly fly away. If he replied alive, the youth would close his fist and crush the creature.

The seer replied, “It is in your hands – whatever you wish to make of it.”

—Heard at a Bar-Mitzva in South Africa

“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t – you are usually right.”

“When every other element is out of your control, remember that you can still manage your reaction.”

“Money is fire. It can destroy and annihilate, or illuminate and warm, depending on how it is used.”
—Rabbi Elimelech of Lizensk