... Dedicated to Andrei...
- Next week, I am having lunch with a funny redhead that is converting to Judaism.
- Today, in a meeting, I was asked by one of my managers why documentation is less valued in Agile.
- Yesterday, a friend asked me to blog more.
What's the connection? sit back and enjoy a fable...
- Important: this is BY NO MEANS a post about Judaism or religion, though not religious, the belief-set I feel closest to is taoism, so read it as a taoist tale...
Origin: (you can skip it...)On another occasion it happened that a certain non-Jew came before Shammai and said to him, “I will convert to Judaism, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.” Shammai chased him away with the builder's tool that was in his hand. He came before Hillel and said to him, "Convert me." Hillel said to him, “What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary; go and learn it.” [AJWS translation]
Once upon a time, in the far away land of Israel (or elsewhere), there were two schools of Judaism, with a very different approach:
- The house of Shammai, a very strict and righteous school, whose center is the head. Guarding Judaism like a precious stone. lots of processes and rituals, and whose default answer to anything is No, unless proven otherwise (Let's call him the house of Control-centered Project-Management...)
- The house of Hillel, a very promiscuous school, whose center is the heart, one that in case of a doubt says Yes. (Agile, anyone?)
But he doesn't want to study for a lifetime just to find it was a waste of time (would you?)
So, this poor chap searches for someone smart and serious to explain what is this Torah (the documentation of Judaism?), so he understands and can decide what to do...
- He arrives to the house of the distinguishes wise-man Shammai, knocks on the door, and once (grumpy - I guess) Rabbi Shammai himself opens the door, he asks him for something very strange...
"Could you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot?"
(This part always makes me smile - it is like the Koan of the sound of one hand clapping)
And the answer he received is... He is being chased away with a broom...
He doesn't give up, there is another house just around the corner,the house of Hillel.
-Again, a frap on the door, again the door opens,
This time, it is opened by old-Hillel himself..
And again - the Koan is given: "Could you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot?"
--- What happens now never ceases to amaze me ---
He receives a two (I imagine, even, three) part answer:
0. (I imagine) a big reassuring smile.
1. "What you hate being done to you, don't do to your fellow (wo)men"
2. "The rest is just commentary, now go and read it."
- Once you are spoken to with a smile, and once you know what it is about, the rest is 'just' details, enjoy it as you want.
Or, while we value documentation, we value a clear, sincere, and respectful intention more.
(*) If you write a comment, note - the google beast sometime swallows it without a trace, like it did to the previous version of this post, please keep it to re-publish...
Your scrum'em bear!