OLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLES?
Rabbi Yossi Bar Yehuda, the man from Kefar haBavli says, "One who learns from the young is like one who eats unripe grapes and drinks wine straight from the wine press. One who learns from the old is like one who eats mature grapes, and drinks aged wine."
Rabbi Meir says, "Don't look at the container, but look at what's inside. One can have a new container that is filled with old wine, or an old container that does not have even new wine."
Your Values Of Our Fathers Navigator
1. Can the young ever be seen as old?
2. Is experience only a matter of quantity?
3. How can a "new container" have old wisdom, if wisdom is based on experience?
4. Whose opinion resonates with your experience, Rabbi Yossi Bar Yehuda's or Rabbi Meir's?
Rabbi Yossi says that age is an essential prerequisite for a truly seasoned teacher. Rabbi Meir says one should not get hung up on age for it is possible, in some circumstances, to be on the fast track to wisdom. The wine can be old even if the container is nearly new.
It is true that with age that a remarkable and remarkably young container will only improve, but we should not be denied the gifts merely because those gifts will be greater in the future.