Tales : The buttered bread

It happened once upon a time, in the little village of Chelm, that a woman preparing food for her family, happened to drop a piece of buttered bread – and to her great astonishment it landed on the floor butter side up. As it is a well established principle of physics that buttered bread must always land butter side down, she realised that this was a moment of great significance, one that might have been sent by the Almighty to guide the faithful in some important matter – but what could be message hidden in this event?

Finding herself unable to answer the question with any certainty, she took the problem to the wise scholars in the synagogue. Having been endowed by the Creator with an exceptional quantity of wisdom and good sense, as they themselves would admit in all humility, they felt certain that they could find the meaning in the mystery of the fallen bread.

The wise brothers of Chelm told the problem very seriously. For three days they fasted, prayed and had long conversations about the event. Then, they summoned the woman to deliver their judgment.

“Sister,” they said to her, “The order of the universe has not been disturbed. The problem is that you buttered the wrong side of the bread.”

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