Every year, on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, various synagogue members are invited to ascend the bima and give a reading, from a poet or writer of repute, a meaningful legend or fable, or just a few words from the heart.
Franz Kafka never gave a reading on Rosh Hashana.
But if he had, this is what he would have said. (And did say, in other contexts.)
One day a leopard came stalking into the synagogue, roaring and lashing its tail. Three weeks later, it had become part of the liturgy.
If we knew we were on the right road, having to leave it would mean endless despair. But we are on a road that only leads to a second one and then to a third one and so forth. And the real highway will not be sighted for a long, long time, perhaps never.
So we drift in doubt. But also in an unbelievable beautiful diversity.
Thus the accomplishment of hope remains an always unexpected miracle. But in compensation, the miracle remains forever possible.
[So] don’t despair, not even over the fact that you don’t despair. Just when everything seems over with, new forces come marching up, and this is precisely how you know that you are alive.