Sunday, February 27, 2011

Midnight wonderings

If they had known about this back in the day, would Reb Yehuda Hanasi have had thirteen years of toothaches taken away?

33 comments:

Mottel said...

A 12:46 AM wondering:
When did Rebbi become Reb?

Certified Ashkenazi said...

A woman in America brings a chicken to a local rabbi to check for kashrus.

— Excuse me, Rabbi Weiss...
— It's Rabbi Dr. Weiss!
— Rabbi, the chicken is already dead...

The Real Shliach said...

Mottel: Perhaps I should have put R'.

CA: Eh?

Certified Ashkenazi said...

I think the new convention is "R."

sarabonne said...

What does a fever, chills, muscle aches and shortness of breath have to do with toothaches?

The Real Shliach said...

CA: Perhaps, but an explanation of your first comment would be even nicer.

Sara: You have to learn to ask the right questions. A little googling should help.

sarabonne said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_haNasi#Talmudic_legends
I still see no reference to toothaches. Care to link?

The Real Shliach said...

We are told that our teacher (R. Yehudah Hanasi) was studying Torah in front of the Babylonian Synagogue in Sepphoris when a calf passed by on its way to be slaughtered. The calf cried out, “save me.” R. Yehudah said to the calf, “What can I do for you? For this you were fashioned.” For his heartlessness, Rebbi was punished with toothaches for thirteen years...At a later time, a creeping thing ran past his daughter. She was about to kill it, when Rabbi said, “My daughter, let it be for it is written, ‘His tender mercies are over all his works.’” Because he prevented an act of cruelty to an animal, Rabbi’s health was restored.

sarabonne said...

Ah.

The Real Shliach said...

Quite.

Anonymous said...

You are a kal. You wouldn't be accepted anywhere out of the kat.

e said...

Don't you see the miracle! Specifically when he came in contact with rodents, his health was restored. Obviously, this was not any natural illness.

The version of the story you quoted is not 100% accurate. Here's the Soncino translation of Baba Metzia 85 (courtesy of the [literal] anti-Semites at come-and-hear.com):

A calf was being taken to the slaughter, when it broke away, hid his head under Rabbi's skirts, and lowed [in terror]. 'Go', said he, 'for this wast thou created.' Thereupon they said [in Heaven], 'Since he has no pity, let us bring suffering upon him.'

'And departed likewise.' How so? — One day Rabbi's maidservant was sweeping the house; [seeing] some young weasels lying there, she made to sweep them away. 'Let them be,' said he to her; 'It is written, and his tender mercies are over all his works.' Said they [in Heaven], 'Since he is compassionate, let us be compassionate to him.'

e said...

subscribing

The Real Shliach said...

e: I was never under any illusions that this was natural pain.

What makes them literal anti-semites?

Regardless, you haven't answered the question.

e said...

Go to http://www.come-and-hear.com/navigate.html and you will see why they are anti-semites.

I'm not interested in answering the question. Your questions is similar to the question "If Odysseus had OnStar, would it take him 20 years to get home?"

The Real Shliach said...

Went there, did not see why.

Still, doesn't it interest you as a self-proclaimed kofer?

e said...

Does Odysseus' OnStar interest me?

They have lots of stuff. Here's just a few examples
http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/index.html#blood
http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/gentile.html
http://www.come-and-hear.com/dilling/dcontents.html

But the sad fact is that if you're looking for an English Gemara online, to the best of my knowledge, they are the only ones.

The Real Shliach said...

This is very different.

Golly sheesh, they are bigots! And pretty weird too.

e said...

why is it different?

The Real Shliach said...

Because the implication is that having rodents in the house is bad hygiene, not to mention potentially fatal, and if this had been known at the time, would R' Yehuda Hanassi have done what he did?

e said...

My point was that these stories have some theme behind them which is the main point of the story. The practical details are just there to serve the theme. So considering how modern knowledge would change the details is not relevant to understanding the story's theme.

The Real Shliach said...

What are you, some sort of english lit major? Of course the details are relevant! Without them, there is no story. If they're questionable, then the whole them needs to be reexamined. Point is, what kind of divine punishment would be rescinded for something that's potentially dangerous?!

e said...

more importantly, does god really want us to let weasels live in our house? It's been known for long time that rodents do not healthy housemates make. And does god really want us to not take calves to the slaughterer? Those are the questions that the story is meant to inspire (methinks).

e said...

(My condolences are your current infestation.)

The Real Shliach said...

Exactly. Once again we must ask ourselves, what is wanted from us? And we can't just look in the Torah for the answer this time...

Your sentence structure is pretty funny, but thankyou.

sarabonne said...

Get a cat. Less pressure on your part.

The Real Shliach said...

le7 (hachoo!)

sarabonne said...

Hairless cat? (you could name her Satmar Lady.)

e said...

Did I tell y'all about my brother-in-law's mouse-killing prowess? I must have, because I tell anyone any time the topic of mice comes up.

sarabonne said...

nu, nu...

Certified Ashkenazi said...

It takes me only a second to kill a mouse. And under a minute to remove the brain.

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: Charming thought.

e: Is he in the neighborhood?

CA: Well, you always have a standing invitation...

sarabonne said...

Time for a new post.