Monday, September 30, 2013

On A Talmudical Story

In The Tablet, Adam Kirsch writes:

Oshaya once argued this very point with a Roman: If the Romans had not managed to annihilate the Jews after so many years, it was not because they were well-disposed to the Jews, but “because you do not know how to do it.”

To which the Roman responded: “I swear by Gappa, god of the Romans, with this we lie down and with this we rise up.” That is, the Roman admitted that his people think of nothing else, morning and night, than how to exterminate the Jews.

As related

The actual text at Pesachim 87B (p. 294 here) reads:

R. Oshaia said: What is meant by the verse, Even the righteous acts of His Ruler in Israel? [Judge 5:11]  The Holy One, blessed be He, showed righteousness [mercy] unto Israel by scattering them among the nations. And this is what a certain sectarian said to R. Hanina, ‘We are better than you. Of you it is written, For Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom; [I Kings 11:16] whereas you have been with us many years yet we have not done anything to you!’ Said he to him, ‘If you agree, a disciple will debate it with you.’ [Thereupon] R. Oshaia debated it with him, [and] he said to him,’ [The reason is] because you do not know how to act. If you would destroy all, they are not among you. [Should you destroy] those who are among you, then you will be called a murderous kingdom!’ Said he to him, ‘By the Capitol of Rome! with this [care] we lie down and with this [care] we get up.

I wonder with what do the Pals. go to bed in the evening and arise in the morning.



Eliezer Pennywhistler said...

It seems like a decent paraphrasical summary, especially considering his space requirements.


YMedad said...

decent? why paraphrase?

Pals. = "Palestinians"