Random Quote #63 topic: hebraic, Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and Kabbala

Alexander of Macedon proposed ten queries to the elders of the
south:--"Which are more remote from each other, the heavens from the
earth or the east from the west?" They answered, "The east is more
remote from the west, for when the sun is either in the east or in the
west, any one can gaze upon him; but when the sun is in the zenith or
heaven, none can gaze at him, he is so much nearer." The Mishnaic
Rabbis, on the other hand, say they are equidistant; for it is written
(Ps. ciii. 11, 12), "As the heavens are from the earth, ... so is the
east removed from the west." Alexander then asked, "Were the heavens
created first or was the earth?" "The heavens," they replied, "for it is
said, 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.'" He then
asked, "Was light created first or was darkness?" They replied, "This is
an unanswerable question." They should have answered darkness was
created first, for it is said, "And the earth was without form and void,
and darkness was upon the face of the deep," and after this, "And God
said, Let there be light, and there was light."

THE TALMUD, _Tamid._, fol. 31, col. 2.


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