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

Quite apropos to this we glean the following from Rashi:--A fox
once induced a wolf to enter a Jewish dwelling to help the
inmates to get ready the Sabbath meal. No sooner did he enter
than the whole household set upon him, and so belabored him with
cudgels that he was obliged to flee for his life. For this trick
the wolf was indignant at the fox, and sought to kill him, but
he pacified him with the remark, "They would not have beaten
thee if thy father had not on a former occasion belied
confidence, and eaten up the choicest pieces that were set aside
for the meal." "What!" rejoined the wolf, "the fathers have
eaten sour grapes, and shall the children's teeth be set on
edge?" "Well," interrupted the fox, "come with me now and I will
show thee a place where thou mayest eat and be satisfied." He
thereupon took him to a well, across the top of which rested a
transverse axle with a rope coiled round it, to each extremity
of which a bucket was attached. The fox, entering the bucket,
which happened to be at the top, soon descended by his own
weight to the bottom of the well, and thereby raised the other
bucket to the top. On the wolf inquiring at the fox why he had
gone down there, he replied, because he knew there was meat and
cheese to eat and be satisfied, in proof of which he pointed to
a cheese, which happened to be the reflection of the moon on the
water. Upon which the wolf inquired, "And how am I to get down
beside you?" The fox replied, "By getting into the bucket at the
top." He did as directed, and as he descended the bucket with
the fox rose to the top. The wolf in this plight again appealed
to the fox. "But how am I to get out?" The reply was, "The
righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in
his stead;" and is it not written, "Just balances just weights?"

When Rabbi Eliezer, on his deathbed, taught Rabbi Akiva three hundred
particulars to be observed in regard to the white spot covered with hair
which was the sign of leprosy, the former lifted up his arms and placed
them on his chest and exclaimed, "Woe is me, because of these my two
arms, these two scrolls of the law, that are about to depart from this
world; for if all the seas were ink, and all the reeds were quills, and
all the men were scribes, they could not record all I have learned and
all I have taught, and how much I have heard at the lips of sages in the
schools. And what is more, I also taught three hundred laws based on the
text, 'A witch shall not live.'"

THE TALMUD, _Avoth d'Rab. Nathan_, chap. 25.


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