Random Quote #84 topic: hebraic, Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and Kabbala
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The Rabbis have a curious Haggada respecting the origin of the
culture of the vine. Once while Noah was hard at work breaking
up the fallow ground for a vineyard, Satan drew near and
inquired what he was doing. On ascertaining that the patriarch
was about to cultivate the grape, which he valued both for its
fruit and its juice, he at once volunteered to assist him at his
task, and began to manure the soil with the blood of a lamb, a
lion, a pig, and a monkey. "Now," said he, when his work was
done, "of those who taste the juice of the grape, some will
become meek and gentle as the lamb, some bold and fearless as
the lion, some foul and beastly as the pig, and others
frolicsome and lively as the monkey." This quaint story may be
found more fully detailed in the Midrash Tanchuma (see Noah) and
the Yalkut on Genesis. The Mohammedan legend is somewhat
similar. It relates how Satan on the like occasion used the
blood of a peacock, of an ape, of a lion, and of a pig, and it
deduces from the abuse of the vine the curse that fell on the
children of Ham, and ascribes the color of the purple grape to
the dark hue which thenceforth tinctured all the fruit of their
land as well as their own complexions.

At thirteen years of age, a boy becomes bound to observe the (613)
precepts of the law.

THE TALMUD, _Avoth_, chap. 5.



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