Monday, August 22, 2005

Look Ma. That rabbi's brains are falling out.

People say I'm a liberal, too liberal in fact. And they're not wrong.

The mistake is when they suggest my liberalism is not in keeping with Torah ideas, so I thought it would be instructive to play a little game I like to call "What's Torah True?"

Here's how it works, I'll provide a situation, and you tell me which of the options that follow the situation is the Torah True(TM) approach. OK? Today's situation comes from the Talmud, Bava Mezia 83:A

Rabbah bar bar Hannah's porters broke his jars of wine. He took their cloaks (as collateral for the debt they owed over the lost jars of wine.) The porters plead their case to Rav. What did Rav do?

A - Released the hounds.
B - Congratulated Rabbah bar bar Hannah for teaching those clumsy porters a lesson.
C - Told the porters they were lucky to keep their underwear.
D - Threw them in jail until the debt could be paid.
E - Ordered Rabbah bar bar Hannah to return the cloaks

The porters further said to Rav: We are poor men who have worked hard all day; we are hungry and have nothing. Said Rav:

A - Yeah, life sucks
B - Yeah well, maybe you should have worked a little harder yesterday.
C - Who am I, your mother?
D - See me after seder.
E - (to Rabbah bar bar Hannah) Go and pay their wages!

Your hint: Rav Yochanan said: Jerusaelm was destroyed only because they judged in accordance with the letter of the law and did not go beyond it [Bava Metziah 30b]

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