Types of Jewish-Palestinian Piety Page 11...

Original and interesting study of the meaning of piety amoung observant Jews of the late Second Temple period.

JEWISH- PALESTINIAN PIETY 11 while in the same way as the first time, and put to Hillel the question as to why the eyes of the Palmyreans were half closed; when he returned the last time, he asked why the feet of the Persians were broad. Each time Hillel deliberately declared the question difficult, and answered it calmly. After the third explanation the man said to Hillel, I have many more questions to put, but, I am afraid, you might be angry. But Hillel wrapped himself, sat down oppo-site him, and said, ‘ Put any questions that you have to ask’. ‘ Art thou Hillel whom they call prince in Israel?’ ‘ Yes’. ‘ If so, may not many be like thee in Israel!’ ‘ Why, my son?’ ‘ Because I have lost 400 Zuzs through thee’. Hillel replied, ‘ Take heed of thy spirit! Hillel deserves it that thou shouldst lose through him 400 Zuzs or even 800, and Hillel not be angry.’ Not even after the last, extremely rude remark did he lose his calmness, but continued the discussion; and he finished up by emphasizing the value— in money that engrossed the mind of his questioner— of not turning angry. Such patience and calmness were born of and sustained by true humility. For the object of the man must have been clear to Hillel after the second, if not already after the first question; and still he treated them, by wrapping his head, 1 in the same solemn manner as any other serious 1 If the wrapping meant merely a temporary dressing, there would have been no occasion for it before Hillel’s entering into the fourth question, as he had not left his visitor, after he had called out the rabbi for his third question. When once R. Gamaliel II, accompanied by R. Ilai, travelled from Akko to K’zibh, and reached this town, a man asked him to dissolve a vow of his; but as the rabbi had drunk some wine, he, in accordance with Lev. 10. 9– 11,  refused to attend to a religious question, and asked the man to walk by his side for a time. When they reached the Ladder of Tyre, R. Gamaliel dismounted from his ass, wrapped himself, sat down, and dissolved the man’s vow ( Baraitha ‛ Erub. 64 b; Tos. Pesah. I, 28; jer. ‛ AZ I, 40 a. 62). R. Ilai enumerated the rules which he had learned from R. Gamaliel’s actions, among them ואין מפירין נדרים . . . אלא עטופין ויושבין , they do not dissolve vows except wrapped and sitting. In the account in 2 ARN. 29, 30 b Hillel each time admitted the man to his house, wrapped himself, sat down and asked the man to put his question.   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C

Types of Jewish-Palestinian Piety


About Book Types of Jewish-Palestinian Piety

Front MatterTitle PageCopyright PageContentsPreface. SOME TYPES OF JEWISH-PALESTINIAN PIETY FROM 70 B.C.E. TO 70 C.E.
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