Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The One Who Is Dirty

I came across the following story while doing research for a story I'm working on. I love the way the Talmud scholar answers questions with questions that seem to not bear on the initial question. Jesus did the same, many times, though he praised the answers he got as often as he knocked them down.



A goy insisted that a Talmudist explain to him what the Talmud was. The sage finally consented and asked the goy the following question:

"Two men climb down a chimney. When they come out the bottom, one has his face covered with soot, the other is spotless. Which of the two will wash himself?"

"The one who is dirty," answers the goy.

"No, for the one who's dirty sees the other’s clean face and believes his is clean too. The one who's clean sees a dirty face and believes that his is dirty too."

"I understand!" the goy exclaims. "I'm beginning to understand what the Talmud is . . ."

"No, you have understood nothing at all," the rabbi interrupts. "For how could two men have come down the same chimney, one dirty and the other clean?"



from The History Of Anti-Semitism, by Leon Poliakov, translated by Richard Howard

10 comments:

Devika said...

hahahh...Doug, you too start making me laugh out...and i'm just waiting for a hance to laugh :)

interesting...i have come across the first as a usual joke..

the second one and two ccoming from chimney...new to me...loved it :)

wishes,
devika

wishes,

Rosa said...

Very funny!

Devika said...

came for a new one Doug...

no posting since
hope all is fine there..

wishes,
devika

olaoluwatomi said...

It doesn't explain the Talmud?

Anamika Anyone said...

Good one! Made me smile.. :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

ah, that one makes you think...

venus66 said...

A good one.:))Take care.

Rosa said...

I hope everything is going alright. It would be good to hear from you..

Devika said...

Hi Doug!

Miss reading your posts..

But, now came to,

Wish you and family a Merry Christmas!

devika
see you posting soon

Doug P. Baker said...

Thank you all.

Sorry I've been silent; this is a rather busy time for us, in a good Christmas kind of way. I'll be back in a week or so.

Merry Christmas to you all!