Friday, January 21, 2011

The Cornerstone, Part I. Up, Down and All Around the Jewish Talmud

The Stone which the builders rejected has become the Cornerstone.
By the LORD this has been done and it is wonderful in our eyes.

- Psalms 118:22-23

Down, Up and Together as One

Part I. Up, Down, and all Around the Jewish Talmud

The Talmud, Tanchum. Voeschanan

Death is designed for man from time immemorial. When the hour of man's departure hence arrives, nothing will save him from it. If he had the wings of an eagle and could soar high up above the earth...

...he would, of his own accord, come down to meet his fate.--Death is a new gate for the righteous to enter in. (The Talmud, Tanchum. Voeschanan)

The Talmud, Tanchum. Shoftim

God will eventually reveal his glory to all mankind as unmistakably as though He had placed his throne in the centre of the heavens...

...and then moved it from one extreme end ... the other, so that everybody should see and know it. (Tanchum. Shoftim)

The Babylonian Talmud, Baba Mezi’a 117a

Two dwelt in a house, one above and one below. Now, the plaster on the ceiling...broke, so that when the one above washed with water, it dripped down, causing damage to the one below...

...Now, who must repair? R. Hiyya b. Abba said: 'The upper dweller'...

R. Elai said: "The lower one, the sign thereof is, 'And Joseph was brought down to Egypt.'" (Baba Mezi’a 117a)

The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 103b

Once a man becomes poor in friends below on earth...

...he becomes poor above in Heaven. (Sanhedrin 103b)

The Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 10b

The Jew signed first below...

...thinking that another Jew would sign above, but the lender got the signature of a Samaritan instead. (Gittin 10b)

The Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 17a

A favourite saying of Abaye was: 'One should always strive to be on the best terms with his brethren and his relatives and with all men and even with the heathen in the street, in order that he may be beloved above...

...and well-liked below and be acceptable to his fellow creatures.' (Berakoth 17a)

The Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 29b

R. Eliezer says: 'Do Thy will in heaven above...

...and grant relief to them that fear Thee below and do that which is good in Thine eyes. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who hearest prayer.' (Berakoth 29b)

The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 44b

Resh Lakish said: 'He who devotes his strength to prayer below...

...has no enemies to overcome above.' R. Johanan said: 'One should ever implore mercy that all Heavenly beings may support his effort in prayer so that he may have no enemies on high.' (Sanhedrin 44b)

The Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 37a

R. Eliezer b. Jacob says: 'It is impossible to declare that Levi was stationed below since it is stated that he was above...

...and it is impossible to declare that he was above since it is stated that he was below; so how was it? The elders of the priests and Levites were below...

...and the rest above.' R. Joshiyah said: 'All the Levites who were qualified to serve as bearers of the ark were below and the rest above'...

...Rabbi says: 'Both the priests and Levites and also the Israelites were standing below. They turned their faces towards mount Gerizim and opened with the blessing, and then towards mount Ebal and opened with the curse. (Sotah 37a)

The Babylonian Talmud, Yebamoth 105b

'Who is this man,' cried Abdan out to him, 'who strides over the heads of the holy people!' (Yebamoth 105b)

The Babylonian Talmud, Baba Kamma 79b

A thief...acts as if the eye of Below would not be seeing and the ear of Below would not be hearing, as it says: "Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, 'Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?'" - Baba Kamma 79b

The Babylonian Talmud, Niddah 40b

Those sacrifices whose blood is to be sprinkled above...was sprinkled below,

...those whose blood is to be sprinkled below and was sprinkled above. - Niddah 40b

The Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 24b

If one sneezes in his prayer it is a good sign for him, that as they give him relief below on earth... they give him relief above in Heaven. (Berakoth 24b)

The Babylonian Talmud, Yebamoth 105b

A man who offers up his prayers must direct his eyes to the Temple below

...and his heart towards the Heavens above. (Yebamoth 105b)

The Babylonian Talmud, Horayoth 12b


AND AN ORDINARY PRIEST FROM ABOVE...R. Judah. R. Ishmael said: 'He does not rend his clothes in the manner of other people, but he rends from below while an ordinary priest rends from above!' (Horayoth 12b)

The Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 36a

Behold it is written: 'And I will send the hornet before thee!' R. Simeon b. Lakish said: 'It stood by the bank of the Jordan and injected a virus [into the Canaanites] which blinded their eyes above...

and castrated them below.' (Sotah 36a)

The Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 110a

So that the snake cannot attack him either from below

or above. (Shabbath 110a)

The Babylonian Talmud, Niddah 47b

So also did R. Simeon state: 'The Sages have indicated in the physical development of a woman three marks below

and corresponding ones above. If, namely, she is like an unripe fig above, it may be taken for granted that she has not yet grown two (pubic) hairs. If she is above like a fig in its early ripening, it may be taken for granted that she has already grown two (pubic) hairs.' (Niddah 47b)

The Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 14a

'Show us where Moses is buried'. When they stood above, it appeared to them to be below...

when they were below, it appeared to them to be above.

They divided themselves into two parties; to them who were standing above it appeared below, and to those who were below it appeared above...R. Hama son of R. Hanina said: 'Even Moses our teacher does not know where he is buried.' (Sotah 14a)

The Babylonian Talmud, Baba Bathra 11a

It is related of King Monobaz that he spent all his own savings and the savings of his fathers in years of scarcity. His brothers and his father's household...said to him, 'Your father saved money and added to the treasures of his fathers, and you are squandering them.' He replied: "My fathers stored up below...

...and I am storing above , as it says, 'Truth springeth out of the earth and righteousness looketh down from Heaven.' My fathers stored in a place which can be tampered with, but I have stored in a place which cannot be tampered with, as it says, 'Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of his throne.'" (Baba Bathra 11a)

The Babylonian Talmud, Yebamoth 105b

A man who offers up his prayers must direct his eyes towards the Temple below, for it is said, 'And Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually'...

...And the other said: 'The eyes of him who offers up prayers shall be directed towards the Heavens above, for it is said 'Let us lift up our heart with our hand.' (Yebamoth 105b)

The Babylonian Talmud, Baba Mezi’a 86b

One should never break away from custom. For behold, Moses ascended on High

...and ate no bread, whereas the Ministering Angels descended below and ate bread. (Baba Mezi’a 86b)

May the LORD God bless you in the name of the Judeo-Christian Tradition.

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