Sunday, September 03, 2006

Song to be sung on the bus at camp after Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer: A translation of Yoma 84b

You should save a life on Shabbat, and the faster you do so, the better. And you need not ask permission from the Bet Din first. Yes, you need not ask permission from the Bet Din first.

If a man sees a baby fall into the ocean, he should cast out a fishing net and catch the baby. And the faster one does so, the better; and it is not necessary to obtain permission from the Bet Din to save the baby in this manner, even though fishing is prohibited on Shabbat.

If a man sees a baby fall into a pit, he should dig a step out of sand and lift out the baby. And the faster one does so, the better; and it is not necessary to obtain permission from the Bet Din to save the baby in this manner, even though building a step is prohibited on Shabbat.

If a man sees a door slam on a baby, he should break open the door and release the baby. And the faster one does so, the better; and it is not necessary to obtain permission from the Bet Din to save the baby in this manner, even though breaking open a door is prohibited on Shabbat.

You should save a life on Shabbat, and the faster you do so, the better. And you need not ask permission from the Bet Din first. Yes, you need not ask permission from the Bet Din first.

6 Comments:

Blogger Chas said...

Chavatzelet,
I know you don't respond much to posts, but I wanted to let you know something.
I first started visiting blog-sites in the Mid-east in response to the war in Lebanon. I was looking for information and I found instead hope and humanity. The experience has changed me.
I was/am having real difficulty understanding the Israeli position/mentality/everything!
Then I found your site when looking for a translation of David Grossman's Eulogy for Uri.
Your's is the most beautiful, soulful, witty and intelligent blog I have come across. If I am ever to gain an understanding, your words will have been my guide.
So, i just wanted to say thank-you and then thank-you some more.

Your poem in the previous post reminds me of a little fragment that I carry around in my head .. I don't know where it comes from :
"... that little tent of blue, that prisoners call 'the sky'..."

Thanks again.

1:08 AM  
Blogger Chavatzelet Herzliya said...

Thank you for this very kind message, which means a lot to me.

The passage you cite is from Oscar Wilde's "The Ballad of Reading Gaol":
I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
With sails of silver by.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Chas said...

My little fragment has a home!
yet again, thanks.
I really don't want to 'clog your blog' - it is so beautiful and complete.
My comments are a bit like scratching "Nice one Michael" on the statue of David.
Just take it as read that, whenever you post, I am out there somewhere, saying,
Thank-you,

Peace, Chas

9:34 PM  
Anonymous ASK said...

"Song to be sung on the bus at camp after Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer: A translation of Yoma 84b

"You should save a life on Shabbat, and the faster you do so, the better. And you need not ask permission from the Bet Din first. Yes, you need not ask permission from the Bet Din first.

"If a person sees a baby fall into the ocean, he should cast out a fishing net and catch the baby. And the faster one does so, the better; and it is not necessary to obtain permission from the Bet Din to save the baby in this manner, even though fishing is prohibited on Shabbat."

If a person...he...

?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Is it a person or a man? If it is a man, then say that. If it is a person, then you should either write "she or he," or you should switch off between female and male pronouns! Or you should find a way to not need the pronoun. Or you should just write "she" in order to balance the overwhelming use of male pronouns for the last 3,000 years.

And if you say, "I'm just translating the Gemara, which would not have used a female pronoun" then I will follow your absurd logic and respond, "then you, as a woman, should not be translating the Gemara to begin with."

5:25 PM  
Anonymous JRL said...

ASK - I think it was just a slip. I empathize, but our Chavatzelet really does share this concern and would not intentionally write that way...

2:49 AM  
Anonymous ASK said...

JRL,

Do you mean a slip into sexism?

I, too, believe that Chavatzelet did not mean to use a male generic, which is why I posted my comments and ASKed her. I am still waiting for a response.

1:20 AM  

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