Monday, July 27, 2009

Where Both Sides can Agree

A pious fool is he who sees a child struggling in the water

and says,

"I'll take off my tefilin and then save the child."

- Talmud Jerushalmi: Sota


Stacey said...

I spent last evening in the company of a pious fool. He cleared the room of everyone except his brother-in-law, (my father-in-law,) who is very nearly the pious fool he is. It was disgusting, the evil things that were coming out of his mouth, and sadly, he thinks those evil things are righteous.

And now I must go round up my unpious fool. Hubby sprained his ankle last night and now he is outside walking all around the yard on it. gah! I told him to stay off of it for awhile. He says "Just call me 'Verbal.'" Ha!

Drinne said...

I'm so sorry that you have to encounter that as a matter of course.

I'm also glad to see that the quote translates well enough even you don't know what tefillin are : )

It's a kind of double warning about the more obvious kind of hypocrisy and a specialized brand that you need a highly rigourous style of observance to participate in - Catholics and Muslims as well as Jews can fall prey to this. Where you feel that your are pious because you follow all the forms including the moral ones but when you have to make the call you put the priority of the form over the person.

The Jews who throw rocks at non Jews for breaking "their sabbath" in jerusalem are not pious fools - they are heretics and I wish American Jews had the nerve to say so loudly. They are breaking the law both secular and Judaic. The person who saves the torah from burning synagogue without first making sure everyone else got out is a pious fool.

It is also about the kind of fool you describe.

This quote reminds me a lot of congress and the media these days. They are following the forms but when faced with the reason for the forms, think of forms first and perform the deed second and poorly.

You know that the Fool in the Tarot is frequently balanced on one foot for various reasons: )