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June 05, 2005

Comments

Ben G.

I'm sorry to hear the news, though it was moving to hear you tell it. I'm glad you were able to be there with him.

Ha'makom yenachem etchem be'toch sha'ar avlei tzion virushalyaim.

H. A. Massig

I accept Quicksilver כספית's kind invitation to comment on his "Commendiary." First of all, to commend "Kaspit" for introducing this genre and for so creatively weaving together rabbinic thought and toxicality.

Hillel refuses to essentialize Babylonians, Tarmodians, and Africans (my hunch is that "Africans" refers to some group of North Africans in particular). For example, Hillel contends that Babylonians are not essentially misshapen in their heads. They suffer from lousy midwifery: אין להם חיות פקחות.

Hillel appreciates the importance of the midwife. The midwife stands with the laboring woman and expertly assists in bringing a child into the world. There is another midwife--the teacher, who stands with the laboring student and expertly assists in bringing a scholar into the world.

The story of Hillel and the young obnoxious one is all about birthing: a question about heads, about eyes, about feet--a baby coming into the world. And a reminder that being human is not only a matter of heads, eyes, and feet, but also about one's spirit/רוח.

The poor young man wanted nothing more than to increase his substance!

Am Haaretz

. . . and he who isn't busy being born is busy dying, eh? Hillel's role in this folio suggests that we will find our path by avoiding what is hateful to others; Shammai's role is to offer an alternative motivation to stumble along the same road: fear of God. While Hillel ostensibly prevails, the next folio is a litany of the calamities that will befall one who descrates the Sabbath. Death hovers at every turn. The Fear Factor does not get pushed back easily. Those of us who have managerial responsibility know only too well that a sharp word uttered thoughtlessly has more clout than we realize in the moment. Murderous blows unconsciously delivered kill just the same.

BSS

Lindane (HCH) has already been banned in California, and in many other countries. Besides being widely prescribed to children with lice, it is used on animals, fruits and vegetables, tobacco, and can be used on trees and wood as a preservative. HCH is a Persistent Organic Pollutant and Endocrine Disrupting Chemical. This dangeorous substance has been found in air, water, and soil samples taken around the world. It has also been documented in human amniotic fluid. Bad stuff...

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