Cock-a-doodle-do! (22a-22b)

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, man gotta sit and wonder why? why? why?

That’s the opening from Kurt Vonnegut’s book Cat’s Cradle. It’s a rif on a wonderful song written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein for their 1927 musical play Showboat.

As I read today’s daf this is the song that comes to mind. After all, humans do what humans do. They have bodily functions for which they have no control. Some are unique to men, others to women, and of course many common to us all.

And you know what the Gemara says? It says “Words of Torah do not contract tumah (ie impurity)!” So whether you immerse or not, get this far away from an impure substance or not, or … well you get the idea! “Words of Torah do not contract tumah.”

And you know what else the Gemara says? Over time every single practice regarding what is permitted or not permitted was at one time permitted and at another time not permitted!

Specifically: “R’ Yehudah ben Gamliel said in the name of R’ Chanina ben Gamliel both this and that are forbidden to the Ba’al Keri” … And some report the ruling this way: Both this and that are permitted to the Ba’al Keri!”

Oh dear!

So as the Rabbis (God bless them!) continue to wrestle with the temporal and spatial boundaries that need to separate their prayer from their bodies (and the bodies of their women)…. I say Cock-a-doodle-do right out loud although tomorrow I may whisper it (if such a thing can be said)!  Hameyvin yavin!!

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This entry was posted in Daf Yomi, Hevruta study, Talmud and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cock-a-doodle-do! (22a-22b)

  1. neillitt says:

    On behalf of my fellow Ba’al Keri, I thank you!

  2. elenizl says:

    Ba’alei Keri are my fellow humans!

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