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by Joel Rich

The Talmud Sanhedrin 67b has a story concerning Yannai utilizing magic whose punch line is “”and so he was seen riding upon a woman in public”. I’ve searched high and low for an explanation of the meaning of the story but the commentators (including artscroll) seem silent. Has anyone come across anything (please don’t supply any home grown sarcastic interpretations – I can do that well enough on my own)


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/business/muslims-on-wall-street-bridging-two-traditions.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=print
“The dominant opinion is that it’s still mustahab (recommended) to get up or leave a gathering where alcohol is served, but many consider it mubah (permissible) to stay seated,” the consultant wrote. (me-lchatchila vs. bdieved?)

On the matter of handshaking, some urged the consultant to shake hands with women when prompted, but not to initiate handshakes himself. Others suggested adopting “a tactful technique to avoid” shaking hands, such as pretending to be sick or wearing gloves.(me- at least he didn’t say sneeze into your hand )

Me-Would be interesting to see the relative leniency of self(and formal) psak on these issues in the Muslim world vs. the Jewish world!


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  • About Joel Rich

    Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.

    6 comments

    1. I could be mixing up stories but I’m 95% sure that the story appears in Levinas’ “9 Talmudic Readings”. I don’t know if you were looking for something more frum, but that’s something.

    2. p. 152 (unfortunately not on a preview page on Google Books). But, he doesn’t have much to say on this specific agadeta in itself.

    3. Google “jannai talmud sanhedrin 67b” and a few book references come up — some may shed some light for you.

    4. R’IH,
      Thanks – a lot of German books, the English was much of what I would have guessed.
      KT

    5. Shalom Rosenfeld

      I recall a R’ Leiman shiur where he quoted an older English source that referred to hazamah as “alibi.” (But instead of “I couldn’t have committed the crime — I can prove I was elsewhere”, it’s “you couldn’t have seen the crime — we can prove you were elsewhere.”)

    6. I think pashut pshat in that Gemara is basically, don’t get involved in kishuf. Even Yannai, who thought he had outsmarted the witch, ended up looking disgraceful because he didn’t just walk away.

      Also, it’s Conway Twitty. I was recently in Nashville so I just can’t let that slide.

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