Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Zing! Ibn Caspi believes in a talking donkey

The following humorous anecdote from Tiras Kesef, by Rabbi Yosef Ibn Caspi, on parashat Balak:

"But in the matter of the she-ass, I do not need to speak of it at all, for that which the Moreh zal {=Rambam in Moreh Nechuchim, volume II, chapter 42, presumably that this was all a dream-vision} preceded us is sufficient. However, I will relate what happened to me a few years ago, and that is that someone asked me -- one of those who seek out faults in others and do not sense where it is present in themselves -- if I believe that the she-ass spoke. And I responded, without looking at his face, and said, 'Chai Hashem, I believe in all that is written in the Torah, and therefore I believe in the verse ותאמר האתון {in parashat Balak}, and in the verse וידבר חמור."

The latter pasuk occurs in Vayishlach:

ח  וַיְדַבֵּר חֲמוֹר, אִתָּם לֵאמֹר:  שְׁכֶם בְּנִי, חָשְׁקָה נַפְשׁוֹ בְּבִתְּכֶם--תְּנוּ נָא אֹתָהּ לוֹ, לְאִשָּׁה.8 And Hamor spoke with them, saying 'The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter. I pray you give her unto him to wife.

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