©2018 by Uriel Aviges.

  • Rav Uriel Aviges

Behaaloteha 5776



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Hulin 94

MISHNAH. ONE MAY SEND TO A GENTILE A THIGH IN WHICH THERE IS YET THE SCIATIC NERVE, BECAUSE ITS PLACE IS KNOWN.21

    GEMARA. Only a whole thigh one may [send] but not if it was cut up

Alternatively, I can say, [it is forbidden] because he thereby deceives him,5 and Samuel holds that it is forbidden to deceive people even gentiles.

    This view of Samuel was not expressly stated but was inferred from the following incident. Samuel was once crossing on a ferryboat and he said to his attendant, ‘Reward the ferryman’. He rewarded him, but [Samuel] became angry. Why was he angry? — Abaye said: Because he [the attendant] had a trefah hen and he gave it to the ferryman representing it as one that was ritually slaughtered. Raba said: Because he [Samuel] told him to give him [the gentile] anpaka6 to drink, and he gave him mixed wine to drink.7 And what if it was only inferred? — Because according to him who says that he gave him a trefah hen, it can be said [that Samuel was angry with his attendant] for keeping with him [a forbidden thing].8 And according to him who says that he told him to give him anpaka, it can be said [that Samuel was angry] because anpaka really means unmixed wine.9

    It was taught: R. Meir used to say: A man should not urge his friend to dine with him when he knows that his friend will not do so.10 And he should not offer him many gifts when he knows that his friend will not accept them. And he should not open [for a guest] casks of wine which are to be sold by the shopkeeper,11 unless he informs [the guest] of it. And he should not invite him to anoint himself with oil12 if the jar is empty. If, however, the purpose is to show the guest great respect, it is permitted. But surely this cannot be right. For Ulla once came to Rab Judah's house and the latter opened up for him casks that were later to be sold by the shopkeeper! — He must have informed him of this fact. Or if you wish, I can say that the case of Ulla is different, for he was so dear to Rab Judah that he would have opened for him even those that were not [to be sold by the shopkeeper].

    Our Rabbis taught: A man should not go to the house of a mourner13 with a bottle in which the wine shakes about;14 neither should he fill it with water because he thereby deceives him. If, however, there is a large assembly15 present, it is permitted.

Ketouvoth 16b

Our Rabbis taught: How does one dance31 before the bride? Beth Shammai say:

The bride as she is.1 And Beth Hillel say: ‘Beautiful and graceful bride’!2 Beth Shammai said to Beth Hillel: If she was lame or blind, does one say of her: ‘Beautiful and graceful bride’? Whereas the Torah3 said, ‘Keep thee far from a false matter.’4 Said Beth Hillel to Beth Shammai: According to your words,5 if one has made a bad purchase in the market, should one praise it6 in his eyes or depreciate it?7 Surely,8 one should praise it in his eyes. Therefore,9 the Sages said: Always should the disposition of man be pleasant with people

Yebamot 65b

R. Ile'a further stated in the name of R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon: As one is commanded to say that which will be obeyed,19 so is one commanded not to say that which will not be obeyed.20 R. Abba stated: It20 is a duty; for it is said in Scripture, Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee; reprove a wise man and he will love thee.21

    R. Ile'a further stated in the name of R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon: One may modify a statement in the interests of peace; for it is said in Scripture, Thy father did command etc. so shall ye say unto Joseph: Forgive, I pray thee now, etc.22 R. Nathan said: It23 is a commandment; for it is stated in Scripture, And Samuel said: ‘How can I go? If Saul hear it, he will kill me’, etc.24

    At the School of R. Ishmael it was taught: Great is the cause of peace. Seeing that for its sake even the Holy One, blessed be He, modified a statement; for at first it is written, My lord being old,25 while afterwards it is written, And I am old.2

Pesahim 112

Five things did R. Akiba charge R. Simeon b. Yohai when he was immured in prison.16 He [the latter] said to him, ‘Master, teach me Torah.’ ‘I will not teach you,’ he replied.17 ‘If thou wilt not teach me, ‘ said he, ‘I will tell my father Yohai and he will deliver thee to the state.’ ‘My son,’ answered he, ‘more than the calf wishes to suck does the cow desire to suckle.’ Said he to him, ‘Yet who is in danger: surely the calf is in danger!’18 Said he to him: ‘If you wish to be strangled, be hanged on a large tree,19 and when you teach your son, teach him from a corrected scroll

Exode 22

"Ne fais pas fléchir le droit de ton prochain indigent, s'il a un procès. 7 Fuis la parole de mensonge et ne frappe point de mort celui qui est innocent et juste, car je n'absoudrais point le prévaricateur. 8 N'accepte point de présents corrupteurs; car la corruption trouble la vue des clairvoyants et fausse la parole des justes

Chevouot 30b

(Mnemonic: Advocate, Uncultured, Robbery, False.)

    Our Rabbis taught: How do we know that a judge should not appoint an advocate for his words?30 — Because it is said: From a false matter keep far.31 And how do we know that a judge should not allow an uncultured disciple to sit before him?32 Because it is said: From a false matter keep far. And how do we know that a judge who knows his colleague to be a robber, or a witness who knows his colleague to be a robber, should not join with him?33 Because it is said: From a false matter keep far. And how do we know that a judge who knows that a plea is false34 should not say, Since the witnesses give evidence, I will decide it,35 and the chain [of guilt] will hang round the neck of the witnesses?1 — Because it is said: From a false matter keep far.

    (Mnemonic: Three [of] disciples, Three [of] creditors, Rags, Hearing, Explaining.)

    How do we know that a disciple sitting before his master, who sees that the poor man is right and the wealthy man wrong, should not remain silent?2 Because it is said: From a false matter keep far. And how do we know that a disciple, who sees his master making a mistake in the law, should not say, I will wait until he finishes, and then upset his decision, and build up [another decision]

according to my own judgment, so that the decision will be called by my name? Because it is said: From a false matter keep far. And how do we know that a disciple to whom his master says, ‘You know that if I were given a hundred manehs, I would not tell a lie; now, So-and-so owes me one maneh, and I have only one witness against him;’ how do we know that the disciple should not join with him?3 — Because it is said: From a false matter keep far. — Is this, then, deduced from: From a false matter keep far? Surely this is definitely lying, and the Divine Law said: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour!4 — Well, then, for example, if he said to him, ‘I have definitely one witness; and you come and stand there,5 and you need not say anything, so that you will not be uttering a lie from your mouth;’6 even so it is prohibited, because It is said: From a false matter keep far.

    How do we know that he who has a claim of a hundred zuzim against his neighbour should not say, ‘I will claim two hundred, so that he will admit a hundred, and be liable for an oath,7 then I will be able to impose an oath upon him from another place’?8 — Because it is said: From a false matter keep far. And how do we know that, if one has a claim of a hundred zuzim against his neighbour, and sues for two hundred, the debtor should not say, ‘I will deny it totally in court, but admit it outside the court, so that I should not be liable for an oath, and he may not impose on me an oath from another place’? Because it is said: From a false matter keep far. And how do we know that, if three persons have a claim of a hundred zuzim against one person,9 one should not be the litigant, and the other two, the witnesses, in order that they may extract the hundred zuzim and divide it? Because it is said: From a false matter keep far.

    How do we know that, if two come to court, one clothed in rags and the other in fine raiment worth a hundred manehs, they10 should say to him,11 ‘Either dress like him, or dress him like you’?12 — Because it is said: From a false matter keep far

Yereim 235

וכל יראי ה' יתנו לב להתרחק שיוכל לבא לידי רעה. ואם יאמר לא חשבתי שיבא הדבר לרעה דבר המסור ללב לכך נאמר ויראת מאלהיך. אבל שקר שאינו בא לידי רעה לא הזהירה תורה עליו דדבר למד מענינו שברשע רע לבריות הכתוב מדבר דכתיב מדבר שקר תרחק ונקי וצדיק אל תהרוג כי לא אצדיק רשע.

Tout celui qui craint D doit faire attention de s’eloigner de tout ce qui peut porter prejudice. Et si il dit « je ne savais pas que cela pouvait porter prejudice » la chose depend du cœur, c’est pour cela qu’il est ecrit et tu craindras ton D. mais un mensonge qui ne porte prejudice a personne, la torah ne l’a pas interdit, ca c’est quelque chose que l’on peut apprendre du contexte de l’interdit, puisque l’on parle d’un mauvais qui porte prejudice, puisqu’il est ecrit : « 7 Fuis la parole de mensonge et ne frappe point de mort celui qui est innocent et juste ».

Par dela bien et mal 289

Dans les écrits d’un solitaire, on entend toujours quelque chose comme l’écho du désert, comme le murmure et le regard timide de la solitude ; dans ses paroles les plus fortes, dans son cri même, il y a le sous-entendu d’une manière de silence et de mutisme, manière nouvelle et plus dangereuse. Pour celui qui est resté pendant des années, jour et nuit, en conversation et en discussion intimes, seul avec son âme, pour celui qui dans sa caverne — elle peut être un labyrinthe, mais aussi une mine d’or — est devenu un ours, un chercheur ou un gardien du trésor, un dragon : les idées finissent par prendre une teinte de demi-jour, une odeur de profondeur et de bourbe, quelque chose d’incommunicable et de repoussant, qui jette un souffle glacial à la face du passant. Le solitaire ne croit pas qu’un philosophe — en admettant qu’un philosophe ait toujours commencé par être un solitaire — ait jamais exprimé dans les livres sa pensée véritable et définitive. N’écrit-on pas des livres précisément pour cacher ce qu’on a en soi ? Il ne croira pas qu’un philosophe puisse avoir des opinions « dernières et essentielles », que chez lui, derrière une caverne, il n’y ait pas nécessairement une caverne plus profonde — un monde plus vaste, plus étrange, plus riche, au-dessus d’une surface, un bas fond sous chaque fond, sous chaque « fondement ». Toute philosophie est une « philosophie de premier plan » — c’est là un jugement de solitaire. « Il y a quelque chose d’arbitraire dans le fait qu’il s’est arrêté ici, qu’il a regardé en arrière et autour de lui, qu’il n’a pas creusé plus avant et qu’il a jeté de côté la bêche, — il faut voir en cela une part de méfiance. » Toute philosophie cache aussi une philosophie, toute opinion est aussi une retraite, toute parole un masque. 

Est-ce qu'il existe aucun fait qui soit indépendant de l'opinion et de l'interprétation ? Des générations d'historiens et de philosophes de l'histoire n'ont-elles pas démontré l'impossibilité de constater des faits sans les interpréter, puisque ceux-ci doivent d'abord être extraits d'un chaos de purs événements (et les principes du choix ne sont assurément pas des données de fait), puis être arrangés en une histoire qui ne peut être racontée que dans une certaine perspective, qui n'a rien à voir avec ce qui a eu lieu à l'origine ? Il ne fait pas de doute que ces difficultés, et bien d'autres encore, inhérentes[1] aux sciences historiques, soient réelles, mais elles ne constituent pas une preuve contre l'existence de la matière factuelle, pas plus qu'elles ne peuvent servir de justification à l'effacement des lignes de démarcation entre le fait, l'opinion et l'interprétation, ni d'excuse à l'historien pour manipuler les faits comme il lui plaît. Même si nous admettons que chaque génération ait le droit d'écrire sa propre histoire, nous refusons d'admettre qu'elle ait le droit de remanier les faits en harmonie avec sa perspective propre ; nous n'admettons pas le droit de porter atteinte à la matière factuelle elle-même. Pour illustrer ce point, et nous excuser de ne pas pousser la question plus loin : durant les années vingt[2], peu avant sa mort, se trouvait engagé dans une conversation amicale avec un représentant de la République de Weimar[3] au sujet des responsabilités quant au déclenchement de la Première Guerre mondiale. On demanda à  : « À votre avis, qu’est-ce que les historiens futurs penseront de ce problème embarrassant et controversé ? » Il répondit : « Ça, je n’en sais rien, mais ce dont je suis sûr, c’est qu’ils ne diront pas que la Belgique a envahi l’Allemagne. »

Hannah ARENDT, « Vérité et politique », 1964