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It All Depends

It All Depends

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Avimi the son of Rabbi Abahu taught:

There are those who feed their father rich, juicy chickens and end up in gehinnom (hell), while there are those who make their fathers work hard at grinding, and they end up in gan eden (heaven).

How can a person who feeds his father rich, juicy chickens end up in gehinnom?

There was a man who fed his father fat, juicy chickens. One day, his father asked him, “My son, where do you get these?”

He told his father, “Old man, old man, eat and be quiet, like the dogs.”

This is a person who fed his father well and ended up in gehinnom.

How can a person make his father work hard at grinding and end up in gan eden?

There was a miller. The king sent orders for his elderly father to come work for him as a slave. The man said, “Father, come to my workplace and grind for me while I go to work for the king. If the king’s work is humiliating, let me be humiliated, and not you. If I should be beaten while working, let me be beaten, and not you.”

This is a person who made his father work hard at grinding and ended up in gan eden.

Jerusalem Talmud, Pe’ah 1:1, Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 31a
Translated by Esther Rabi.
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