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Was That a Blessing or a Curse?

Was That a Blessing or a Curse?


Rabbi Yonatan ben Asmai and Rabbi Yehudah ben Geirim had been studying in Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s house of study. They bid him farewell at night. The following morning, they came and said goodbye to him again.

He asked them, “Didn’t you say goodbye to me last night?”

They answered, “Rabbi, you taught us that a student who says goodbye to his teacher and spends the night in the same city has to say goodbye to him again.”

“These are fine men,” he told his son. “Go to them and let them bless you.”

His son went to them. “What do you want?” they asked him.

He said, “My father told me, ‘Go to them and let them bless you.’”

They said to him, “May it be G‑d’s will that you will plant and won’t harvest; you will bring in and won’t bring out; you will bring out and won’t bring in; your home will be destroyed, while your inn will be inhabited; your table will be disordered; and you won’t see a new year.”

He went back to his father and said, “Not only didn’t they give me a blessing—they cursed me!”

“What did they say?” he asked.

His son told him.

“Everything that they told you is a blessing: ‘You will plant and not harvest’ means you will have children who won’t die in your lifetime. ‘You will bring in and won’t bring out’ means that you will bring daughters-in-law to your home, and your sons won’t die young, leaving your daughters-in-law to return to their fathers. ‘You will bring out and won’t bring in’ means that you will marry off your daughters to men who won’t die young, so that your daughters won’t have to return to your home. ‘Your home will be destroyed, while your inn will survive’—this world is an inn, while the grave is your home—that means you will live a long life. ‘Your surroundings will be disordered’ by your children. ‘You won’t see a new year’ means that you’ll have only one year of being a newlywed—your wife won’t die, leaving you to marry another woman.”

Babylonian Talmud, Moed Katan 9a–b
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Anonymous August 2, 2015

Beautiful story! When someone tries to hurt you with words ignore,revoke or accept it as a blessing and you shall be blessed. Reply

Casper Netherlands May 7, 2015

Viewpoint As often: the way you look at the world determines so much. Thanx for this nice story! Reply

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