February 24, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Da Swell Fox Fixit

lion_fox.gifEven with my site down, I appear to have stirred up quite a tsunami out there in Jewish Blogania. For one thing, I emailed you the wrong Aesop's fable. Should have gone with:


A FOX, very much famished, seeing some bread and meat left by shepherds in the hollow of an oak, crept into the hole and made a hearty meal. When he finished, he was so full that he was not able to get out, and began to groan and lament very sadly. Another Fox passing by, heard his cries, and coming up, inquired the cause of his complaining. On learning what had happened, he said to him, "Ah, you will have to remain there, my friend, until you become such as you were when you crept in, and then you will easily get out." (THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY ├ćESOP'S FABLES, LITERALLY TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK. BY THE REV.GEO. FYLER TOWNSEND, M.A. CHICAGO: BELFORD, CLARKE & CO., 1882. p.132)

But, obviously, Midrash Kohelet does offer a version of the story of this dubious canine who's so prone to a binge & fast lifestyle. It is sad, though, that my mistaken copy & paste (with an intermittent Internet connection in Adi's Tel-Aviv apartment), allowed for the discussion to center on the cite and not the other, more poignant part of my note, regarding the dripping self-congratulation, etc.

What can I say, he who emails before proofing has a fool for a fact checker.

Still, the chronological thing of Aesop Vs. Midrash Kohelet deems discussion (which Alan Brill is so much better equipped to handle). The excellent Shamma Friedman article you pointed your readers to is a good start, but us, non-academic types, need to know the score in more concrete ways. Or, in other words, who came first, the 6th Century BCE fabulous fabulist, or the 7th Century CE sage midrashic editors?

Incidentally, just as Friedman suggests, the later Jewish version is better edited and the Ecclesiastic association takes a mere "Life is a dung-heap" moral to the level of "Life is a dung-heap 'cause God says so," which works for me.

So, while backflapping a desperate retreat, Yanover gets himself out of yet another jam, but only barely so. If at all...




Check out my response to this response here appended to my original response.

Posted by: josh waxman at March 1, 2005 10:35 AM

by the way, trackback doesn't work. file not found.

Posted by: josh waxman at March 1, 2005 10:38 AM
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