Page 26 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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the Divine Name with a special pen reserved for that purpose.
When he was about to die, he directed that this pen be placed in
his hand for the burial. His disciples forgot their master’s request,
and when the time came to carry his coffin they could not lift it.
Recalling his request, they hastened to bring the pen and placed
it in his hand, whereupon the coffin became light enough to be
carried. (Malkhe Rabbanan)
P
rophecies
w ith
a
L
esson
Many prophets arose in Israel—twice the number of Israelites
who went out of Egypt. However, only those prophecies were
written down which contained significant lessons for future gen-
erations; the others were not reduced to writing. (Megillah 14a)
T
h e
B
ook
of
R
aziel
Whosoever seeks to acquire wisdom should read each day the
Book of the Angel Raziel
from cover to cover. Any home possess-
ing this volume will be protected from fire, loss, or destruction
of any kind. (Sefer Raziel 40a)
B
eg inn ing
and
E
nd
The Mishnah begins with an open
mem
and concludes with a
closed
mem
, to teach that when one begins to study he believes
the whole spectrum of knowledge is open to him, but when he
finishes he discovers that a great deal of knowledge is still a
closed door to him. (Peer le-Yesharim 16)
T
he
S
ix
O
rders
of
the
M
ishnah
Whenever Rabbi Hanina and Rabbi Hiyya engaged in a dis-
pute, Rabbi Hanina would say to Rabbi Hiyya, “Would you
dispute with me? If, heaven forbid, the Torah were forgotten in
Israel, I would restore it through the efficacy of my argumenta-
tion.” Rabbi Hiyya replied, “Would you argue with me who
made possible that the Torah should not be forgotten in Israel?
What did I do? I began by sowing flax seeds from which I wove
nets; then I trapped deer and gave their flesh to feed orphans,
and from their hides I prepared scrolls on which I wrote the
Pentateuch. Then I went to a town which had no teachers of chil-
dren, where I taught five of them the Pentateuch and six of them
the orders of the Mishnah. Finally, I bade them: ‘Until I return
teach one another the Pentateuch and the Mishnah,’ and thus
I preserved the Torah from being forgotten in Israel.” (Ketubot
103b, Baba Metzia 85b)