Wisdom from the Rabbi

The rabbi Yeshua bar Yosef  was a master of the aphorism. Like many ancient sages, he wrote nothing down but strove to concentrate his wisdom into pithy, shocking, memorable sayings, often only a sentence long, at other times a very short story. Also called Masih Isa ibn Maryan, the rabbi deserves to be better known than he is. His sayings are collected in a little book entitled The Logia of Yeshua (translated by Guy Davenport and Benjamin Urrutia). Here are a few excerpts: 

53. What goes into your mouth cannot defile you, but what comes out can. 

61. Beware of scholars who like to wear fancy clothes. 

63. If you are on your way to court, come to a friendly agreement with your opponent on the way. The worst settlement out of court is better than the best you can hope for from the court. Once your case is before the judge, chances are he will hand you over to the baliff, who will lock you up until you have paid the last penny. 

64. Do not swear by the heavens, because they are the throne of God. Do not swear by the earth, as it is his footstool. Do not swear at all! Let your yes be your yes, your no your no. 

66 Give to the beggar, lend to the borrower. 

82 They choke on a gnat and swallow a camel. 

11. How can you say, I have kept the law and the prophets, when it is written in the law: You shall love your neighbour as yourself? And look, many sons of Abraham, your brothers, are clothed in filth and dying of hunger, while your house is full of good things, none of which go to them?   

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s