Student Teaching in the New Millenium

Impurity against the gathering of olives

In Deuteronomy on August 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Shammai, however, did not content himself with the victory for his foreign policy; he took advantage of the situation…to force also the acceptance of his social and ceremonial program.  “If you anger me, I will declare impurity also against the gathering of olives,” he cried out to Hillel...

(Akiba:  Scholar, Saint and Martyr; Louis Finkelstein)

What does this passage say?  How does it make you feel?  Does Shammai seem to act from an interest or a position?  Who else behaves this way?  What words apply?

How does this compare to Isaiah’s statements about food that does and does not satisfy?

What does it mean to give the law?  What does it mean to take the law?  And, finally, what does it mean to force the law?

  1. Reminds me to be thank the good Lord that Shammai wrote himself out of jewish history.

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