Hillel's Rule Author(s): Raphael Jospe Source: The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 81, No. 1/2 (Jul.

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who angrily rejects the challenge posed by the Gentile and pushes him away with his builder's cubit. there are also literary. whereas Hillel welcomed the challenge and employed his regula (= 'l = rule.e. Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford. Fischel.KOV 'ItXn '1) may involve a Greek double entendre.4. Jonas Greenfield." Encyclopaedia . Fischel." The term regula could have been known to first-century Jews through both Greek and Latin usage. ruler. 1990) 45-57 HILLEL'S RULE* RAPHAEL JOSPE. Nos. if not historical or etymological.3 . and this association could underlie our story's portrayal of Hillel as interpreting the Torah in terms of one basic rule (regula) of behavior. our story clearly contrasts Shammai. Hillel is associated in several rabbinic passages with formulating seven hermeneutic "rules"(rn1l). and Daniel Sperber for their helpful suggestions and gracious assistance. 1968). "A Greek Play on Words in the Mishna?. Liddell and Scott.. grounds for Kaplan's reading of the story. H. The Open University of Israel ABSTRACT The late Mordecai M. First.l * My thanks are due to Shraga Assif. if '1 is understood as the Latin regula. and gives the story much of its charm. Second. A.like the Hebrew 1t31. "Greek and Latin Languages."in Scripta classica Israelica 1 (1974): 131. Although a literal reading of S18 as 'foot" here is certainly justified. LXXXI. 1-2 (July-October. who pointed out that the Greek oXoXaontKc6.THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW.r. Third. since the term aookfi means both leisure and study." This view was also adduced several years earlier by Henry A. rather than literally as the Hebrew wordfor "foot. Cf. "Do not say. Rabbinical Knowledge of. 'When I have leisure I will study. "standing" may also be employed metaphorically.. or rod) to bring him to the Torah. the Latin connotations of regula might make sense to a Gentile speaker. where aXoXaotKo6gis also defined as "devoting one's leisure to learning. (Cf. the ethical foundations of the world. Zev Harvey. alludes to leisure.D . in addition to the metaphoric usage of 'foot" as a principle or foundation of the Torah in our story. Raanana Meridor."i.ln XK KXU K M. Fourth. Kaplan suggested that the term ?1 mentioned in the story in BT (bShab 31a) of Hillel's conversion of a Gentile to 1 5) may be a bilingual rt Judaism "while I stand on one foot" (nnlK pun. The statement attributed to Hillel the Elder in Avot 2. Other rabbinic statements refer to basic principles on which the world "stands.' for perhaps you will not have leisure" (.

Encyclopaedia Judaica." Encyclopaedia Judaica.46 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW Another statement attributed to Hillel the Elder may also involve a bilingual word play or double entendre. 198). The idea that batlan. who will interpret (WT1) every stroke (ylp) and every curl (rln) of the letters. ut'n. 1:417). 1926). the discussion in Daniel Sperber. and Marcus Jastrow. founder of the Reconstructionist movement and for decades a teacher at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. p. God explained to Moses that the crowns were necessary because "there will be a man after some generations. 1:211. Zvi Kaplan similarly renders batlanim as "men of leisure. Essays on Greek and Latin in the Mishna. and who support themselves from public funds" (cf. 62. in 'Arukh ha-Shalem. 12:717).2 The late Mordecai M. Kohut's connection of textually derived interpretation with the scribal art or profession is interesting in light of the story of R.Cf. 4:325). and Midrashic Literature(Jerusalem. 1967). cf. which usually means an idler. can also connote a scholar (in the sense of an otherwise unoccupied person who has the leisure for full-time study). Akiva in BT (bMen 29b). Eliezer Ben Yehuda. Griechische und Lateinische Lehnworter im Talmud. this time Latin. 1:311313. 1:311-313. who come early to the synagogue to ensure a quorum at the time of prayer. Third Series [Philadelphia. bMeg 21b and yMeg 1. Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew. 7:884-887). Kohut suggests that nl1VlDX should be understood as referring to scribes. but is questioned by others. A Dictionary of the Targumim. Benjamin Mussafia (1606-1975) makes this suggestion in his commentary Musaf he-'Arukh to the 'Arukhof Nathan ben Yehiel of Rome (in 'Arukh ha-Shalem. including Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (Dictionary.6. Cf. "sitting and attaching crowns to the letters" of the Torah. used in reference to the scholarly "pairs"(m1lT) mentioned in Avot 1. p. whose name will be Akiva ben Joseph. 677b. n. Moses ascended to heaven and saw God as a scribe. Avraham Even-Shoshan. Alexander Kohut's edition (Vienna." Cf. Alexander Kohut. 1903). on Mussafia. 70b). also Immanuel Low. According to the story. the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi. 1924]. Cf. 43. of whom Hillel and Shammai were the fifth and last "pair. 1:517. Alexander Kohut.l 11O1 (Jerusalem." which Rashi (bBQ 82a) explains as meaning "ten able men who are idle from their work in order to engage in community service. Index to Samuel Krauss. 1:158. Kaplan (1881-1983). is based on the talmudic references to "ten batlanim in the synagogue. since the scribes were responsible for developing the type of Jewish interpretation in which the halakhic meaning is derived and drawn from the text itself. Talmud. Rashi's interpretation is adopted in Nathan ben Yehiel's (1035-1110) 'Arukh. Midrasch." and describes the term as "originally an honorable title conferred on those who either wholly or partly abstained from work to free themselves for community service" ("Batlanim. and Immanuel Low." succeeded by Yohanan ben Zakkai. p. A different possible explanation for the use of nl31lqK as a metaphorical term for people occupying high positions of religious leadership may be suggested by the . Mussafia's view is shared by such modern scholars as Solomon Schechter (Studies in Judaism. 1981). 2:41. und Targum(Berlin. is said to have suggested that Judaica. and the Midrashic Literature (New York. We may also note that the term ooXokIhas also often been suggested as an explanation for the Hebrew nlhtuX. 1898).

pp. The reference to Simeon is presumably based on Luke 2:25-32. 1D10 (I consulted the following Syriac editions: (1) The New Testament in Syriac. pp. Balaei aliorumque." The hymn is entitled K55n i11tx D I7. as well as the metaphorical term by which Christian martyrs were later called ("vocantur martyres"). (3) the "New Covenant"-Peshitta. 1968]. The entry lists two sources for these definitions. Codices Dawkinsiani in Bibl. Our passage is found on p. Ephraemi Syri. Bishop of Edessa. who was held in the arms of Simeon ("de Simeone Christum in ulnas recipiente"). and like the Hebrew 51DWt. Aramaic Text with Hebrew Translation. This metaphorical usage of 51. Driver. Payne-Smith Margoliouth. 4. 1865). 246. Brown. which. p. 1903). Melchite). 2:953b. p. Catalogue of the Syriac Manuscripts in the British Museum. said of our Lord and of the holy martyrs.and praises these "blessed martyrs. nor does the Greek text in any way suggest such a reading. the Syriac Peshitta has no mention of in this passage." published in Hebrew letters by the Bible Society of Israel [Jerusalem. and they seem to reflect later Greek metaphor rather than New Testament usage. 1901).. Jastrow. (2) the New Testament in the Syriac Bible of the Syrian Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East [Damascus]." The sources and precise meaning of these metaphorical usages are not immediately evident. 411 CE. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament [Oxford. 1955. I am grateful to Shraga Assif for his assistance in interpreting this passage. published by the United Bible Societies [1979]. and F." Cf. 360b. Dictionary. 1. 1 xK1n 1i7rn'nx nl n'15 lighted)by yourwine(nn=lon William Wright. However. which is not accessible to me. means a bunch or cluster of grapes (cf. The Thesaurus Syriacus of R. 435 CE). Bodl. and C. S. where the righteous Simeon took the eight-day old Jesus in his arms and blessed God for showing him the Savior. in addition to the obvious meanings of bunches or clusters of grapes.0 in Syriac texts presumably reflects Patristic-era Greek usage of 36TpuI (a cluster of grapes) for Christ . ca. 688b). arranged according to the eight tones. p. A Compendious Syriac Dictionary (Oxford. pleased. 353-354. based on earlier editions]. accordingly lists the metaphorical meaning of "the life-giving cluster.D01. S. 69. ratherthan the Hebrewwordfor "foot.and K11I in the Targum and Talmud. Rabulae Episcopi Edesseni.D relating to Jesus. The hymn is found in MS and was published by J. like the Aramaic 5 D0. the metaphorical usage of ?1. folio 71b. Syriac term D10. dey x:a). Ephraemi Syri. The hymn is included in a section called "Supplicatory hymns of every kind. Payne Smith (Oxford. in J. R. The reference to the martyrs is from a hymn by Rabbula.HILLEL'SRULE-JOSPE 47 the term 1nmentionedin connectionwith Hillel'sconversionof a non-Jew to Judaism can be understoodas the Latin regula. The reference to Jesus being held by Simeon is from Dawkins. Joseph Overbeck in S. 245ff. The reference to the martyrs as 5710 is based on the title of a hymn by Rabbula (d." for "the community is sweetened (or: improved. published by the British and Foreign Bible Society [London. 246. Opera selecta (Oxford. Briggs."3 The story in bShab 31a clearlyintendsto differentiate the perof Hillel and reads sonalities as follows: Shammai. who succeeded Diogenes as Bishop of Edessa. A.' nl0). xliii. Joseph Overbeck. p. 2524 lists. The shorter companion volume of J. 1986]). 439 (thirteenth century.

Cohen of Jerusalem.Tnw5?T A Gentilecame to Shammaiand said to him. this is the general principle (573) of the Torah: Whatever you hate to have done to you. Akiva] said to him. H. of course..n? -ni . do not do to your fellow. 3 I have not been able to locate this interpretation in any of Mordecai Kaplan's published books. spent forty days and forty nights on the mountain (of Sinai) before learning it. version B (Leiden. 2 For another possible bilingual pun. attributed earlier to Jesus (Matt 7:12 and Luke 6:31). our teacher. S.7n 17:X .3 SnY . version B. 'My son. 1961). In fact.irn .48 n:3a THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW inx 5x 7.rnn o NX. The [Gentile then] camebeforeHillel. "Convert me [to Judaism]. Akiva in Avot de-Rabbi Nathan (ed. and you say. Lampe. the English translation by Anthony J.KXtDU ""^ X3W IlnK $333 IWSD 3tW . p. do not do it to your fellow.I=y KW3 Unmnnn b w3 bSnWi mn-r. with the "Golden Rule" constituting his interpretation of the commandment to love one's fellow. Moses.rnK pnni n?K3 rn K n3inr . cf. However h1D came to be a metaphorical appellation for Jesus and the martyrs. 53): "Once someone came to R. For a discussion of various Jewish.x1nnorps) IXKI n*: . 42c. and Greek 5y WJl> . The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan. Ira Eisenstein.55n ." in contrast with Ben 'Azzai who regarded Gen 5:1 as the Torah's great principle.and the rest is its commentary. I have the information orally from Kaplan's disciple Jack J. unlike Hillel.?n IT .. Geoffrey W. go and study. how both cultures came to use the same metaphor. cannot yet be determined. Akiva's two general principles may well be positive and negative formulations of the same idea.' [R. chap." Akiva's formulation of the general principle ('75) of the Torah is also found in yNed 9. If you want no person to harm you or what is yours. 1975). 155. my son.'" Cf. Schechter [New York.mr1n:511 5). Cf.nrpT . Go and study. 'Rabbi.4 and the prophets. but he fails to add Hillel's all-important proviso. Akiva and said to him.providedthat you teach me the whole TorahwhileI stand on one foot. Near Eastern. and it is confirmed by Kaplan's son-in-law and successor. Saldarini also understands nnri: in the temporal sense of"at once. p. 4 A parallel story is attributed to R.) and Christianity (Syriac 110O theless. the parallel is striking: outstanding religious figures in Judaism (Hebrew n*fS:lN) are called "grape clusters"!Neverand Greek Po36pu. This is the whole Torahin its entirety. He said to him. If you want no person to take what is yours." In this story Akiva. do not harm him. 301. "Whatever is hateful to you.T`3 nTMan= xK m . p. and whether the one influenced the other. Teach me the Torah all at once! Instead.who converted him. "The rest is commentary. where Akiva says that "Love your fellow as yourself" (Lev 19:18)"is a great principle of the Torah (. Saldarini. note 7 below. where these and other metaphorical usages of botrus are listed. 1967]. explicitly formulates a general principle (55f ) epitomizing the Torah's ethics and adds further illustrative examples." Shammai pushed him away with the builder'scubit that he held in his hand. teach me the Torah all at once [nnK:].4. A Patristic Greek Lexicon (Oxford. do not take what is your fellow's. The positive formulation is also. 26.

and the extensive discussions in Saul Lieberman. 5 13:6424. "How long will you skip between the two opinions" (1 Kings 18:21). any necessary parallels or antecedents of the Golden Rule. A Dictionary of Greek and Latin Legal Terms in Rabbinic Literature (Ramat Gan.HILLEL'S RULE-JOSPE 49 The term 1a1 here is usually understoodin its literal meaning of "foot. MA. The essay was translated into English by Leon Simon under the title "Judaism and the Gospels" (in Ten Essays on Zionism and Judaism. Cf. 1922). p. which can be translated as "Between the Two Branches" or "Between the Two Opinions. his essay "'Al Shete ha-Se'ipim" (Kol Kitve Ahad ha-'Am [Jerusalem.5 A literal readingof "standingon one foot" is furtherjustified by the fact that knowledgeof Latinwas far less extensiveamong Jews than was their knowledgeof Greek. 1962). Letters. pp."7 no Latin influence is for to us understand event. Henry A. which he saw as based on altruism that ultimately is reverse egoism.. and was subsequently partially reissued by him under the title "Jewish and Christian Ethics" (in his Essays. Fischel. The title. 1965]. 1942). with Jewish ethics." and the story makes sense and derives much of its charmfrom that literalunderstanding of "standing on one foot". 1963).6 On the otherhand. Buber.v. 1946). Fischel in Encyclopaedia Judaica. Montefiore's commentary on the Synoptic Gospels. Ahad ha-CAm(Asher Ginzberg) argues against equating the positive formulation of Jesus with the negative formulation of Hillel. 51) in terms of Moses' receipt of God's crown may be a bilingual pun of 1'p1 and the Latin corona. s. "Greco-Roman Light on Rabbinic Texts. the arguments for Latin influences in Howard Jacobson. Biblical and Other Studies (Cambridge..the existenceof many Latin as well as Greekloanwordsin rabbinic Hebrew has been widely documentedin modern research. it is thus cited. and "How Much Greek in Jewish Palestine. Memoirs. Die Goldene Regel: Eine Einfiihrung in die Geschichte der antiken undfrtihchristlichen Vulgarethik (G6ttingen. 7:884-887. Daniel Sperber. 1984). although "'Latin'loanwordsin Hebrew." in Alexander Altmann. ed. cf.for example.in EliezerBen-Yehuda's Dictionary. cf. Cf. According to Dihle. 370-377) which was originally published in 1910 in response to the publication in 1909 of Glaude G. 6 Cf. were often loanwords In alreadyin the Greekfrom which they had been borrowed. For Latin and Greek legal terminology cf. which he saw as based on absolute justice. the Golden Rule originated in Greek Sophist literature of the second half of the fifth century BCE." Illinois Classical Studies 5 (1980): 57-62. S. and thus against the tendency of some liberal Jews to equate Christian ethics.and came into Judaism in the second pre-Christian century (p." means something like the English expression "straddling the fence.." and is a reference to Elijah's challenge to the people on Mount Carmel. . Jacobson suggests that the interpretation of Exod 34:29 (Moses' face "shone" [p'7]) in Midrash Tanhuma (ed. 7 Cf. 84). Henry A. Albrecht Dihle.. in EJ 7:885. Greek in Jewish Palestine (New York. also his "More Roman Light on Rabbinic Texts" in Illinois Classical Studies 8 (1983): 165-167.

pp. in the Satires of Horace. 1956). and Ars Poetica. Satire 4:9-10. 48-49. Kimelman?' and D. " Daniel Sperber. since there is a striking parallel to our phrase in the Latin expression "stans pede in uno. Horace. which include a criticism of Lucilius. A Dictionary of Greek and Latin Legal Terms in Rabbinic Literature. Tur-Sinai. and in relation to a Latin term.4. Rushton Fairclough (Cambridge.9 and is also discussed by R. Yohanan: Be-Regel Redufin Shanu. "Regel Redufin u-ven 'ESrim Lirdof. 279-285. namely the talmudic expression T'Irr1n1n. whose copiousness Horace resolved to avoid: "In hora saepe ducentos ut magnum versus dictabat stans pede in uno" ("Often in an hour. in the case of regel-regula. Sperber.'. and all the more so regarding the ambiguous passages about the ten batlanim: are the batlanim idlers who in any event have nothing better to do (as implied by the ordinary usage of the term). which in turn they posit as a possible corruption from legale repudium (legal divorce). as though a great exploit. the phrase "standing on one foot" may be found. o0Reuven Kimelman. which the literal Hebrew understanding of regel would never suggest. the Greek aoXokrand oXokaoaatKo6 may give us an insight into a possible word-play in the Hebrew. dated ca." in Sefer Yohanan Lewy (Jerusalem. Fairclough notes that "standing on one foot" is proverbial for "doing without effort. and yet it need not surprise us that people of different cultural backgrounds find similar expressions. and idem. ." HTR 73 (1980): 590-591. 1949). p. common themes." The parallel of the phrase is striking. pp. "Amar R. 197. therefore. can we also understand the term ?n1 nonliterally. Latin influence. Tur-Sinai. 59-64. which they tend to equate with the Latin regale repudium (royal divorce).8 Without denying the primary literal sense of the story. Book I. Moreover. 1942)." In the case of Hillel's statement in Avot 2. Cf. or in the absence of historical evidence. pp. The question is whether in a given instance a historical influence of one on the other can be documented. 9 N. 35 BCE. but in an entirely different context.11 who suggests.50 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW the story." in Ha-Lashon we-ha-Sefer (Jerusalem. or other parallels. could also support a literal reading of the story. or do the passages refer with approbation to ten men who out of their concern for the community's welfare avoid other remunerative occupations? Similarly. MA. whether an understanding of the one clarifies and helps us to understand the other better. the Latin opens up a range of literary and perhaps even historical perspectives. or as a Latin term? There is one clear instance in which some scholars have taken 51r in a nonliteral sense. "Rabbi Yohanan and Origen on the Song of Songs: A Third-Century Jewish-Christian Disputation. Epistles. 8 As has been called to my attention. This interpretation is developed at length by N. edited and translated into English by H. if it exists here at all. The issue is thus not merely to find parallels in Latin or other non-Jewish literature to the phrase "standing on one foot. Satires. he would dictate two hundred lines while standing on one foot"). for example.

' Whereas Sperber thus restores 5'l to normal Hebrew usage. 12 . A Latin connotation. and that 'sT1M may thus be a hebraizing corruption of 7"~s' = repudium.13Hillel's seven hermeneutic rules had a major influence on subsequent rabbinic thought and the later hermeneutic formulations of R. Tur-Sinai. p. grounds for Kaplan's unusual reading of our passage.' and therefore understands the term 1'5T17 'period of divorce. that there are four literary. Second.HILLEL'S RULE-JOSPE 51 however. 110. and not as the Hebrew root ?71. however.' In the absence of any historical information. Sifra. 14 Ishmael's thirteen rules are found in the Introduction to the Sifra. 37. Dictionary. might be more likely in the mouth of a non-Jew. n.12 Whatever the merits of understanding 5?1 in the legal context of 7'1'77r 'l as the Latin regale. Schechter). ARN(ed. p. version A.7 (Venice. although the parenthesis indicating TurSinai's authorship is missing. 1"T'D1 :n1(=regale repudium). First. p. 427). understanding 5a' in its Hebrew sense as meaning 'a 51l to mean the period. Hillel the Elder is credited in at least three separate rabbinic passages with having formulated the rnl'tn uV. Ishmael's famous thirteen rules (which came to be included in the daily morning service)14 Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. 3. nor his sources (if any). 13 Hillel's seven rules are found with slight variations in tSanh 7 (ed. It seems to me. what literary arguments can be adduced for such a Latin play on words. whether intentional or unintentional? Since to the best of my knowledge Kaplan did not discuss this interpretation in any of his voluminous writings but merely presented it orally to his classes. seven rules of biblical hermeneutics. if not etymological. who may have been the first to make the connection between 1D1'1n 51l and regale repudium and to suggest the possible corruption from legale repudium. 13:6447. however unlikely in the mouth of a Jew. goes further in the direction of Latin by suggesting that the second term in the phrase should also be taken as Latin. we now come back to Kaplan's suggestion that ?11 in the story of Hillel and the non-Jew be understood in terms of the Latin regula. This note is evidently the view of Tur-Sinai and not of Ben-Yehuda. Zuckermandel. 1. 'a rule. we do not have the benefit of his reasoning. so that what we have here is a completely Latin phrase. 2b. 1545). the person who spoke the words nnr 51n 5S was not Hillel or Shammai but the non-Jew.

18 This metaphorical usage of "standing" is explicitly connected to the term 'nl as a moral principle or foundation of the world in an alternate version of R.'5 Accordingly. ."8:366-372.. 1602. 1945). G. The PT passages also have R.M-)570 'rY7l n*)M Yl -. and the root "Rego. model. Oxford Latin Dictionary (Oxford. "Regula" in C." p.'7 And similarly: 17 nnxn 5Y . 16 Cf.'n V ni nnKn m -5Xl On the various versions of the hermeneutic rules and their development cf. used to say: The world stands on three things: on the Torah. T. Glare. pattern. and on kind deeds. but so may the word "standing. ." Other rabbis also attempted to epitomize reality by basic principles upon which the world "stands. and on peace. 1976).IMlY U'?1Z1 W'=1i IVrV 'Y :VM1K M. 17 Avot 1.In .2.. Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash (Philadelphia.5KX 1 711yn '1 n8X 1 01=1 . yTaCan4. Cf. Encyclopaedia Judaica.7t1t7I 7Y930b-nn 11IWw . s. 74b. and yMeg 3.79IMY M'IY.17 (18). 1969). . Strack.1m7. rule. not only may the "foot" in our story be understood metaphorically as a principle or foundation of the Torah. Eliezer ben Yose haGelili. Jacob bar Aha saying that the world "stands"on the principle of sacrifices.-I Y M 'IXn D13-1 Vln 5Y IMMK . A Latin Dictionary (Oxford. yTacan 4. on service.52 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW and the thirty-two rules attributed to R.l Simeon the Just. the association of Hillel with hermeneutic rules (IlT'n) is natural. nx n'tn DKv 15 M'I KIn-IV . . Simeon ben Gamaliel's statement: Tin 13z1 nn nrvan 7nmK1.732Y. and this association could underlie our story's portrayal of Hillel as interpreting the Torah in terms of one basic rule (regula) of behavior. 779 IW . "Hermeneutics. 93-98. Herman L. Short. and in P.16 Third. ?PnTM7Y?1V . or example. on justice.71 -lb MnV. p. p.r1'Vbt 1nK n5Y nX yTYIT n p7. W.77 tY . p. 68a. 68a and yMeg 3. 7 1p 1 py1V 7- Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel says: The world stands on three things: on truth. 74b. Cf. n rw . in the Latin sense of a basic principle." For example: 'Y . Lewis and S.IM. 1601. 1553. In some versions the alternate D3"jis used instead of r1MY.xvi 13 nV .v. 18 Avot 1.

and Israel who established the earth on three foundations. since it is written in the Torah. so the Torah extends to all its commandments. and cannot be given only one foundation. But it says [also] that Hillel taught him. on truth. which seems to be the main point of the story.. has the metaphorical connotation of an ethical or other foundation of a system. Yewanit wi. This is why our sages have taught that the world stands on three things: on justice. we come back to the obvious contrast drawn between Hillel and Shammai.. Hillel's intent was to teach us that all the Torah should have one basis and foundation ('101' 5V). The concept of the world standing on three foundations was not limited to rabbinic literary sources. Saul Lieberman. cf. Hiddushe Halakhot and Hiddushe 'Aggadot. 20 19 . 1962). which can also mean 'measuringrod' or 'ruler'as well as 'rule' or 'example.HILLEL'S RULE-JOSPE 53 R. Consider: if you pervert justice. On Edels." accordingly. The phrase lnnf 5:1 5 may thus be doubly metaphorical. He thus hinted to him that just as a building cannot stand on one foundation. DeutR on Deut 16:18. you shock the world.Yewanut be-'Eres Yisra*el (Jerusalem. Simeon ben Gamaliel said: Do not ridicule justice ('r7).. for it is one of the three foundations of the world (1i. invoking the God of Abraham. "Love your fellow as yourself" (Lev 19:18).yn '5:). in standard editions of BT..19 "Standing. in sharp contrast." etc. pp.. 81-82 discusses a North African love amulet from the third century (although the material is certainly much older). Hillel. since it is one of [the world's] foundations. and on peace. It says that Shammai pushed him [the Gentile] away with the builder's cubit. Encyclopaedia Judaica 6:363-364. and may indicate an ethical principle ("foot") upon which the Torah is founded ("stands"). Isaac. 21 Maharsha.21According to him. "Whatever is hateful to you. and thus complements the metaphorical usage of 571 as a fundamental principle (regula). welcomed the challenge and the challenger with his regula. Shammai angrily rejected the challenge and physically pushed away the challenger with his builder's cubit.' This juxtaposition was clearly recognized by Samuel Edels (1555-1631) in his commentary Hiddushe 'Aggadot to our passage.20 Fourth.

and posits instead a Syriac origin for the term. or peg. which is based on earlier lexica. Dictionary. Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods. Section 15 concerns the wooden post (or pole. 26 Hesychii Lexicon." Samuel Krauss (Griechische und Lateinische Lehnwdrter im Talmud. 6:131-132). 969a. and regulafabricata in Latin. Kohut. My thanks to Daniel Sperber for calling these sources to my attention. ed. A Greek-English Lexicon. 206-207. Edictum Diocletiani.54 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW In this context we should note that regula has also been suggested by some scholars as the root of the Hebrew and Aramaic b1D. t6kov) on a wagon. and we may have at least one instance of regula as a Latin loanword in a later Greek-Roman text. the common element seems to be a straight object in the shape of 22 The identification of ~'10 with regula appears first in Nathan ben Yehiel's 'Arukh. und Targum. 2:412b-413a) also derives 110Ofrom regula. Z. Cf. 4:1843 lists regula as the probable derivation of :'10. 1914]. who adds "some derive it from the Latin regula. Liddell and R. 23 Cf. 15:13 then has pI'Ykaeipyaoclvri in Greek. 2728-2729) offers "regula"as the meaning of XXVn1D. regula could conceivably have been known to first-century Jews through Greek as well as Latin. also lists peyXat as iron bars or rods. to strike grain to a level with from which is also derived pEyXtdCco. E. pp. Segal in his note in Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. p. Edictum Diocletiani et collegarum. A. 1. 25 Cf. a tool used for striking grain. Supplement. Marta Giacchero. Joannes Alberti (1746). 130b. Scott. Xpuooi p3p6nC. eyXCa. 24 Cf. ed. H. 969a) suggests that peyka may mean the peg at the end of the pole of a vehicle. 1:166-167. 683a). Liddell and Scott. G.24 T'PyXawas also the name of the strickle. Payne-Smith (Thesaurus Syriacus. aurum obryzae in regulis). Ev pcyXt6tS. A. Midrash.)26In all these cases. 130b. Cf. Section 28 deals with gold. and 28:1a refers to pcyXiov as a bar of standard gold (Greek.25(The fifth-century Lexicon of Hesychius of Alexandria. Supplement. Jewish knowledge of Greek was more extensive than was Jewish knowledge of Latin. A Greek-English Lexicon. . Sophocles (Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods [Cambridge. notes 16 and 17 to p7yXat. Jastrow (Dictionary 2:1023) suggests that 51X10 the saf'el form of the root 5:1 (and thus means to lead the writer in ruling or drawing lines). p. Avraham Even-Shoshan's vnrlnr l5n (Jerusalem. E. p. pp.but has nothing relating to 5nID. ed. Latin. 1974).but posits the Aramaic is root 71Das another possibility. 2:1109. 8:4203-4204.'22Moreover. n. but Immanuel Low rejects this view in his note and in the index (p. Cf. (Genoa. 5eykiov. p. 'ruler. Sophocles. I have been unable to substantiate Lbw's view in the Syriac dictionaries which I consulted. this view is shared by M. since as noted above. the measure. The Greek Edict of Diocletian (301 CE) refers to regla (part of a wagon)23 and reglion (a bar of gold). 1967).

1950]. Ezra." We need not." and 1M. Cf. . also the references to these terms for taxes in bBB 8a and especially bNed 62b. 3). but originated first among the Sophists in the second half of the fifth century BCE. pp. this popular ethical rule did not arise in the Jewish sphere at all. According to Dihle. similar to the Babylonian ilku tax in the laws of Hammurabi. Jastrow (Dictionary. where according to R.5. 1:353) suggests that 1t'[ means the sustenance of marching troops. Die Goldene Regel. 34). 83.is the K3131X (=Latin annona). When we 27 "Regula" has also been suggested as an equivalent of the term 1'7:. here as "land-tax.. In his discussion of this term the late Professor Saul Lieberman refers to the 15." 1*: is "the poll tax. of possibilities not immediately evident in a literal reading of the expression "standing on one foot.27 Greek culture might thus have served as a conduit for the Latin influence which Kaplan posited. 28 Cf. "It is possible that the term . 95-96. n. p." going so far as to suggest that we must look to Greek culture for the sources of the "Golden Rule" itself." and notes that the three terms in our verse occur in Akkadian: mndh= mandattu (tribute).'ltO means "the king's portion. Such traditional Jewish commentators as Rashi understood the term as the toll paid by travelers on the king's highway. 1965].1 has its origin in the name of the fixed land tax" (Lieberman. 1982) also translates 15. has ventured far beyond our interest in possible Latin connotations of the Hebrew phrase "standing on one foot. fixed rule (. p. Albrecht Dihle.. Albrecht Dihle. One scholar. attempt to prove conclusively or disprove Kaplan's theory on historical or linguistic grounds alone. whereupon it rapidly became a "solidly naturalized innovation. blw-biltu (tax).i. which would be consistent with the shape of the Latin regula.i tax in Ezra 4:13 as a land tax. As long as Mordecai Kaplan's interpretation of 511 as regula is at least historically plausible. The precise type of tax referred to as 15. the tax on the year's crop. in The Anchor Bible [New York. through the Latin. it enhances our literary appreciation of the story by making us more sensitive. In Lieberman's words." Jacob M. however interesting they may well be. hlk=ilku (income from labor) (cf. 84. in Ezra 4:13 is not clear. Judah.." in Hellenism in Jewish Palestine [New York. regula. "The Publicaa:IXjp) tion of the Mishnah. therefore."28 Whatever the merits of Dihle's thesis. and must have come into Judaism in the second century BCE. .HILLEL'S RULE-JOSPE 55 a bar or pole. what does it add to our understanding of our story? For even if Kaplan's interpretation cannot be conclusively demonstrated on historical or etymological grounds.5. The NJPS translation (Philadelphia. our aim is more modest and limited. Myers translates it as "duty. the taxes referred to in this verse are also found in Ezra 7:24.

There is . "Rabbinic Attitudes toward Philosophy.. Nevertheless. Cf... which however we have no evidence to prove. (Cf. and the formulations and the definitions in natural sciences are very similar to those of the Greek scholars. Whether or not the challenger literally stood on one foot. 123-141: None of the sources. Peshat is always of paramount importance. all their information may have been derived from secondary sources. But here again there is no evidence for rabbinic quotations from first-hand sources. Cf. especially Section 7 and notes 48-51 for a discussion of our story. Biblical and Other Studies (Cambridge. 17. also his "Love: The Beginning and the End of Torah. and so long as we keep within the limits imposed by the peshat may we not explore rabbinic texts as the rabbis explored the biblical text-as literature capable of multifaceted meaning? The contrast in our story is thus complete. we may find some meaning that the poet or artist did in fact intend. or could have intended. no evidence that the rabbis knew about the teachings of Epicurus more than the current general phrases . especially p.) Lieberman then continues: "Certain elements of most of the Greek sciences of that time were known to the rabbis in Palestine.56 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW read a poem or look at a picture. Shlomo Pines and Zev Warren Harvey. However. As Saul Lieberman summarized that consensus in his "How Much Greek in Jewish Palestine?. "To Behold the Stars and the Heavenly Bodies... his Greek in Jewish Palestine. even in this domain the early . n. whereas Hillel's regula (= r'rn = rule) was used to bring him to the Torah. .Professor Harry A." in Studies in Memory of Rabbi William Braude. pp.. Wolfson declared (Philo I. 92) that he was not able to discover any Greek philosophic term in rabbinic literature. Ben Braude et al. In his "Rabbinic Attitudes toward Philosophy. Shammai's regula was used to reject the challenger." Immanuel (1985): 33-37 (which first appeared in Hebrew in Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought 3 [1984]: 507-511). the dividing line between them is not always clear." Harvey challenges the prevailing scholarly consensus that the rabbis knew Greek (to a greater extent) and Latin (to a lesser extent) and employed loanwords from Greek and Latin legal terminology and material culture. On possible parallels between rabbinic and philosophic ethics. ed.. pp. 1963). 1976): 5-22. 1." In the case of the rabbis and Gnosticism." in Alexander Altmann.. and derash is always accountable to the peshat. ed. 1-2. indicates direct Greek philosophical influence. cf. and whether or not Hillel had a regula (measuring rod) in his hand as Shammai did.29 29 Zev Warren Harvey arrives independently at very similar conclusions in his forthcoming article. according to Lieberman. but that they had no direct knowledge of Greek philosophy and did not read Greek philosophical works. the situation is similar: "Certain basic teachings of the Gnostics were not entirely foreign to the rabbis . I want to state more positively: Greek philosophic terms are absent from the entire ancient Rabbinic literature." Tradition 15 (Spring.

Underthecircumthe rabbinic silencein theseareasis puzzling. is thusa satirical to the practice of the philosophers" Attitudes response ("Rabbinic towardPhilosophy").do not give any information public life. the rabbinic of writtenGreeksources. 886:"Theloanwords of life.HILLEL'SRULE-JOSPE 57 nevermentionsa single Greek'philosophic' term used by the rabbinicliterature coverall aspects Gnostics" (pp. and prominent however.etc.or if the rabbis' interests hadnothingin commonwiththoseof the philosophers.ethics.. Whatever the answerto the questionposedby Harvey.if indirect. All of these observations. but areespecially in certainareasof material civilization .Harveysuggests.). but alsobecause the rabbis wereinterested in issuesof philosophic concern(cosmology.his thesisis all the more intriguingpreciselybecauseof the difficultyof arguingfrom silence (a lack of evidence).141)..andhe concludes: "Thean. Fischelin EJ. fact not be accidental.cdote. not only becausethe rabbis(as documented so and others)often had extensive." regarding knowledge Harvey'sthesis is that this absenceof Greekphilosophictermsfrom rabbinic literature is all the morepeculiar.Cf. Latinregula). p. The absenceof philosophic termswouldmake sense if the rabbisknew nothingof Greeklanguageand culture.rootedin the triplepunon regula..knowledge impressively by Lieberman of Greeksources. .. 132.andmayin stances. thussees ourstoryas an attemptto providea Jewishalternative to Stoic Harvey and Epicurean summationof their systemsin one basic principle(GreekKiavOv.

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