Monday, July 20, 2009

Source of Jewish Expression

Question: What is the source for the following Jewish expression? In English, the expression goes something like this: “Draw the child to you with the right hand, hold him in abeyance with the left”.

Answer: Perhaps you are referring to the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sotah, p.47a: “Tanya, Rabi Shimon ben Elazer omer: ‘yetser tinok ve-ishah tehe semoel doheh ve-yemin mekarevet’”. This means: “It was taught, Rabbi Shimon ben Elazer said: ‘[In regards to] desire[s], a child, and a woman – let the left hand push them away and the right hand bring them close’”.

1 comment:

1. It's also important when looking at this piece of wisdom to keep in mind that kabbalistically the right hand is meant to represent chesed (kindness), while the left hand represents din (judgement.) Many insights can be drawn by applying this to the context.

Yisraela T.