Saturday, July 21, 2012


A Prayer of Thanks

Moses Hadas, Hellenistic Culture: Fusion and Diffusion (1959; rpt. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1972), p. 71:
At the end of each tractate of the Talmud, even where the subject is torts or contracts, there is a formula to be recited by those who have finished studying it. In part it runs as follows:
I thank thee my God and God of my Fathers that thou hast set my lot among those that sit in the house of study and hast not set my lot among those that sit at the street corners: for I rise early and they rise early, but I rise early for things of study and they rise early for things of vanity; I toil and they toil, but I toil and receive reward and they toil and do not receive reward; I hasten and they hasten, but they hasten to the pit of destruction and I hasten to life in the world to come.

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