Man & Wolf (Berechiah ha-Nakdan)

A man taught the letters of the alphabet to a wolf. He said to him, “Say aleph” and the wolf answered, “Aleph.” Then he said, “Pray, say  beth,” and the wolf guarded the utterance of his lips and said beth and gimel after him. Said the man: “Now listen to what I set before thee, so that thou mayst recognize the letters and put them together and so be able to pronounce what thou wilt. When thou combinest the letters together, we shall be one people. Put aleph and beth together as I do,” The wolf responded “Sheep!”

(from Berechiah ha-Nakdan, Mishleo Shualim [Fox Fables], 12th or 13th C.?)

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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2 Responses to Man & Wolf (Berechiah ha-Nakdan)

  1. talila says:


  2. tairn says:

    Reminds me of Wittgenstein’s ‘even if a lion could speak, we would not understand him’ for his concerns are the concerns of a lion, not a human.

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