(Antique Foodways) Idle Talk (Ecclesiastes Rabbah)

garlic

“All things toil to weariness, [a person] cannot utter it” (Eccles. 1;8). Idle talk wearies [a person]: “The partridge today is pickled with garlic.” The side of the [animal] is like lead.””Cut thin slices.” “Roasted with mustard.” “Portions which deserve to be called portions.” “Ox of judgment with poor mountain,” “beet with mustard.”

–Ecclesiastes Rabbah I. 8.1

[In a note the editors to the Soncino translation explain the puns in Hebrew that some of these examples build upon. The  midrash goes on to talk about remedies for hair loss]

The following midrash continues the theme of idle talk that wearies talk about 500 confections with wheat and 100 dishes with egg.” Ascribed to Rabbi is the comment that today we don’t know what good living is, after the destruction of the Temple and the life that went with it.

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. http://religion.syr.edu
This entry was posted in uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s