Thursday, February 25, 2010

The good old days


"'And it was, in days of Achashverosh (Esther 1:1)' - Rabbi Levi, or some say Rabbi Yonatan, declared: We have a tradition from the Great Assembly that whenever the text says, 'And it was,' this is only an expression of pain:

"'And it was, in the days of Achashverosh' - and Haman arose. 'And it was, in the days of the judging of the judges' - and there was a famine...

[The gemara then challenges this point, pointing out that there are positive 'And it was' references in the Torah.]

"Rav Ashi said: 'And it was' may be negative or positive. 'And it was, in the days of,' is only an expression of pain."

(Talmud, Megilah 10b)

I would add, homiletically: When people live exclusively in the past, talking about, 'It was, back in the day,' then the nation is headed for trouble...

Have a great day,

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