Temura 16: The Talmud Really Gets Human Nature

The daf 16 of Temura has a fascinating Aggaita (story, homily or parable) It speaks about how laws, legalisic logic, strignencies or halachic concetps were forgotten during the death of Moshe.  It mentions someone who helped  find them: Othniel ben kenaz. We are told that he is the y0unger brother of Caleb and most interesting he is married to” Achsa .”

The Talmud is almost fishing or baiting to tell you this. It immediately asks why the name “Achsa”. . The Talmud responds to itw own quesstion by telling you that “Achsa” is similiar to the worad “caas” or anger. Why anger? This is the great punch-line of the Tamud:  Because she was so beautiful that all men would get angry at their own wives for not being so pretty as” Ochsa”

Really? Could her real name be “Ochsa” or more probably this was her nickname or as she was colloqually called in summer camp, seminary, or college days (to use our modern terms)  .

But what is the Talmud really teaching. The SD would like to weight in. It is teaching a lesson in humanity,  human fraility. We all love a pretty face. We are all human. We all have petty jealousies,  desires, fantasies. We are human.  It is funny to think that around the world today, in the most religious and holy houses of study, we are learning that a pretty face can spark such human emotion as being “angry” at your own wife.  Of course we arent “angry” that our wives are not as pretty as “Achsa” But it nice to know that th Talmud recognizes the human fraility within us.

Maybe the lessson is recognize your are human. But strive to be better at being human.

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