Chagiga 4: Midlife Crisis Daf Part 1

Chagiga 4 is one of the most powerfully thought provoking in shas. It can be seen as pessimistic and arbitrary.

One the last part of 4b, there is a bizarre story. The Angel of Death sends a messenger to take the life of “Miriam the hairdresser”, yet the emissary mistakenly takes the life of “Miriam the child watcher.” When the mistake is realized the emissary asks, “shall I return her?” and the answer is flippant and casual. Essentially, dont bother.

For those of us who look to text for inspiration and answers to life, to difficulties, obstacles or seeming injustices- this is a tough one. Is heaven and it emissaries so flippant with out lives. It sounds like the greek gods playing with humans.

Rabbi Schwartz of OZ gave a comment. When somone one is taken or someone is taken seemingly before their time, dont ask questions. Dont’ look for a reason why such a thing happened. There is mazal in this world and lack of mazal.

Herein is the midlife dilemena. All our lives we are taught that hard, discipline, rigour or righteousness is the key to a happy or fulfilling life and in one page of talmud that is shattered. This daf feeds into the midlife dilemna. We realize that life is really not fair, is arbitrary, and most importantly not really understandable or in our control.

There are some harsh lessons in Judaism. This is one of them.

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2 Responses to Chagiga 4: Midlife Crisis Daf Part 1

  1. Lukeman, Joshua A. says:

    Great seeing you last night David!

    Sent with BlackBerry Work (www.blackberry.com)

    From: ShikkerDovid <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Date: Sunday, Feb 13, 2022, 11:04 AM To: Lukeman, Joshua A. (VPBR 9) <josh.lukeman@credit-suisse.com> Subject: [New post] Chagiga 4: Midlife Crisis Daf Part 1

    shikkerdovid posted: ” Chagiga 4 is one of the most powerfully thought provoking in shas. It can be seen as pessimistic and arbitrary. One the last part of 4b, there is a bizarre story. The Angel of Death sends a messenger to take the life of “Miriam the hairdresser”, y”

  2. Jonathan Field says:

    As always the SD taps into what we all feel. Thanks for spelling it out so eloquently

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