Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Sanhedrin Perek Aleph: דיני ממונות בשלושה

We judge certain matters in courts
Of three: Damages, beatings and torts
And the calf we behead
When we find a man dead;
“And seducers!” So Meir reports.

Do we follow the Torah as read
And ignore what is written instead?
Extra vav, extra yud
Does it matter? It should
Not (assuming we hold by what’s said).

Rabi said, “So your nephew went down
Into Bavel. A new guy in town.
Will he teach? He will teach!
Will he judge? And he’ll preach!
But not blemishes, nope,” Rabi frowned.

In a cemet’ry walked Rabbi Chiya,
Saw a man there and gasped: “Mamma Mia!
Priests can’t stand near the dead!”
Said the man: “My dad wed
A divorcee.” (No more first aliyah!)

A man steals some tall sheaves of wheat.
And then bakes it as challah to eat.
If he takes out some dough
Does he bless it although
It was stolen? Would priests want that treat?

Was Moses’ brother possessed
For the calf was built at his behest!
He saw Chur lying dead
On the ground, and he said
“I am next!” and in fear acquiesced.

I remember a time we adored
One another. The tip of a sword,
Wide enough for our bed.
Now estranged, there’s instead
A vast space where we rest in discord.

A judge in a court would be wise
To imagine a sword ‘tween his thighs
At his feet, hell gapes wide–
If he takes the wrong side
He’ll be plunged to his dreadful demise.

Rav’s landlord said, “Judge me in court.”
“But I know you,” was Rav’s quick retort.
“Rav Kahana will do it
Perhaps you will rue it–
I can’t guarantee his support.”

If a woman is learned in Torah
(Of such women attests our Amora.)
Must a warning be given?
Or is she forgiven
If unwarned? A box of Pandora!

Rabi, while teaching, once smelled
Garlic. Whereupon thus he expelled:
“He who ate it, walk out!”
Shmuel HaKattan, no doubt
Blameless, left the room as if compelled.

Vegetables can’t be imported
To Israel, some rabbis reported.
We’re loathe to despoil
Our land with their soil.
“So what?!” other rabbis then snorted.

Abahu, not yet an old geezer,
Went often to visit the Caesar.
There was always a dame
Who would sing out his name
We surmise his appearance did please her!

Can a lion or wolf be your pet?
How domesticated can they get?
If they kill off a guy
We don’t kill them? We try
Them in court? Says Akiva: “You bet!”

King David woke not by alarm
But by harp. (For those beeps can disarm!)
It was played by the wind
Which at midnight blew in
Playing music. It worked like a charm!

“Moses is going to die
We’ll be led by young Josh, former spy!”
So Eldad and Mei-
Dad were famous for say-
Ing. “Come quail!” they would then prophecy.

There are things that a town must provide
So a Torah sage there can reside:
Court and bathroom and shul;
Doctor, scribe, butcher, school.
Also fruit, for it makes you bright-eyed.

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