Limericks: Masechet Makkot

This witness could not have been there
We know he instead was elsewhere
If we cannot do
What he tried, unto you –
We give lashes, with one left to spare.

It’s your head that you want to insert
But the collar’s sewn shut on your shirt
Do not rip, do not tear
If you do, then beware
You must slaughter a goat, we alert.

“He owes two hundred coins,” so they say.
But these witnesses aren’t OK.
When they spoke, they were lying
And also conspiring,
Hence lashes. (Must they also pay?)

Yehuda ben Tabbai would cry
On a witness’ grave: “’Woe am I.
For I ordered him dead
Which was wrong, Shetach said
It is my moaning you’ll hear ‘til I die.”

A witness can’t give a report
Through a translator when in a court
But Rava did so!
That’s ‘cause Rava did know
What they said, just not how to retort.

If a court kills once per seven years
It’s destructive – so tremble in fear.
Akiva said: Hey
Once in seven? No way!
None would die in a court of my peers!

If you throw a stone straight at a tree,
And some dates fall and kill somebody
Is it like when you hack
Some wood off of your axe?
That’s the force of your force? Could it be?

Avimelech thought Sarah was there
For the taking (Abe made it seem fair).
Then he said: “By your life!
I have slept with your wife!”
Do we punish him, though unaware?

Rav Hisda learned Torah – his goal
Was: Let death angel not seize my soul
Then the angel made fall
Cedar branch. Hisda stalled
Midst his learning, and death took its toll.

The mothers of high priests would sew
Clothes for those who in exile must go
Lest the exiled ones pray
That the priest die away
They did not want their sons on skid row.

Yoav, fleeing King Solomon, would take
To the altar, with so much at stake.
He held on to the horns
Although sin is not borne
By the horns. This was his first mistake.

If a murderer is exiled and then
He comes back to his hometown again.
Can he go back to work
(Though some hold he’s a jerk)
Can he work the same job as back when?

I was once at the butcher. I shopped
There while Josh’ua and Gamliel dropped
By. I asked: If your aunt:
Is your sister, you can’t
Sleep with her; Lashes – when do they stop?

Do not muzzle an ox. It may eat
While it’s plowing your field full of treats.
Here the Torah says no
And from this law we know
When with lashes the sinner we beat.

You get lashes for eating crushed ants.
And for holding it in, lest your pants
Fill with pee. And for taking
The chicks, while forsaking
To send mom away – this you can’t!

Shimon, even when wrong, can expound
Torah like no one else who’s around
So said Rava, impressed.
Giving all moms this test:
Is it Shimon? Check your ultrasound!

Too much flour will not mix with oil
And your sacrifice plans will be foiled
But if you can mix
It, then that does the trick
Even if you forgot, it’s not spoiled.

Firstborn beasts are all holy to God
(Like the tenth passing under the rod.)
But with no Temple left
And us all quite bereft
Bring them still to the site? Is that odd?

Do not make a bald spot on your head
If you must shave, shave elsewhere instead
And although it sounds weird
Keep the edge on your beard
Sins like these is where razors have led.

Do not print a tattoo on your skin—
Cut your flesh, and then squirt some ink in—
All tattoos? Or just those
About idols (God’s foes)
All tattoos, it seems, bring God’s chagrin.

Priests, don’t plow over plots of mixed seeds
With an ox and a donkey (not steeds)
On a festival day
With a corpse in the way
You’ll get lashes for each of these deeds.

A woman whose husband is dead
Must she marry his brother instead
If he’s covered in boils
That make her recoil
Don’t muzzle! An ox should be fed.

The sages, when quite far from home
Wept when hearing the masses in Rome
But aware of God’s craft
Wise Akiva just laughed
And his laughter resounds in this tome.

Limericks: Bava Metzia perek 4 הזהב

Bava Metzia chapter 4

Is it silver you use to buy gold?
Is it rather the silver that’s sold?
The Nasi first said one
Back when teaching his son
Then he changed his mind when he got old.

“I’ll pay you with new coins my friend”
Can he pay him old coins in the end?
He must do as he said
Lest his friend be misled
Though most people want old coins to spend.

When you take hold of the object, it’s bought
And not when you pay, as we thought.
Lest the seller, a liar
Say “My attic’s on fire
Your wheat burned. The sale was for naught.”

What’s this thing that they call Asimon?
Not those things they once used for the phone.
It’s a ticket you get in
The bathhouse, once let in–
Or a coin still unstamped and unknown.

Rabbi Hiya bar Yosef sold salt.
He was paid, but then wished to default
For the price never fell
It just rose. Must he sell?
“You’ll be cursed if you try now to halt.”

Don’t charge more than a sixth of the price
That is called O’na’ah. It’s a vice.
You can’t charge in your store
Any price so much more
Than the object is worth. Be precise.

If you’re overcharged, can you return
The item whenever? We learn—
Only ‘til you could show
To your friends, who’d say “No!
That is not worth that much, we discern.”

Sadly price gouging happens a lot
If you’re a merchant, or if you are not.
If you know you’ve been tricked
It is your right to pick:
Take your cash, or what you should have got.

That coin you were handed is bad
It is worn away. Well, just a tad.
You can go take it back
You have time, but don’t slack—
Make him own up, that seller, that cad.

Maaser Sheni – eat within the walls
Of Jerusalem. What if they fall?
Can you then redeem
Your tithe? It would seem
That you can. Not according to all!

Teruma is meant for a priest
So don’t eat it all up in a feast
If you eat by mistake
You must pay, and we take
The full sum, plus a fifth (that’s at least!).

A Pruta is not very much.
Do we take you to court over such
A small sum? Yes we do
If the money was due
To the Temple. That you cannot touch!

There is no On’a’ah if it’s land
You are buying. There’s no hand-to-hand
Transaction. So too,
With slaves, we construe
Them as land, as you must understand.

If you promised to donate some flour
To the Temple. But within the hour
The price shot up high
Must you give as much? Why?
It’s the Temple! Now don’t look so sour!

If a convert comes by, you can’t say
“It was ten years ago to the day
That your Dad ate some pork
With a spoon and a fork”
Do not torture or turn him away.

Better to fall in a furnace and burn
Than embarrass your friend, so we learn
From Tamar, who did not
Speak aloud Judah’s rot
Blaming Judah was not her concern.

In your store, don’t hand out nuts and sweets
To the kids who come in seeking treats.
For you’ll give them a knack
To come flocking right back
It’s not fair to the stores on your street.

Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masekhet Yoma, chapter 8


On Yom KIPpur, you can’t eat or drink
You can’t wash yourself off in the sink.
Or wear shoes on your feet
(Pregnant ladies can cheat)
Or anoint with perfume – which must stink.


“You must torture your souls” — this does not
Mean go sit in the sun, burning hot.
It means don’t eat or drink
That is all, so we think
Say the sages: And that’s quite a lot.


Said the Israelites: Oh, how we wish
We could go back to eating that fish
For it tasted so yummy
In Egypt! (The mummy
Would also want some on its dish.)


The manna fell not once a year
But each day – to instill in us fear,
And to turn hearts with love
To the One up above,
For He sent it, yes that much is clear.
Shammai did not want to feed
Any food to a child. But heed:
For the sages say wash
And then spoonfeed kids squash
Kids don’t fast, so the sages decreed. 


A bride fasts but washes her face
Lest her groom think: My wife’s a disgrace.
And the king, who is seen,
By his subjects, keeps clean
While the rest of us smell up the place.


You can’t eat more than a big date
For apparently this satiates.
Hey, but how big is it?
Do we include the pit?
These are questions the Talmud debates. 


Bar Yuchni was quite a big bird
And his eggs were so large it’s absurd
And a person who bit
Into one, could not fit
The whole thing in his mouth. Oh my word.


If you eat food not fit for consumption
On Yom Kippur – what is the assumption?
Not real food, hence not bad?
But it’s food that you had
Rava says, “Like hot peppers” –with gumption.

Said a dame with a babe in her womb

“I crave food! You must let me consume!”
They must whisper – “Repast?
But my dear, it’s a fast.”
If she still eats, her child is doomed.


Said the sick man: “I really need food.”
Said the doctor: “Ignore his bad mood.”

The patient is right
So we give him a bite
(Better so, lest the doctor be sued.) 


If a baby is found in a town
Where it’s mostly non-Jews who abound
We assume the babe too
Is likely not a Jew
Wall collapses? Leave him on the ground.


How is a baby created?
Is it from its head that it’s instated?
Or else from its middle
Indeed, it’s a riddle
That sages at great length debated. 


If you sin but you then mend your ways
Don’t return to those sins when you pray
Like a dog who is sick
And its vomit then licks
God says: Ick! I don’t need this display!

If one says: I will sin, for the day
Of Yom Kippur makes sins go away—
Well, if only he’d known
That the day won’t atone
You can’t plan out your penance that way.

If semen is seen on the date
That Yom Kippur falls out, that is great—
Having such an emission
Is prove of contrition.
May God grant us all such a fate.


Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masekhet Eruvin

An alley roof may reach so high
That it nearly approaches the sky
But alas you cannot
Carry there on Shabbat
‘Til you lower it for passersby.

A Korah is a side-to-side beam
That’s affixed so an alley will seem
Like a less public place
So it can be a space
One can carry in, our sages deem.

With many folks sharing a pot
It will never get cold or get hot
Because each guy avers
“Surely someone else stirs”
And the soup that’s inside starts to rot.

The species of Israel are treasures
Wheat, barley, and grapes – oh such pleasure
From our bounteous land
But you must understand
They are also intended as measures!

An alley extends to the sea
And its other end happens to be
By a big garbage heap
May one carry? They sweep
Garbage out periodically.

A fence may have much open space
In between its slats. If that’s the case
If there’s less wood than air
Can you still carry there
If you walk in Shabbat through that place?

What makes an alley OK?
Beam and post! That’s what Beit Shammai say.
Hillel say: Either one
Alone gets the job done
Eliezer: “Two posts!” joins the fray.

Meir says: With Akiva I learned
To use vitriol ink, thus I earned
As a scribe my own living
Yishmael had misgivings
Vitriol was a substance he spurned.

Yishmael said: You do holy work,
Rabbi Meir, and therefore don’t shirk
Or slack off. Every letter
You write, it had better
Be perfect. Destruction here lurks.

The Sotah—adulterous dame—
Gets a scroll written out. May the same
Scroll be reused again?
Must the scribe each time pen
It anew? It does not say her name.

Rabbi Meir was quite a great sage
The most famous to live in his age
But the rabbis don’t rule
In accord with his school
For his wisdom was too deep to gauge.

For two and a half years ‘twas fated
That Hillel and Shammai debated:
Is it good that man’s here
Since we sin without fear?
Better never to have been created?

What’s the blessing you say when drink?
Tarfon said: Shehakol’s what you think
But it’s not! For I vote
For Borei Nefashot
Go and see what men do, and rethink.

A well is surrounded by four
Cornered posts, though they look like twice more.
So that cattle can nuzzle
Around it and guzzle
They’re private domain space décor.

A man should walk first in a line
Any women should trail far behind
She’s ahead on a bridge?
He should stand in the ridge
To the charms of her backside, stay blind.

There are three entrances into hell:
The first is where ocean tides swell
At Jerusalem’s gate,
Where the deserts stretch straight,
To the place where the sinners all dwell.

A cow’s head and body extend
To the private domain; its rear end
Is still in public space
May it drink in that place?
Do we “rosho v’rubo” contend?

Whence come Eruv and hand-washing laws?
King Shlomo alone is the cause.
With Torah a basket
Said Shlomo, “My mascot
Is handles. I’ll add them!” Applause.

An Eruv’s a small bit of food
That is shared among neighbors. Exclude
Only water and salt
With such foods we find fault
Hearts of palm, though, are fine, we conclude.

Rabbi Zeyra would study a lot.
When he couldn’t go on, he would not.
He would sit on a stoop
Looking out for a group
Of wise scholars to greet from that spot.

Hanina sat down. On his plate
Was an onion. Hanina then ate
It. Inside was a snake!
Did he die? Heaven’s sake!
No! His colleagues averted this fate.

Can you send Eruv food with a beast?
Tell a monkey: “Please carry this east?”
To an elephant, say,
“Take my Eruv, I pray”
Yes! But man must retrieve it, at least.

Drive a donkey and camel at once?
It’s impossible! You’d be a dunce
You won’t move from your place
You’ll be stuck in that space
One should never agree to such stunts.

For the Tchum Eruv, go drag your feet
To the outermost alley or street
In that place you should park
Just until it gets dark.
Are you lazy? Then just send a treat.

If you’re fasting on Friday, you stop
Just before it’s Shabbat. Do you drop
The fast early or not?
Can you enter Shabbat
Feeling starving? You don’t want to plop.

If you dock in a port on Shabbat
Can you get off the boat? Must you not?
Rabban Gamliel said
On dry land you may tread
If at nightfall you’re in the right spot.

A telescope! What an invention
And that Gamliel had one bears mention.
He could measure the height
Of a tree (not at night,
Using shadows) and other dimensions.

Nechemia, immersed in his learning,
Did something that’s rather concerning:
He walked out of his Techum
Unaware, we presume
Now will sages permit his returning?

If you fall fast asleep on the street
When you wake up, you jump to your feet
It’s Shabbat, is it not!
Can’t believe I forgot
Now how far can I travel to eat?

Rabba said to Rav Yosef: We’ll be
On Shabbat mostly under this tree
That has so many dates
I could sell them for rates
That would pay off my taxes for me.

The Judeans were careful with words
And precise in their speech—oh, what nerds.
Galileans were sloppy
Their words, hard to copy
Their teachings thus went to the birds.

There once was a guy with a book.
He was whispering. Beruria said: “Look,
Do you want to forget
What you learn? That’s a threat!
Learn aloud.” Then she kicked him. He shook.

Learning Torah is like a gazelle
Do you want to know why? I will tell.
A gazelle’s narrow womb
Makes sex nice, we presume.
Likewise Torah, each time, casts a spell.

Torah’s words are compared to a breast
For a baby, and baby knows best.
Like the breast satisfies
When the poor baby cries
Torah offers us what to digest.

Prida’s patience was known through the land
When his student did not understand
He taught four hundred times
‘Til “I got it!” he chimed
Once he taught even more times than planned.

Torah scholars must live in a town
Where vegetables grow and abound
Onions and leeks
Will add shine to one’s cheeks
Therefore live where fresh produce is found.

We measure the Techum with a rope
But what do we do with a slope?
You don’t need to stop
Or to let the rope drop
It’ll still be precise, so we hope.

If you share your yard with a non-Jew,
When it’s shabbos, what are you to do?
If the goy will agree,
You rent his property
Make an Eruv, and then carry through.

Do not teach if your teacher is there
If you’re asked about knives, do take care.
If you don’t have respect
Then your life will be wrecked
By a snakebite. It’s true. So beware!

Is it good to drink wine ere you teach
When you’re drunk, can you give a good speech?
Said the rabbis: No, no!
Said Rav Nachman: Not so—
I must down a glass each time I preach.

Rav Hisda and Sheshet would shake
When they’d see one another, they’d quake
Each could not comprehend
How much Torah his friend
Knew. Their friendship, alas, was at stake.

Several groups of friends slept in one hall
‘Twas divided into separate stalls.
Beit Shammai will teach
It’s one Eruv for each
Says Beit Hillel: One Eruv for all.

Mom’s Eruv is good for her son
If he’s so young that she wipes his bum.
If he wakes up at night
And cries “Ima” in fright
And he cries and he cries ‘til she’ll come.

If a guy goes away for Shabbat
Do we fear he will come back, or not?
If he goes to his son
Whose wife may make him run
Back, an Eruv without him is shot.

If Tefillin are found on Shabbat
By the roadside, or a parking lot.
May you carry them in
Or would that be a sin?
Should you leave them all day in that spot?

If you’re reading a scroll on a stoop
And it falls from your hands, may you scoop
It back up? May you roll
It for “book” just means “scroll”—
Shimon says: Holy things should not droop.

May you walk across grass on the day
Of rest? What would Virginia Woolf say?
Keep off if it’s dry
If it’s wet, then pass by
At your leisure, and be on your way.

Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Berakhot (chapters 1-3)


When may we say Shma at night?
From the time the priests take their first bite
‘Til the first nightly shift
Or ‘til midnight comes swift?
Rabban Gamliel says: ‘Til first light.

Rabban Gamliel’s sons came home late
From a party. They said, “It was great!
But I fear we forgot
To say Shema. We cannot
Do it now, can we?” “Yes! And don’t wait.”

Rabbi Yossi set out on his way
When he stopped in a ruin to pray
There Elijah was sitting
He said, “It’s not fitting
Your long prayer. We don’t have all day!”

King David would wake with the trill
Of his harp, which would sound with the chill
Of the midnight north wind
But he wasn’t chagrined
He’d jump up and learn Torah – God’s will.

Midnight’s the deadline to say
Ma’ariv. After that, you can’t pray.
So the sages ruled, lest
One come home, craving rest,
And be snatched by sleep ‘til the next day.

If you say Shema in your bed
Then the demons will not rear their heads.
If you pray to the Lord
Then a sharp two-edged sword
Will protect you (or so it is said).

If you know that your friend will say hi
You should greet him right when you espy
Him. If first he greets you
And you don’t greet him too
You’re a thief (also not a nice guy).

God gets mad for but seconds. The hen
Has the sign that will tell you just when:
Its comb turns pale white
And it trembles in fright
You should curse all your enemies then.

An Aramean said, “Please sit down
On my bed.” Papa heard this and frowned:
“First turn over that bed”
Yikes! A baby was dead
Underneath. Papa fled from their town.

When to say Shema? At first light?
From the time you can tell blue from white.
Others say: Blue from green
(Guess their eyesight is keen)
All agree: ‘Til the sunrise burns bright.

Young King David would nurse at the breast
Of his mom. (Even then, breast was best!)
He would break off and sing
Of this marvelous thing:
“Praise the Lord who put these on her chest!”

Beruria said to her spouse: “It is sin
And not sinners that we want done in.
So I pray, as one should,
For the bums in our ‘hood
Meir said: “With my wife, I can’t win.”

Hannah said, “There is no rock like God.”
But the midrash says, “This is a nod
To the Artist Divine
Who, with brushstrokes and lines,
Shapes a babe, like a pea in a pod.”

If you marry a virgin, no need
To say Shema, our religion’s great creed.
For a widow, you must
You can wait with your lust,
Pause to pray, and then go do the deed.

Balak’s blessing, intended as curse,
Is not part of the Shema. For averse
Were the sages to add
Not because he was bad
But because he was, well, not quite terse.


One was reading the Torah and got
To the point with the Shema. Was it not
His intention to pray
From the scroll on that day
It depends on his plan and his plot.

If you start the Shema, then fall asleep
Do we wake you, or make not a peep?
If you said the first line,
But no more, it is fine.
Others say: Shema sure beats counting sheep.

Don’t take care of your needs ere you pray
Prayer should mark off the start of your day.
Don’t say hi to your friend
Or set off down the bend
On a trip. We allow no delay.

If you say Shema with earplugs – ok?
But you can’t even hear what you say.
Rabbi Yossi says: No!
But the sages say: Go
On. It’s God who must hear what we pray.

The womb is like hell. Both admit
Things that come, stay a while, and sit,
Then go out. But the womb
Is a most quiet room;
Hell absorbs you with loud screaming fits.

Workers say Shma on top of a tree
Or on stones where they happen to be
In the middle of work.
It’s a small builders’ perk
To help them pray more conveniently.

On the ninth of Av, most take a break
From their work – it’s a fast, for God’s sake.
If others don’t work
Then you should also shirk
Your job. Humility is at stake!


If before you, spread out on a bed,
Is a man who is lying there dead
Then you need not fulfill
Any mitzvot, until
Burial. Shema, too, need not be said.

In a cemet’ry no one sits chilling
But if you are there, don’t wear tefillin
It is rude to the dead
Who can’t wear on their head
That same mitzvah that you are fulfillin’.

Rav Hisda’s sons sadly forgot
All the Torah they learned. This was not
Something good. They said, “Woe,
Does our dead father know?
Is he conscious, or is he just rot?”

A man on a way to a bris
Finds a dead man unburied: “What’s this?
What do sages advise:
Bury or circumsize?
With man’s honor, we can’t be remiss.

Rav Gidel would sit and observe
Naked women in mikvah. A perv?
“No,” said Gidel, “To me
They’re like geese, I just see
Skin like feathers.” (And what of their curves?)

If you walk into shul and you’re late
(Who would do that? That’s never my fate.)
Do you try to return
To the start? Well, we learn
For Kedusha you always must wait.

If you’re praying, and find you’re near poop
This could throw Kavana for a loop.
Walk four cubits away
Only then can you pray
Better yet: Pray in shul with a group.

My Tefillin were stolen! Oh dear!
By a whore who just snatched them, I fear.
Then she claimed I had paid
Her for getting me laid.
I must jump off the roof, disappear.

Please, no spitting or sneezing in shul
These are things they should teach you in school:
It is no doubt a sign
That you’re most unrefined
Would you spit with a king there, you fool?

You cannot pray near someone who’s nude
What, you think that the sages were prudes?
It would surely distract
It would therefore impact
How you daven. Besides, it’s quite lewd.

The Persians have toilets, we’ve stated,
Which were five stars, and also first-rated.
Though the person would squat
And make poop, there would not
Be a trace of it. Sophisticated!

Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Niddah, Prakim Bet and Gimel



The hand reaches in to explore –
A woman should do this much more
For she will not squeal
Unlike him, she can’t feel
And it’s worth it for her to be sure.


Do not urinate holding your hand
Yes, it’s messy, we do understand.
It could bring on a flood
Which would make you say “Crud,
Will we ever go back to dry land?”


Yehuda said, “Geez, I must pee.”
It was night on a rooftop, you see.
From on top of the shul
Shmuel told him: Stay cool
You can hold on and pee fearfully.”

Your evil side steers you astray.
It says”Do this, and do that today.”
Then tomorrow: “Go bow
To the gods you’v avowed
You would never go near.”  You fall prey.

Do you ride on a donkey? Oh well.
We ought to say, “Don’t ass, don’t tell.”
It depends how you straddle
Or ride with a saddle
The point is that nothing should swell.

A husband comes home from a trip
He says to his wife, “Dear, let’s strip.”
But can he assume
He can go in her room?
It depends if her time’s come to drip.

A Kohen leans over a well
Where a miscarried fetus once fell
Is the Kohen impure?
But a rat came, for sure,

Thus the Kohen has not heard his knell.


The Pregnancy Angel, named Night
Takes a drop of their seed to the height
Of the one on Most High
And says, “God, will this guy
Be weak, strong, wise or dumb, tall or slight?”


Having sex? Don’t let anyone pounce
Thus your sex act should first be announced
Ring the bells on the bed
Wave the flies off instead
(Why not make sure the bed makes a bounce?)


In a graveyard a man should not lie
Nor eat garlic or onion peeled dry.
Nor cast fingernails
Over public handrails
Or have sex after bloodletting. Why?

Daytime sex can be good if your spouse

Spends a lot of time outside the house,
Is too tired at night
When you turn off the light—
(Just be quiet. But soft! Like a mouse.)


A baby has dough on its hands
Must all of the batter be banned?
All babies, I fear,
Like to touch what is near
Tell them “No,” but they don’t understand.


In Pumbedita, Ulla chanced to meet
An Arab dressed in black from head to feet.
“Eureka!” said he
“That’s the color we see
In her blood. For a swatch I entreat.”


Yannai said to his sons, “When I head
To the land of those already dead
Do not dress me in white,
Nor in black like the night,
Lest I stand out wherever I’m led.”


Elazar deemed a woman’s blood due
To her love for her spouse – it proved true!
When Rav Ami inquired

She said she desired
Her husband. So Elazar knew!


Ifra Hurmiz sent Rava a sample
Of blood. He ruled right. She sent ample
Selections. He tested.
The last was infested
From lice. “Comb your nits ‘til they’re trampled.”


Yalta gave of her blood to a sage.
When he ruled, Yalta said, “I’m outraged.”
I resist your dominion!
Need second opinion!
She got it, and then was assuaged.



If a woman miscarries and births
A clump made of flesh and of earth
If it’s bloody and red
Like a baby now dead
She’s impure. (And she’ll soon lose her girth.)


A woman miscarried red hair
A big ball of it. No baby there.
The sages said: Go
Ask the doctors. They’ll know.
They said: Drown it and see how it fares.


A miscarried babe with two backs
And two spines (there are parts that it lacks).
If it’s born to a beast
You can slice it and feast
So says Shmuel. Says Rav: You’re too lax!


A demon came out of my womb
Shaped like Lilith! A sure sign of doom!
It’s a baby, except
It has wings, which are kept
At its sides. It can fly through the room.


A woman miscarried a snake
Hanina said: “Impure.” “Mistake!”
Gamliel cried, enraged:
Summon to me that sage
‘Til they realized just what was at stake.


My job was to bury the dead
There was one time I stood at the head
Of a wide open cave
Which had nobody save
Avshalom. In his eye I had tread.


If a woman sheds seed ere her mate
She’ll give birth to a boy. If she’s late
Such that he sheds his first
It’s a girl (is that worse?).
Men can hold off, and thus affect fate.


A placenta was found in a house
‘Twas unearthed by a dog or a mouse.
The house is impure
We can say this for sure
Though no baby was found (and no spouse).


Rabbi Chiya had twins. Not together
They weren’t two birds of a feather
One decided to wait
He was born three months late.
Such a labor his wife had to weather!


An androgyne has an emission
We assume ‘twas not of his volition.
If he sets foot inside
The great Temple, don’t chide
Him. This isn’t a sin of commission.


A woman left home with a bump
Then came back, clearly over the hump.
She’s says, “Oops, I forgot
Did I give birth, or not?”
Said the sages: “I fear we are stumped.”


It’s a full forty days ‘til the seed
That’s implanted will get what it needs
To grow fingers and eyes
And attain enough size
That it’s human, the sages decreed.


Alexandria’s queen’s female slave
Was sentenced to death. Who would save
Her? Nobody! Instead
She was cut up once dead
‘Twas a baby that made her concave.


God is much greater than man.
There are things we can’t do but God can.
Like preserve something dropped
In a jar with no top
Like a fetus in mom. What a plan!


Two planned to set out in the morn,
To do business. One sat on a thorn.
He was forced to stay home
While his friend, free to roam,
Drowned at sea. Then he felt less forlorn.


A woman must bring sacrifice
When she gives birth because of this vice:
In the heat of her pain
She swears, “Never again!”
But does one child ever suffice?


Why must a woman endure
Seven days when her body’s impure?
So that on mikvah night
She can bring him delight
Like a bride – innocent and demure.


Why is it lads who  must court
Lasses. Couldn’t instead she cavort?

It’s the person who lost
Who must find what was tossed
From his rib. Thus men do this for sport.

Rav Ketina said, “I’m great in bed,
For I say to my wife: Go ahead.
And since first she enjoys
All our children are boys
We’d have girls if I went first instead.