Wheel of Fortune

by tillerofthesoil


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It was taught, Rabbi El’azar ha-Qappar said: Let one always pray to be spared this fate [of poverty], for if he does not descend his son will, and if not his son, his grandson, for it is said, בִּגְלַל (bigelal), because for this thing (Deuteronomy 15:10). The Academy of Rabbi Yishma’el taught: It is a גַלגַל (galgal), wheel, that revolves in the world. Rabbi Yosef said: We hold that a student of the academy will not suffer poverty. But we see that he does suffer poverty? Even if he suffers poverty, he [nevertheless] does not engage in begging.

Rabbi Ḥiyya said to his wife: When a poor man comes, be quick to offer him bread, so that others may be quick to offer it to your children. ‘You curse them!?’ She exclaimed. ‘A verse is written,’ he replied: בִּגְלַל (bigelal), because for this thing, whereon the Academy of Rabbi Yishma’el taught: It is a wheel that revolves in the world. It was taught Rabbi Gamaliel Beribbi said: that YHWH may turn from the fierceness of His anger and show you mercy, and have compassion upon you, and multiply you (Deuteronomy 13:17). He who is merciful to others, mercy is shown to him by Heaven, while he who is not merciful to others, mercy is not shown to him by Heaven” (BT Shabbat 151a).

גַּםלִי גַם-לָךְ (Gam-li gam-lakh), neither mine nor yours (1 Kings 3:26)—this is the secret of the גַלגַל (galgal), wheel (Rabbi Yosef Gikatilla, Ginnat Egoz 411).

“אֶשְׁכֹּל הַכֹּפֶר דּוֹדִי לִי בְּכַרְמֵי עֵין גֶּדִי (Eshkol ha-kofer dodi li be-khareme Ein Gedi), a cluster of henna, my lover to me, in the vineyards of Ein Gedi (Song of Songs 1:14)—He to whom everything belongs shall make atonement for me for the עֲו‍ֹן גְּדִי (on gedi), guilt of the kid [i.e., the Golden Calf], which כַּרְמָתִּי (karmati), I stored up, for myself. Where do we learn that כַרְמֵי (kharmei) is an expression of gathering?—Mar Zutra son of Rav Naḥman: Even as we learnt: ‘A launderer’s stool on which linen is כּוֹרְמִים (kormim), heaped up’ (M Kelim 23:4) [cf. Sanskrit: कर्म (kárman), action, work, deed; कर्मवश (kármavaza), fate, being in the power of, or subject to former actions]” (BT Shabbat 88b).

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