Countering One Cautionary Tale with Another

First comes this:

Odium Theologicum

by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

They met and they talked where the crossroads meet,
Four men from the four winds come,
And they talked of the horse, for they loved the theme,
And never a man was dumb.
The man from the North loved the strength of the horse,
And the man from the East his pace,
And the man from the South loved the speed of the horse,
And the man from the West his grace.

So these four men from the four winds come,
Each paused a space in his course
And smiled in the face of his fellow man
And lovingly talked of the horse.
Then each man parted and went his way
As their different courses ran;
And each man journeyed with peace in his heart
And loving his fellow man.

They met the next year where the crossroads meet,
Four men from the four winds come;
And it chanced as they met that they talked of God,
And never a man was dumb.
One imagined God in the shape of a man.
A spirit did one insist.
One said that nature itself was God.
One said that he didn’t exist.

They lashed each other with tongues that stung,
That smote as with a rod;
Each glared in the face of his fellow man,
And wrathfully talked of God.
Then each man parted and went his way,
As their different courses ran;
And each man journeyed with wrath in his heart,
And hating his fellow man.

The end.

Well, with Hashem’s help I could write at great length and wrathful odium in response. But I think a flippant counter-tale will do.

Megillas Ester 1:10-11:

ביום השביעי כטוב לב המלך ביין אמר… להביא את ושתי המלכה לפני המלך בכתר מלכות להראות העמים והשרים את יפיה כי טובת מראה היא.

On the seventh day, when the king’s heart was merry with wine, he ordered… [t]o bring Vashti the queen before the king with the royal crown, to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was of comely appearance.

(Translation.)

Gemara Megillah 12b:

ביום השביעי כטוב לב המלך ביין, אטו עד השתא לא טב לביה בחמרא? אמר רבא, יום השביעי שבת היה. שישראל אוכלין ושותין, מתחילין בדברי תורה ובדברי תשבחות, אבל גוים שאוכלין ושותין, אין מתחילין אלא בדברי תיפלות.

וכן בסעודתו של אותו רשע. הללו אומרים מדיות נאות והללו אומרים פרסיות נאות. אמר להם אחשורוש, כלי שאני משתמש בו אינו לא מדיי ולא פרסי, אלא כשדיי. רצונכם לראותה? אמרו לו, אין, ובלבד שתהא ערומה…

“On the seventh day, where the king’s heart was merry with wine.” Was then his heart not merry with wine until then? Rava said: The “seventh day” was Sabbath. When Israel eat and drink they begin with a discourse on the Torah and with words of thanksgiving [to God]. But the nations of the world, when they eat and drink only begin with words of frivolity.

And so at the feast of that wicked one. Some said: The Median women are the most beautiful, and others said: The Persian women are the most beautiful. Said Ahasuerus to them: The vessel that I use is neither Median nor Persian, but Chaldean. Would you like to see her? They said: Yes, but she must be naked…

(From Soncino.)

The end.

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