Quote Rabbi Shteinskybergerickitzoff, Not David Hamelech

This generation truly believes the self-fulfilling lie hammered into them in yeshiva, to wit we are all dummies. “Yeridas Hadoros“.

This is why quoting a Torah verse (or even a Gemara), especially one off the beaten “Maggid” track everyone has already heard, raises nothing but eyebrows. You can say the silliest things if the basis is a hortatory hearsay tale of a recently or strictly-posthumously crowned “Rebbe” or “Gadol”. Hardly any listeners dare wonder about context or reliability or applicability to practice. But quote even the strongest array of clear proof-texts, and all the audience can think of is examining and doubting the personality of the speaker himself. “How do you know? Who says you really understood the passuk?” is the only response. Nor is this is not the opening salvo before an offer of alternative understanding, mentioning a Medrash which interprets the verse differently, or a challenge from the Parsha or Sefer’s context. No. Noting presumption is enough for everyone to return to ignorant slumber.

The following jumps to recall:

Say that a thing is so, according to the P*pe or the Bible, and it will be dismissed as a superstition without examination. But preface your remark merely with “they say” or “don’t you know that?” or try (and fail) to remember the name of some professor mentioned in some newspaper; and the keen rationalism of the modern mind will accept every word you say.

G. K. Chesterton

Maybe if Pesachim 112a ocurred today it would say:

אם בקשת ליחנק היתלה באילן קטן

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