Nov 9, 2009

Why did the Chicken cross the road?

[an egg-ception to "Thou shalt not forward..."]

Why DID the chicken cross the road?


Abraham: And G-d appeared to me and said, Avraham, Avraham, take the chicken, thy only chicken, that thou lovest, and take it across the road...

Shulamit Aloni: I'll eat as many chickens as I like on Yom Kippur, it's nothing to do with the haredim what I do in my home...

Baal Shem Tov: There was once a chicken in Medzibozh...

Ben & Jerry: New Launch: Grandma's Funky ChickenSoup Ice Cream, or Funky Chicken for short. 20c per tub to the Environmental Chicken Fund

David Bar-Ilan: This question represents the worst sort of gross anti-Semitism on the part of the world's media. Reuters is particularly culpable...

Edgar Bronfman: I shall be taking this matter up, on behalf of the WJC, with President Clinton, the Pope, and whoever's head of Russia this week...

Charles Bronfman: Forget the chicken! Let's get these teenagers to Israel: just think what will happen if they see an ISRAELI chicken crossing the road...

Buber: I and Thou, Chicken

Shlomo Carlebach: Yannani nini nini; yannani nini nini; yannani nini, yannani nini, yi nini nini;yini yannani yannani, yi ninininini, yanani yanani yi ni ni ni ni ni, yanani, yanani yininininini.....

Bill Clinton: Chaverim, I'd like to share with you a d'var Torah on this important sh'eylah...

Hillary Clinton: I know we had Jewish friends at Yale but this is getting ridiculous!

Clinton's speechwriter: Yo! That's another 50 bucks the guys at the poker game owe me!

Complete Artscroll Siddur: Bend once when the chicken goes onto the road (bending first at the knees, bending fully as it takes its second step); bend again as it reaches the middle of the road (only a half bow); bend a third time as it nears the other side. If it gets across without being run over, say also a shehecheyanu (p358); unless the congregation is saying brochos before and after the shema, in which case no interruption, even for a brocha, is permitted. No brocha is said on yontef, rosh chodesh, or during the entire month of nissan. On erev Yom Kippur the chicken may be used for kapporos.

G-d: Thou Shalt Cross The Road !!

Ibn Ezra: It was not a specific chicken, it was any chicken (cf. Rashi)

Fackenheim: We must all help the chicken across the road, whether the chicken wants to or not; to fail to do so would be to grant motorized vehicles a posthumous victory. The responsibility to help the chicken across the road is holy; it is not negotiable; it is the 615th Commandment...

Viktor Frankl: It was searching for meaning.

Arthur Green: A contemporary Jewish theology must incorporate the chicken's need to cross the road, even if we don't fully understand why it wanted to cross the road in the first place.

Blu Greenberg: In the first ten years or so of our marriage, Yitz and I didn't really focus on this question, we lived quite conventional Jewish lives, and had chicken soup every Friday night. I remember quite clearly the moment at which I first began seriously to think about this important question in a radically new light....Nevertheless I want to emphasize that in my view a synthesis of orthodoxy, feminism and the rights of the chicken is absolutely possible, difficult though this may sometimes seem in practice

Yitz Greenberg: There have been three quite distinct historical Jewish responses to this question...

Bonna Haberman: What's most important is that chickens be able to daven freely at the kotel...

David Hartman: As I was saying to Shimon, Yitzhak, Ezer Weizman, Edgar Bronfman and the Pope, all of whom wanted to know my views on this subject...That reminds me, Motti, I want two chickens! And three bottles of wine!!

Herzl: One day, chicken, you WILL reach the other side. You may not believe it; others may not believe it; but fifty years from now...

Heschel: If that chicken makes it to the other side I'll be radically amazed!

Hillel: If I am not for the chicken, then who will be? But if I am only forthe chicken, then what am I? And if it doesn't cross now, when?

Meir Kahane: The only good chicken is a dead chicken.

Levi Lauer: Levinas is the key contemporary thinker on this problem.

Yeshayahu Leibowitz: Stupid question. We simply follow the halakhah. The chicken crosses the road. That's it.

Michael Lerner: When I was the leading chicken's rights activist in the 60's, I actively studied the question. In the politics of meaning, no chickens will have to cross the road if they don't want to...

Levinas: [Answer completely unintelligible]

Yediot Aharonot: Chicken Run Over By Mack Truck!!! Graphic photos, pages 1,2,3,4 and 5; The Sex Life Of The Chicken, pages 6 and 7; You Too Can Have Sex With A Chicken, page 8; other news, pages 9 & 10.

Moses: And the Lord said: "Thou shalt cross the road"

Orthodox rabbi: A very interesting sh'eyla. There are many different halachic opinions on this vital question for our time. In my tshuva I shall review the opinions of the tannaim, amoraim, Rashi, Ralbag, Ramban, Rambam,the ger, the gor, the grib, the grilbag, the grandpa, grodzinskis, my grocer, Jerry Garcia, and heilige harav hagaon hashlita rebbe Mendel Shneerson, zt'l.

Israeli Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi: There can be no answer to this or any other question until this government increases allocations to the yeshivot immediately, fires Shimon Shetreet, and ends all archeological digs...

Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi: There can be no answer to this question until I consult with Arye Deri. He's awaiting a jail sentence for fraud? Err, let me get back to you...

Rodger Kamenatz: It was amazing to see how this question united the age old cultures of Judaism and Tibetan Buddhism. As Yitz Greenberg said to Zalman Schacter-Shalomi, while the Dalai Lama looked on and several hundred Buddhist monks waved traditional prayer flags in the hazy Indian wind..

Mordechai Kaplan: Give the chicken a voice,not a veto.

Yosef Leibowitz: Why did it cross the road? Creation, revelation, redemption...

Pinchas Peli: I was privileged to hear the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B Soloveitchik, speak on this subject. His discourses, which lasted several hours, were an experience which represented an exquisite and unparalleled combination of erudition, western philosophy, Torah learning and knowledge of poultry...

Shimon Peres: Yitzhak Rabin, zichrono livracha, would have wanted the chicken to cross the road; it is our duty to unite together to see that it comes to pass..

Pirkei Avot: Moses heard the answer at Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua...

Judith Plaskow: Where was the chicken in Jewish history? What was its name? Let us begin now to reclaim its significance, to refashion new rituals, to allow its voice to speak through the ages ...

Letty Cottin Pogrebin: In the early days on Ms magazine I cared more about women than chickens; but I see now that this was a sort of false consciousness, an anti-chickenism within the movement...

Ramban: Really the chicken didn't have to cross the road: this was G-d's allowance for the weakness of human nature. In the time of the mashiach chickens will no longer have to cross the road.

Rashi: THE chicken: [i.e., without the definite article this might be any chicken, but THE suggests a particular chicken]; there is a midrash that this is the first chicken created in gan eden. A second opinion: poulez [old french]

Reform rabbi: Because it wanted to; in the modern era we all have autonomy, including chickens. And if any "orthodox" institution attempts to stop chickens crossing the road we will protest at this outrageous infringement of religious, civil and poultry freedoms...

Rosenzweig: The chicken hasn't actually crossed yet, but I hope it may one day do so.

Jonathan Sacks: It is impossible to answer this quesion, (or, for that matter, any other), without referring to Alasdair MacIntyre's magisterial "After Virtue" (London: Duckworth, 1981). His argument is taken further in his "Whose Justice ? Which Rationality ?" (London:Duckworth, 1988) and "Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry" (London: Duckworth, 1990). Also of interest are his earlier works, "A Short History of Ethics" (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967), "Against the Self-Images of the Age" (London: Duckworth, 1971) and especially "Secularization and Moral Change" (London: OUP, 1967). MacIntyre's ideas are developed in a theological context in Stanley Hauerwas, "The Peaceable Kingdom" (London:SCM,1983). The Talmud Bavli and the London Beth Din also hold views on this question.

Sforno: It is desirable that the chicken should cross the road, even in the time of the coming of the mashiach (cf. Ramban)

Shammai: Typical Hillel! Comes out with complete nonsense, and everybody ends up quoting him! Life is so unfair! And as for the chicken! - if I get my hands on that chicken it'll be straight to my talmidim for Intro Schechting 101...

Danny Siegal: The chicken was doing a mitzvah, and so should we!

Gary Shapiro: Leo Strauss is the key thinker on this question.

R. Soloveitchik: There were actually two chickens: Chicken One, and Chicken Two...

Steven Spielberg: I'm covering this in my new movie, Raiders of the Lost Chicken-Coop, from which all profits will go to my new Chicken Foundation (which my mother, who has experience in these things, is going to head).

Adin Steinsaltz: See my book, The Many Petalled Chicken.

Leo Strauss: [Just about comprehensible, but somewhat boring]

Arthur Waskow: At Chavurat Shalom we experimented with a chicken-free Judaism; the beginnings of modern eco-kashrut...

Ezer Weizman: Grunt [expletive deleted]

Leslie Wexner: I'm happy to announce a new $40 million endowment to help answer this crucial question.

The Zohar: Rabbi Pinhas was on his way to visit his daughter, the wife of Rabi Shimon bar Yochai. On the way, he encountered a chicken crossing the road, and he heard the sound of a cow. He said: There are no cows in sight. The chicken answered him: I am a cow, I am crossing the road to Yerushalayim, so that I can be offered up as an olah. Rabi Pinhas responded: Would that I could offer you as an olah, for your fragrance would rise directly to the ein sof. But, alas, cows don't have feathers.

Kitvei ha-Ariza"l: If Rabi Pinhas had only offered the chicken up as an olah, Mashiach would have come.

Kafka: I woke up one morning to discover that I had been turned into a chicken. I immediately felt a compulsion to cross the road. I can not say why.

Uzi Meshullam: The chicken was abducted from it's true Yemenite owners, and it was crossing the road in an attempt to find it's way home. And I'll kill anyone (.has ve-shalom) who says otherwise.

Rav. M. Tendler: Of course I could answer this most simple and obvious question, but this attempt to state the most fundamental belief of Judaism through the impersonal medium of email is fraught with danger. Can I possibly prevent your erroneous and illogical deductions in this attempt to teach the Torah "while standing on one foot." In all likelihood, you couldn't understand, although I can tell you one thing. Chicken, kosher; swordfish, treif.

Judah ha-Levi: My road is the East, but my chicken is in the farthest West.

Woody Allen: I mean, it was, it was... a chicken... of legal consenting age. It wasn't like it was my REAL daughter or anything. The heart wants what it wants. (And don't believe anything that Mia says about me.)

Aviv Geffen: I would say it again, but I got into too much trouble the last time I said it.

Discovery Program: If you look at the portion of Tamar and Yehudah, where Tamar is waiting on the ROAD, and you take every 13th letter of each alternating line, you AMAZINGLY get the words to "Uf Gozal", proving, once and for all, that Arik Einstein has ruah ha-kodesh. (Someone should tell Uri Zohar).

Elisha ben Abuye: There is no chicken, there is no road.

Neitzsche: See: Elisha ben Abuye

Hasdai Crescas: Some would say that the chicken was exercising it's free will. But of course I have already proven that free will doesn't exist, so it must have had some other purpose in mind. If it was trying to exercise it's free will, it was guilty of a philosophical error typical of lower vertebrates.

Israeli Border Guard: And what is your purpose for crossing over to the other side?
Chicken: Bok
Guard: Is that your only reason?
Chicken: Bok, fock, bok!
Guard: No need for fowl language!

Jacob Neusner: The answer to that question will be in footnote 22b to my next book, "Epistemology of Bava Metzia" (University of South Florida, 1996) which I am about to start writing. Uh, it was published already? George!!!!!

Bibi Netanyahu: Most Israelis on the left mistakenly think that they want the chicken to cross the road. But not to let them get to the other side. And that's not really crossing the road. That's why I say it's better to keep them in the coop.

Sarah Netanyahu: You, Chicken, are the WORST %#*@ing housekeeper, EVER!!!! YOU'RE FIRED!!!!

Rav Ovadiah Yosef: If it was shechted by an Ashkenazi, it's treif.

Rav Landau (Bene Berak): If I didn't shecht it, it's treif.

Hebrew National Co.: So what if we routinely fire our mashgichim, it's kosher.

Nearly everyone else: It's treif.

Chief Mashgiach of the Rabbanut of Israel: I thought all chickens in Israel were kosher, aren't they?

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Thank you CBS New York for bringing me and New Rochelle Mayor-Elect Yadira Ramos-Herbert, to talk about Channukah this year, the Elected Officials Solidarity Mission to Israel we shared, and our hopes for the future of our community.

Thank you CBS New York for bringing me and New Rochelle Mayor-Elect Yadira Ramos-Herbert, to talk about Channukah this year, the Elected Off...