And the anguish that Ur knew that nightâ€”the mystery of death, the triumph of evil, the terrible loneliness of being alone, the discovery that self of itself is insufficientâ€”is the anxiety that torments the world to this day. â€œThe key to the Jew,â€ he said jokingly, â€œis my favorite passage in the Torah. Moses is being eulogized as the greatest man who ever lived, knew God face-to-face and all that. But what is the very last thing said of him as a man â€¦ as a living man? It seems to me that this is a profound insight â€¦ Itâ€™s the reason why I love Deuteronomy. Iâ€™m going to quote it from the King James Version first: â€˜And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.â€™ â€ Eliav repeated the last phrase, â€œ â€˜nor his natural force abated.â€™ But in our Hebrew original this last eulogy on a great man ends, â€˜His moisture was not fled.â€™ â€ Eliav closed the book and placed his hands over it. â€œA man who had known God, who had created a nation, who had laid down the law that all of us still follow. And when he dies you say of him, â€˜He could still function in bed.â€™ Ours is a very gutsy religion, Cullinane.â€ A man is never old if he can still be moved emotionally by a woman of his own age. In Godâ€™s Torah there are 613 laws, 365 prohibitive laws, one for each day in the year, 248 affirmative, one for each bone in the body. It was this Rabbi Bag Huna who offered the famous definition of a Talmudic scholar: â€œHe should be able to concentrate so thoroughly upon the Torah that a seventeen-year-old girl could pass his desk completely naked without distracting him.’ To which Rabbi Asher said, â€œI fear not many would pass that test.’ Because when men ignite in their hearts a religious fury, they inflict at the same time a blindness upon their eyes.
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