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-=[ Why did the chicken cross the road]=-

 [ << ] Chicken: Religious-Jewish (13a) [ >>
Why did the chicken cross the Road ?

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

Martin Buber: (1)The reason the chicken crosses the road is irrelevant. All that is important is that I observe and judge the crossing.
(2) I and Thou, Chicken

Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (Conservative Judaism's legal panel): Some of us view the chicken which crossed the road as having a reason which we can ascertain with direct certainty, while others view the chicken's decison as a metaphor for all of life's decisions. In any case, the halakha is that the chicken must cross the road. Orthodox chickens feel that they must take exactly 6 minutes to cross the road, or they forfeit their trip, but we in the Conservative movement believe that a trip may also be halakhically acceptable if the trip takes 2, 3, 5, or 6 minutes. In times of great need, the chicken may drive across the road. [This ruling not applicable in Israel per ruling of the Va'ad Halakha of the Masorti movement]. [Footnote: Female chickens may wear a tallit, but are not required to do so.]

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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..

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

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

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 who says otherwise.

Mishima: For the beauty of it. The chicken?s extension of its sinuous legs sent shivers of a dark despair into the souls not only of the silently waiting hens but also the roosters, who felt a sudden sexual desire for their exquisite comrade. The dark courage of the chicken was as beautiful a drops of dew upon jade at midnight, struck by a partial moon, its light filtered through clouds. One of the deeply aroused roosters could stand the intensity of its moment no more and bit off the head of the beautiful courageous chicken-hero, whose wine blood was deliciously drunken by the road, and he died.

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...

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 ...

[ Stan Kegel, ]

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