11 Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way. 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people! 14 You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Bekhorot 8bBabylonian Talmud
The sages of Athens said to him: Say to us a matter of nonsense. Rabbi Yehoshua said to them: There was a certain mule that gave birth, and a note was hanging on the newborn mule’s neck and on it was written that it is owed 100,000 dinars by its father’s household. They said to him: But can a mule give birth? Rabbi Yehoshua said to them: This is why it is a matter of nonsense, as it is impossible for a mule to give birth. The sages of Athens then asked another question: When salt is spoiling, with what does one salt it to preserve it? Rabbi Yehoshua said to them: With the placenta of a mule. They said to him: But is there a placenta of a mule? Rabbi Yehoshua said to them: And does salt spoil? They said to him: Build us a house in the air of the world. Rabbi Yehoshua uttered a Name of God and hovered between the sky and the earth. He said to them: Bring up to me bricks and mortar and I will build you a house here. They asked him: Where is the center of the world? Rabbi Yehoshua raised his finger and said to them: Here. They said to him: And who says that you are correct? He said to them: Bring ropes and measure.
Notes and References
"... See Bacher, Aggadot ha-Tannaim, and Matthew 5:13. The sixty thrones in separate rooms seems to be an echo of the Septuagint legend and, as both Bacher and Ginzberg (Legends of the Jews), have noted, the unending pouring of the water seems to be an echo of the Danaides myth ..."
Jacobs, Louis Structure and Form in the Babylonian Talmud (p. 127) Cambridge University Press, 1991