Sirach 25:13

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

8 Happy the man who lives with a sensible wife, and the one who does not plow with ox and ass together. Happy is the one who does not sin with the tongue, and the one who has not served an inferior. 9 Happy is the one who finds a friend, and the one who speaks to attentive listeners. 10 How great is the one who finds wisdom! But none is superior to the one who fears the Lord. 11 Fear of the Lord surpasses everything; to whom can we compare the one who has it? 13 Any wound, but not a wound of the heart! Any wickedness, but not the wickedness of a woman! 14 Any suffering, but not suffering from those who hate! And any vengeance, but not the vengeance of enemies! 15 There is no venom worse than a snake's venom, and no anger worse than a woman's wrath. 16 I would rather live with a lion and a dragon than live with an evil woman.

Shabbat 11a

Babylonian Talmud

And Rava bar Meḥasseya said that Rav Ḥama bar Gurya said that Rav said: It is preferable to be under the yoke of Ishmael and not under the yoke of a stranger, the Romans; under a stranger and not under a Ḥabar, a Persian Zoroastrian fire priest; under a Ḥabar and not under a Torah scholar, as if one offends a Torah scholar who is greater than he, the scholar will be exacting with him and he will be punished at the hand of Heaven; under a Torah scholar and not under an orphan or a widow, as they are easily insulted and God promised to hear their cries and punish those who offend them. And Rava bar Meḥasseya said that Rav Ḥama bar Gurya said that Rav said: It is preferable to suffer from any extended illness and not from an intestinal illness. Similarly, it is preferable to suffer any pain, even if it is sharp and excruciating, and not heart pain; any slight ache and not a headache; any evil and not an evil wife. And Rava bar Meḥasseya said that Rav Ḥama bar Gurya said that Rav said: Even if all the seas would be ink, and the reeds that grow near swamps would be quills, and the heavens would be parchment upon which the words would be written, and all the people would be scribes; all of these are insufficient to write the unquantifiable space of governmental authority, i.e., all the considerations with which a government must concern itself and deal. Rav Mesharshiya said: What is the verse that alludes to this? “The Heavens on High and the land to the depth and the heart of kings are unsearchable” (Proverbs 25:3).

 Notes and References

Schechter, Solomon The Quotations from Ecclesiasticus in Rabbinic Literature (pp. 682-706) University of Pennsylvania Press, 1891

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