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Rabbi Zusya Quotes


"Rabbi Zusya said that on the Day of Judgment, God would ask him, not why he had not been Moses, but why he had not been Zusya." - Walter Kaufmann

"Before his death, Rabbi Zusya said "In the coming world, they will not ask me: 'Why were you not Moses?' They will ask me: 'Why were you not Zusya?" - Martin Buber

"Rabbi means teacher, and I see the role of chief rabbi as chief teacher." - Ephraim Mirvis

"'Rabbi' means 'teacher,' and I see the role of chief rabbi as chief teacher." - Ephraim Mirvis

"The unwounded life bears no resemblance to the Rabbi." - Brennan Manning

"The chief rabbi of the underworld, that's me." - Mordecai Richler

"I learned early on that 'rabbi' means teacher, not priest." - George Steiner

"In the coming world they will not ask me-Why were you not Moses? They will ask me-Why were you not Zusya?" - Zusha of Hanipol

"The biblical passage which says of Abraham and the three visiting angels: "And He stood over them under the tree and they did eat" is interpreted by Rabbi Zusya to the effect that man stands above the angels, because he knows something unknown to them, namely, that eating may be hallowed by the eater's intention.... Any natural act, if hallowed, leads to God, and nature needs man for what no angel can perform on it, namely, its hallowing." - Martin Buber

"You can't appreciate a great day unless you've experienced bad ones." - Rabbi Glassman" - Simone Elkeles

"[ Rabbi Shlomo ben Isaac] was the greatest commentator [of the Bible] we ever had." - Elie Wiesel

"Jesus must have been married to have been called a rabbi." - Darrel Ray

"I wanted to be a soccer player. And then I wanted to be a rabbi." - Jake Epstein

"How can a rabbi not live with doubt? The Bible itself is a book of doubt." - Arthur Hertzberg

"I have ended as a Reform Rabbi, grateful to Christianity for so many good things." - Lionel Blue

"I feel very privileged indeed to be appointed to be the next Chief Rabbi." - Ephraim Mirvis

"I want a priest, a rabbi and a Protestant minister. I want to hedge my bets." - Wilson Mizner

"Calling a taxi in Texas is like calling a rabbi in Iraq." - Fran Lebowitz

"Everyone needs a spiritual guide: a minister, rabbi, counselor, wise friend, or therapist. My own wise friend is my dog." - Gary A. Kowalski

"To me designing has never been a job or profession. It's a way of life, like a priest or rabbi." - Ed Benguiat

"If a person kills a tree before its time, it is like having murdered a soul.-Rabbi Nachman" - Martin Buber

"I was born in Waukegan a long, long time ago. As a matter of fact, our rabbi was an Indian." - Jack Benny

"Direct religious experience is threatening to organized religion, which often mediates it with a rabbi or priest." - Rodger Kamenetz

"I am very snobby. My family is Orthodox so I would never go to a Reform rabbi." - Giles Coren

"I'm not a practicing kabbalist. I'm not a spiritual master. I'm not a rabbi. I don't - but it's part of who I am." - John Zorn

"I am not a priest, I am not an imam, I am not a rabbi and I am implementing the French laws on every French citizen." - Jacques Myard

"If I see any politician or a priest or an imam or a rabbi in the Paradise, I will give up believing in God!" - Mehmet Murat Ildan

"A rabbi told me that when you have two problems - one near, one not so near - concentrate on the immediate one." - Ariel Sharon

"I think Jewish history did away with a priesthood when the Temple was destroyed, and it became, supposedly, a religion of scholars. A rabbi is just a scholar." - Ben Katchor

"Ironically, my rabbi was a bar mitzvah Nazi. So I got bar mitzvahed. And though I didn't want to, the theme of my bar mitzvah party was Madonna." - Billy Eichner

"It is easy for a rabbi to establish prohibitions, but a rabbi's real strength is to teach Torah and rule on lawwith an emphasis on what is permitted." - Ovadia Yosef

"A rabbi should not despair if people do not do as much as they should. Every parent has that with children. God is merciful." - Louis Finkelstein

"An aged rabbi, crazed with liberalism, once said to me, We Jews are just ordinary human beings. Only a bit more so!" - Lionel Blue

"The rabbi is often the regular preacher in the synagogue, the man whose sermons offer his community more general theological and moral guidance." - David Novak

"Perhaps we would do well to listen to the likes of Rabbi Harold Kushner, who contends that God is not really as powerful as we have claimed." - Tony Campolo

"My father was a rabbi and had a little synagogue in Canada, so I'm from Canada. I left there at 16." - David Steinberg

"The beth din is the court of the chief rabbi. I see myself taking an active role within the beth din." - Ephraim Mirvis

"A traditional rabbi is the man to whom the community and its members turn to rule on what Jewish law requires of them, particularly in cases of doubt." - David Novak

"I know I would have learned a huge amount had I read the Bible with my rabbi. But I also would have missed a huge amount, and I would have been guided down the narrow paths where the rabbi led me, not the paths that I chose for myself." - David Plotz

"I was thinking a lot about the aftermath of bad choices, how people deal with the trauma of having survived trauma, if that makes sense, and so I wrote about this character's last day on the job, how after spending 15 years pretending to be a rabbi, he'd in effect become a rabbi." - Tod Goldberg

"Every universe, our own included, begins in conversation. Every golem in the history of the world, from Rabbi Hanina's delectable goat to the river-clay Frankenstein of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, was summoned into existence through language, through murmuring, recital, and kabbalistic chitchat - was, literally, talked into life." - Michael Chabon

"The Talmud tells a story about a great Rabbi who is dying, he has become a goses, but he cannot die because outside all his students are praying for him to live and this is distracting to his soul. His maidservant climbs to the roof of the hut where the Rabbi is dying and hurls a clay vessel to the ground. The sound diverts the students, who stop praying. In that moment, the Rabbi dies and his soul goes to heaven. The servant, too, the Talmud says, is guaranteed her place in the world to come." - Jonathan Rosen

"I would like now to shed light in your heart on the truth of things, for it was not my will, but that of the Father and my Rabbi, which was done that faithful night." - Judas Iscariot

"A Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, and a Muslim mullah all walk into a bar, and the bartender says: - What is this, a joke? - ?hurch is the only organization that exists primarily for the benefit of non-members." - C S Lewis

"In a Jewish theological seminar there was an hours-long discussion about proofs of the existence of God. After some hours, one rabbi got up and said, "God is so great, he does not even need to exist."" - Victor Frederick Weisskopf

"I got a imam, I got a rabbi, I got a priest, I got a reverend - I got 'em all. But I don't want to be holier-than-thou. I want to help everybody and still get some (sex)." - Mike Tyson

"One rabbi compared wise men studying the law to children tossing a ball to one another: a first sage said the meaning was this, another said the meaning was that, one gave his opinion, another begged to differ." - Israel Shenker

"I had a life experience that most of my - that none of my friends had. I remember I became everybody's rabbi. Everybody who needed advice would talk to me, and it became an obvious thing." - Jeff Ross

"Of course, afterward, I studied [commentary on the Bible by a Rabbi Moshe Dessauer] more closely. But, in truth, it doesn't touch me. It doesn't change my attitude toward the text." - Elie Wiesel

"I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind... to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein (1929)" - Albert Einstein

"First of all, the Jewish religion has a great deal in common with the Christian religion because, as Rabbi Gillman points out in the show, Christianity is based on Judaism. Christ was Jewish." - Barbara Walters

"The first profile piece on myself came about after my Rabbi sent information to the Jewish Chronicle on what I was up to. The story was then picked up by one of the nationals and things grew from there." - Benjamin Cohen

"God is my best friend. I talk to God every day. And no one can tell me how to talk to God - not no imam, not no priest, not no rabbi, no pastor." - Eve

"In 1913, the noted German actor and director Paul Wegener was making a film in Prague when he heard the legend of Rabbi Loew, who created a golem to protect the inhabitants of the Prague ghetto from persecution." - Kage Baker

"There's a lovely Hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his people that if they studied the Torah, it would put Scripture on their hearts. One of them asked, "Why on our hearts, and not in them?" The rabbi answered, "Only God can put Scripture inside. But reading sacred text can put it on your heart, and then when your hearts break, the holy words will fall inside." - Anne Lamott

"Each generation of rabbis is necessarily less perfect than the rabbis that came before, since each generation is more removed from the perfection of the Garden. Therefore, no rabbi is allowed to overturn any of his forebears' wisdom, since they are all, by definition, smarter than him." - Cory Doctorow

"I would become a priest or a rabbi or a monk or whatever the hell was necessary to perform miracles such as taking money from someone else's pocket and putting it into mine, still remaining within the confines of the law." - Lenny Bruce

"In mid-career, I was at one and the same time the rabbi of a major congregation, writing books, and teaching at Columbia. I didn't spend enough time with my children. Now, when I get an all-important call, I sometimes say that I'm having lunch with my granddaughter. And I do not apologize" - Arthur Hertzberg

"The dangers is that every religion, including the Catholic one, says "I have the ultimate truth." Then you start to rely on the priest, the mullah, the rabbi, or whoever, to be responsible for your acts. In fact, you are the only one who is responsible." - Paulo Coelho

"With two children of my own, I know what it means to balance the demands of family and career - and let's not even talk about finding a date for myself. Rabbi Shmuley keeps telling me he'll find me the perfect woman. My response is, 'As long as she's not a journalist'." - Michael Jackson

"Think about that: at a time when it was inconceivable to have a woman rabbi or a woman scholar of Christian theology or canon law, the Islamic civilization boasted hundreds of women who were authorities in Islamic law and Islamic theology and that taught some of the most famous male jurists and left behind a remarkable corpus of writings." - Khaled Abou El Fadl

"This is what the Sabbath should feel like. A pause. Not just a minor pause, but a major pause. Not just lowering the volume, but a muting. As the famous rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel put it, the Sabbath is a sanctuary in time." - A J Jacobs

"You will reply that reality hasn't the slightest need to be of interest. And I'll answer you that reality may avoid the obligation to be interesting, but that hypotheses may not. In the hypothesis you have postulated, chance intervenes largely. Here lies a dead rabbi; I should prefer a purely rabbinical explanation; not the imaginary mischances of an imaginary robber." - Jorge Luis Borges

"A second-century rabbi said that if 999 angels gave a bad account of a man and one angel reported favorably, God would hear the one angel; even if 999 parts of that one angel's report were unfavorable, God would hearken to the favorable part." - Israel Shenker

"Every time I go into a new venture, I find a "rabbi" who has the business acumen to help me understand the mechanics of that industry, the costs involved in developing a product, and what you need to do in order to make a profit." - Russell Simmons

"I refuse to stand up in front of a rabbi and my friends and the woman I love - who I will tell you I can love with all my heart - and promise she will be the only one I will ever have until the day I die. Thats a lie." - Gene Simmons

"The illusion of the seventh veil was the illusion that you could get somebody else to do it for you. To think for you. To hang on your cross. The priest, the rabbi, the imam, the swami, the philosophical novelist were traffic cops, at best. They might direct you through a busy intersection, but they wouldn't follow you home and park your car." - Tom Robbins

"I'm twelve years old. I run into a synagogue. I ask the rabbi the meaning of life. He tells me the meaning of life but he tells it to me in Hebrew. I don't understand Hebrew. Then he wants to charge me $600 for Hebrew lessons." - Woody Allen

"It's not about terror or anything else, it's about politics, and so it becomes more about politics than it does about faith. Orthodox rabbis - that is about faith. There's not a single Orthodox rabbi on this list. This is all Reformed rabbis that were - that made this list." - Glenn Beck

"I see the role of a rabbi or a pastor in general sort of like the role of a quarterback who throws the ball a little bit ahead of the receiver - that is you want to make people run just a bit to catch up to the message that you offer." - David Wolpe

"Everybody has to find it whatever helps. Religion is very helpful for people. A good friend is very helpful. A priest is very helpful. A rabbi is very helpful. You just have to find it. But when you get depressed or when you face a crisis, don't feel you have to do it alone." - Sherry Lansing

"I have referred to [Rabbi Shlomo ben Isaac] on occasion, but I doubt that you will find his name in any of my indices. In my view, he is important in the history of interpretation; and that is a subject I have not approached directly." - Frank Moore Cross

"If he'd [Jesus] been a little more concerned for his own safety and well being he may have toned things down a little bit and probably at best he'd be remembered as a Rabbi who said some cool things but that nobody really reads anymore. There's tons of them." - Brad Warner

"We all have a responsibility, and as Rabbi Heschel, one of my prophets, has put it: "Those who condone, or are silent, in the face of injustice, are more guilty than the perpetrators." And so, to the degree we pretend to be a democracy, we have a corresponding duty to be activist enough to prevent our human rights form being infringed upon." - Ray McGovern

"I want a priest, a rabbi, and a Protestant clergyman. I want to hedge my bets." - Wilson Mizner

"Rabbi Kushner writes from a wealth of Jewish wisdom and pastoral devotion, but his theology is, I find, is wholly in keeping with contemporary Christian thought. So far as there is an answer to the conflict between the goodness of God and the bitterness of suffering, this is it" - Gerald Priestland

"Just for the record, I personally do agree with some of the sentiments of Rabbi Meir Kahane. I think he was right about certain things, wrong about other things, but I have absolutely nothing, no association whatsoever with Kahane Chai leaders." - Aaron Klein

"I refuse to stand up in front of a rabbi and my friends and the woman I love - who I will tell you I can love with all my heart - and promise she will be the only one I will ever have until the day I die. That's a lie." - Gene Simmons

"There was reference made to a book written in Greek by a former Rabbi who had been converted to Christianity. There was reference to a publication of a high clergyman of Milan. Not even did Jews raise objections to that book." - Julius Streicher

"My wife and I are affiliated with a temple here in Los Angeles. We feel very close to the congregation and to the rabbi, who happens to be my wife's cousin and who I admire greatly. I talk to him regularly but I consider myself more spiritual than religious." - Leonard Nimoy

"We had no religion at all, but we were Jews in New Hampshire, and my sister - who is now a rabbi - said it best: We were, like, the only Jews in Bedford, New Hampshire, as well as the only Democrats, so we just kind of associated those two things together. My dad raised us to believe that paying taxes is an honor." - Roseanne Barr

"There's this great fear, and I find, lack of knowledge of Catholicism, just like I'm ignorant of other things. I think we should all visit each other's places of worship and get to know a priest, get to know a rabbi. It's not that scary. I think Scientology is scary, and I don't understand Jehovah's Witnesses, but I haven't spent time with them." - Catherine Hicks

"In the high school classroom you are a drill sergent, a rabbi, a shoulder to cry on, a disciplinarian, a singer, a low-level scholar, a clerk, a referee, a clown, a counselor, a dress-code enforcer, a conductor, an apologist, a philosopher, a collaborator, a tap dancer, a politician, a therapist, a fool, a traffic cop, a priest, a mother-father-brother-sister-uncle-aunt, a bookeeper, a critic, a psychologist, the last straw." - Frank Mccourt

"The Hasidic rabbi, Zuscha, was asked on his deathbed what he thought the kingdom of God would be like. He replied, "I don't know. But one thing I do know. When I get there I am not going to be asked, 'Why weren't you Moses? Why weren't you David?' I am only going to be asked, 'Why weren't you Zuscha? Why weren't you fully you?'"" - Alan Loy McGinnis

"A disciple came to the celebrated Master of the Good Name with a question. "Rabbi, how are we to distinguish between a true master and a fake?" And the master of the good name said, "When you meet a person who poses as a master, ask him a question: whether he knows how to purify your thoughts. If he says that he knows, then he is a fake." - Elie Wiesel

"Jesus represents a point of common ground an esteemed rabbi to the Jew, a god to the Hindu, an enlightened one to the Buddhist, a great prophet to the Muslim. Even to the New Age guru, Jesus is the pinnacle of God-consciousness. At the same time, Jesus is the divider. None but Christians see Him as a member of the Godhead on an exclusive mission to repair the broken world." - Philip Yancey

"I read about the Trinity. I found something - Jesus was Jewish, he was a rabbi! - and I read a lot of stories about Jesus in Israel. And it's interesting that they picked me for this part in The Snack, and I'm Jewish, I'm kind of religious Jewish from Israel, and I don't look like the traditional Jesus with the long blonde hair and blue eyes." - Aviv Alush

"There wasn't a funeral per se. I buried [Gilda Radner] 3 miles from her house that she had bought just shortly before we met. It was an old house, old colonial house, 1734. And there were just a few friends at the funeral, a nonsectarian cemetery. And an old friend of hers from junior high school or high school was the rabbi in town, and he performed the service." - Gene Wilder

"One day - I remember it was a Sabbath afternoon - I came to the synagogue with a book in my hand. I saw a commentary on the Bible by a certain Rabbi Moshe Dessauer, better known as Moses Mendelssohn. An elderly man came up to me - I was then maybe 10 or 12. "What are you studying?" he said. "Dessauer's commentaries," I said. So he gave me a slap on my face." - Elie Wiesel

"My mom, for most of her life, was a Holocaust denier. And it was terrible for the entire family to have to deal with until, finally, a couple years ago, we had an intervention. And we had a rabbi come into the home, had him walk her through the history of the Jewish people, and then he made her watch "Schindler's List." And after that, my mom did a complete 180. Now she can't believe it only happened once." - Anthony Jeselnik

"The sign work of the Orient it runneth up and down; The Talmud stalks from right to left, a rabbi in a gown; The Roman rolls from left to right from Maytime unto May; But the gods shake up their symbols in an absent-minded way. Their language runs to circles like the language of the eyes, Emphasised by strange dilations with little panting sighs." - Nathalia Crane

"The Frankenstein of Communism is the product of the Jewish mind, and was turned loose upon the world by the son of a Rabbi, Karl Marx, in the hopes of destroying Christian civilization - as well as others. The testimony given before the Senate of the United States which is take from the many pages of the Overman Report, reveals beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jewish bankers financed the Russian Revolution." - Kenneth Goff

"When I was three, I fell and I got Bell's palsy in my face. My mom said the first day she called the rabbi, and he said a prayer for me but nothing happened. The second day she called the Mormons, and they said a prayer for me and my face was healed, so my whole life was going around as a Jew who was giving talks in Mormon churches about being healed by the Mormons." - Roseanne Barr

"I believe it is in the national interest that government stand side-by-side with people of faith who work to change lives for the better. I understand in the past, some in government have said government cannot stand side-by-side with people of faith. Let me put it more bluntly, government can't spend money on religious programs simply because there's a rabbi on the board, cross on the wall, or a crescent on the door. I viewed this as not only bad social policy - because policy by-passed the great works of compassion and healing that take place - I viewed it as discrimination." - George W Bush

"Everyone needs a spiritual guide: a minister, rabbi, counselor, wise friend, or therapist. My own wise friend is my dog. He has deep knowledge to impart. He makes friends easily and doesn't hold a grudge. He enjoys simple pleasures and takes each day as it comes. Like a true Zen master he eats when he is hungry and sleeps when he is tired. He's not hung up about sex. Best of all, he befriends me with an unconditional love that human beings would do well to imitate." - Gary A. Kowalski

"We already have plenty of fundamentalism and fundamental sects like for instance Rabbi Schneerson and Chabad Lubavitch. They feel more secure because they are in the warm, caring/sharing community. This is the difference between community (Gemeinschaft) and what Ferdinand Tonnies called Gesellschaft: a kind of setting in which you have no rights to do anything unless you pay for it, and no right to get anything unless you prove that you are 'credit worthy'. In a Gemeinschaft, however, you have a place at the table guaranteed whatever happens." - Zygmunt Bauman



Rabbi Zusya, Rabbi,