God's Nepotism Arabbinic Critique of Divine Retribution in Yoma 22B

in European Judaism
Author: Gil Nativ 1
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  • 1 Leo Baeck College
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‘Kammah la ˙allei ve-la margish gavra de-mareih sayeih’ [How healthy (not sick) and immune (not affected) is a man whose master favours (supports) him!]. This sentence is attributed to Rav Huna in Talmud Yoma 22b, but Rav Huna is probably not its author. It was probably a commonly known proverb, since the same sentence is also employed in Bava Kamma 20b by another amora (rabbi of the post-mishnaic period) in a different context. However, Rav Huna adds an elucidation to this proverb: ‘Saul [sinned] once and [it] cost him, David [sinned] twice and [it] did not cost him’, implying that David was ‘a man whose master favours him’. The Gemara proceeds with questioning which sins are being alluded to by Rav Huna.

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