Help me remember this Jewish saying
March 31, 2009 2:19 PM   Subscribe

I vaguely remember a Jewish quip about the questions God asks a Rabbi at the end of his life. It is something like 1. Did you follow my commandments? (yes, all of them) 2. Did you study my Word well? (yes, every day) 3. Did you dance enough? Or something to that effect. Has anyone heard of this or know how it really goes?
posted by brenton to Religion & Philosophy (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
It is from the Talmud Shabbat (31a) , Rava said: “On the day you are entered into judgment you will be asked six questions.” These questions offer us a model for our own process of cheshbon hanefesh — the self-reflection we are called to on these Days of Awe. I posted them around the sanctuary to give you a chance to consider them, not only tonight, but throughout the Yamim Noraim:

1. Nasata v’natata be-emunah? — Did you deal with people faithfully?

2. Kavata itim la-Torah? — Did you fix time for study?

3. Asakta bifria ur’viah? — Did you engage in procreation?

4. Tzipita lishuah? — Did you hope for salvation?

5. Pilpalta b’chochmah? — Were your arguments for the sake of heaven?

6. Havanta davar mitoch davar? — Did you seek deeper meaning in life?

The explanation here
posted by watercarrier at 3:19 PM on March 31, 2009 [5 favorites]

Perhaps you're thinking of a story attributed to Samson Raphael Hirsch:

Despite his old age, Rabbi Hirsch asked his students to take him on a trip to the Alps. The students were perplexed, and asked why the renowned scholar would, despite his infirmity, do something as seemingly frivolous as go to the mountains. He replied, "After I die and I stand in judgment before God, I will surely be able to say I studied His Torah and kept His commandments, true. But what will I say when as asks me, 'Nu, Samson, did you have a chance to see my lovely Alps?'?"
posted by greatgefilte at 5:49 PM on March 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

I haven't heard anything like the dance version. Negative information isn't usually an answer, but I've read a lot of Jewish anecdotes and I think I'd remember if I'd come across it. This is the only thing I can think of which comes close.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:15 PM on March 31, 2009

I think I probably heard an embellished version of what watercarrier pointed out. Thanks!
posted by brenton at 10:31 PM on March 31, 2009

Maybe somebody here knows...................
posted by sgobbare at 1:28 PM on April 1, 2009

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