Thursday, December 6, 2012

Midrash Tanhuma on Wine

 I should be grading papers. But instead, I am reading in Midrash Tanhuma. And I just ran across a very cool story about Noah's vineyard:
When Noah set out to plant the vine, Satan encountered him and asked upon what errand he was bent. "I am going to plant the vine," said Noah. "I will gladly assist you in this good work," said Satan. When the offer of help was accepted Satan brought a sheep and slaughtered it on the plant, then a lion, then a pig, and finally a monkey. He thus explained these symbols to Noah. When a man tastes the first few drops of wine he will be as harmless as a sheep; when he tastes a little more he will become possessed of the courage of a lion and think himself as strong; should he further indulge in the liquid produced by your plant he will become as objectionable as a pig; and by yet further indulgence in it he will become like a monkey.
I am definitely using that next time I get to teach a lesson on the Word of Wisdom. 

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