And the rabbis said...

David Veatch wrote: Oh yeah, that should be in the FAQ as well, we don't joke here, no banter, no light hearted ribbing, nothing that could misconstrued... at all. No discussions of religion, politics, or social issues.

Terry Howard wrote: Furthermore, offending parties shall be simultaneously thwacked with wet fish by every member on the list at once."

Peter T. Prunka wrote: Actually, the correct interpretation is that offenders will be simultaneously thwacked - that is, all offenders at the same time. Please leave syntactical analysis to the expert.

Then Joseph Zitt wrote:

Rabbi Tarfon said: What does the text mean by saying both "simultaneously" and "at once"? That the punishment should be dealt swiftly and emphatically, but that all hits must happen at the same moment. Should even one hit be early or late, all further punishments shall be forfeited, and the person devoid of time shall be sent on a pilgrimage to New Orleans to learn to groove.

Rabbi Hillel dissented: The text means that all offenders shall be gathered together and thwacked by all at the same moment.

Rabbi Shammai said: This shows that no more than two offenders shall ever be punished, for each punisher can hold no more than two fish at a time.

Rabbi Akiva said: Verily, this is not true, for any person can both hold and swing a great number of anchovies.

Rabbi Eliezer concurred, but stated that this violated the spirit of the law, for the impact of even a great number of anchovies cannot serve as much of a deterrent, except for offenders on sodium-reduced diets.

Rabbi Giovanni stated: Yea, but the fish need not be alone, since anchovies are commonly found bound together by pizza.

Rabbi Shammai concurred that slapping an offender with an anchovy pizza might fulfill the law, except that one may not mix cheese and pepperoni on the same pizza, nor slap the offender with one of each, except that, if the cheese pizza is deployed first, a period of half an hour pass before the slapping of the pepperoni pizza, and if the pepperoni pizza comes first, siz hours must pass.

Rabbi Shemayah was said to state that these rules did not apply if one used tofu on the pizza. Rabbi Jeffery of Paramus Park noted that this was a spurious text, since Rabbi Shemayah could not have known about tofu.

Rabbi Walrus reminded us that the fish may not have shells. Rabbi Carpenter said that if they did, one may not eat them afterward, and that one might hear click before crunch, even after thwack.

Rabbi Manischewitz said that many fish could be used if they were mixed together.

Rabbi Horowitz and Rabbi Margareten concurred but stated that one must first remove gefilte fish from the jar lest it not make a thwacking sound. Rabbi Juliachild stated that the goopy brothlike stuff around the fish was allowed. Rabbi Frug stated that the mystery of the presence of the little slab of carrot with the gefilte fish would only be answered when Elijah tells us of the world to come.

Rabbi Einstein stated that the fish may not be smoked before being swung. Rabbi Carnegie disagreed but stated that the fish may not have been placed within a bagel or combined with cream cheese. And Bermuda onions were completely off limits.

Rabbi Fleischman of Cicely stated that of the family of salmon, only that which bred in Nova Scotia was the true valid fish. Rabbi Christopher, who spoke on the Air, stated that one may not catch the fish as it swam upstream, or mix it with caviar, for reasons of mercy.

Rabbi Kafka said that sable and whitefish were allowed, but may not be consumed thereafter. Rabbi Jett and Tyler spoke of Coney Island Whitefish, but there words were not recorded for the sake of decency.

Rabbi Marx stated if many people could jointly swing one very large fish. Rabbi Engel cautioned that the large must be very fresh, else all that is solid would stink up the air.

Rabbi Seeger asked if all people could join together and agree on a single fish. Rabbi Adams said that this was improbable and that such a great fish could only fall from the sky. Rabbi Jonah said that one must confirm that all people involved were outside the fish. Rabbi Gepetto agreed.

Rabbi Nudnick asked if these questions indeed were frequently asked. Rabbi Knowitall stated that if these questions were asked even once, the answer would gain the answerer a place in the archive to come. Rabbi Quibbler noted that there was, in fact, no archive. Rabbi Knowitall replied that while no archive existed within the Written Law, the messages would be spoken of in perpetuity. Smartass the Insincere stated that one should collect the messages and send notices to every address known to man that one could buy the messages from him, and that, yea, if only one from each ten thousand addresses sent money, one would be endlessly wealthy.

The Rabbis went in search of fish...

© copyright, 1998, Joseph Zitt, with Peter Prunka, Terry Howard, and David Veatch
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