Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? -- The Jewish Answers
And G-d appeared to me and said, Avraham, Avraham, take the chicken,
thy only chicken, that thou lovest, and take it across the road...
Chicken Run Over By Mack Truck!!! Graphic photos, pages 1,2,3,4 and 5;
The Sex Life Of The Chicken, pages 6 and 7; You Too Can Have Sex With
A Chicken, page 8; other news, pages 9 &10.
I mean, it was, it was... a chicken... of legal consenting age. It
wasn't like it was my REAL daughter or anything. The heart wants
what it wants. (And don't believe anything that Mia says about me.)
I'll eat as many chickens as I like on Yom Kippur, it's nothing to do
with the haredim what I do in my home...
Baal Shem Tov
There was once a chicken in Medzibozh...
This question represents the worst sort of gross antisemitism on the
part of the world's media. Reuters is particularly culpable...
Ben & Jerry
New Launch: Grandma's Funky Chicken Soup Ice Cream, or Funky Chicken
for short. 20c per tub to the Environmental Chicken Fund.
Elisha Ben Abuye
There is no chicken, there is no road.
I shall be taking this matter up, on behalf of the WJC, with President
Clinton, the Pope, and whoever's head of Russia this week...
Forget the chicken! Let's get these teenagers to Israel: just think
what will happen if they see an ISRAELI chicken crossing the road...
I and Thou, Chicken
Yannani nini nini; yannani nini nini; yannani nini, yannani nini,
yi nini ini; yini yannani yannani, yi ninininini, yanani yanani yi
ni ni ni ni ni, yanani, yanani yininininini.....
Chief Mashgiah of the Rabbanut of Israel
I thought all chickens in Israel were kosher, aren't they?
Chaverim, I'd like to share with you a Dvar Torah on this important
I know we had Jewish friends at Yale but this is getting ridiculous!
Yo! That's another 50 bucks the guys at the poker game you owe me!
Complete ArtScroll Siddur
Bend once when the chicken goes onto the road (bending first at the
knees, bending fully as it takes its second step); bend again as it
reaches the middle of the road (only a half bow); bend a third time as
it nears the other side. If it gets across without being run over,
say also a shehecheyanu (p. 358); unless the congregation is saying
brochos before and after the shema, in which case no interruption,
even for a brocha, is permitted. No brocha is said on Yomtov, Rosh
Chodesh, or during the entire month of Nisan. On Erev Yom Kippur the
chicken may be used for kapporos.
If you look at the portion of Tamar and Yehudah, where Tamar is waiting
on the ROAD, and you take every 13th letter of each alternating line,
you AMAZINGLY get the words to "Uf Gozal", proving, once and for all,
that Arik Einstein has ruah ha-kodesh. (Someone should tell Uri Zohar).
Thou Shalt Cross The Road !!
It was not a specific chicken, it was any chicken (cf. Rashi)
We must all help the chicken across the road, whether the chicken
wants to or not; to fail to do so would be to grant motorized vehicles
a posthumous victory. The responsibility to help the chicken across
the road is holy; it is not negotiable; it is the 615th Commandment...
It was searching for meaning.
A chicken is just a bunch of feathers. Pink Floyd is more important
to me than any chicken.
A contemporary Jewish theology must incorporate the chicken's need to
cross the road, even if we don't fully understand why it wanted to
cross the road in the first place.
In the first ten years or so of our marriage, Yitz and I didn't really
focus on this question, we lived quite conventional Jewish lives, and
had chicken soup every Friday night. I remember quite clearly the
moment at which I first began seriously to think about this important
question in a radically new light....Nevertheless I want to emphasize
that in my view a synthesis of orthodoxy, feminism and the rights of
the chicken is absolutely possible, difficult though this may
sometimes seem in practice.
There have been three quite distinct historical Jewish responses to
What's most important is that chickens be able to daven freely at the
As I was saying to Shimon, Yitzhak, Ezer Weizman, Edgar Bronfman and
the Pope, all of whom wanted to know my views on this subject... That
reminds me, Motti, I want two chickens! And three bottles of wine!!
Some would say that the chicken was exercising it's free will. But of
course I have already proven that free will doesn't exist, so it must
have had some other purpose in mind. If it was trying to exercise
it's free will, it was guilty of a philosophical error typical of
Hebrew National Co.
So what if we routinely fire our mashgichim, it's kosher.
One day, chicken, you WILL reach the other side. You may not believe
it; others may not believe it; but fifty years from now... If you
will it, it is no chicken.
If that chicken makes it to the other side I'll be radically amazed!
If I am not for the chicken, then who will be? But if I am only for
the chicken, then what am I? And if it doesn't cross now, when?
My dear, you are most beautiful! Let's discuss this question over
Israeli Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi:
There can be no answer to this or any other question until this
government increases allocations to the yeshivot immediately, fires
Shimon Shetreet, and ends all archeological digs...
Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi:
There can be no answer to this question until I consult with Arye
Deri. He's awaiting a jail sentence for fraud? err, let me get back
Israeli Border Guard
And what is your purpose for crossing over to the other side?
Guard: Is that your only reason?
Chicken: Bok, fock, bok!
Guard: No need for fowl language!
I woke up one morning to discover that I had been turned into a
chicken. I immediately felt a compulsion to cross the road. I can
not say why.
The only good chicken is a dead chicken.
It was amazing to see how this question united the age old cultures
of Judaism and Tibetan Buddhism. As Yitz Greenberg said to Zalman
Schacter-Shalomi, while the Dalai Lama looked on and several hundred
Buddhist monks waved traditional prayer flags in the hazy Indian
The chicken as civilization! Give the chicken a voice, not a veto.
If Rabbi Pinhas had only offered the chicken up as an olah, Mashiah
would have come.
Rav Landau (Bene Brak)
If I didn't shecht it, it's treif.
Levinas is the key contemporary thinker on this problem.
Judeo-chicken? Disco-chicken? Stupid question. We simply follow the
halacha. The chicken crosses the road. That's it.
Why did it cross the road? Creation, revelation, redemption...
When I was the leading chicken's rights activist in the 60's, I
actively studied the question. In the politics of meaning, no
chickens will have to cross the road if they don't want to...
[Answer completely unintelligible]
My road is the East, but my chicken is in the farthest West.
The chicken was abducted from it's true Yemenite owners, and it was
crossing the road in an attempt to find it's way home. And I'll kill
anyone (has ve-shalom) who says otherwise.
And the L-rd said: "Thou shalt cross the road"
The answer to that question will be in footnote 22b to my next book,
"Epistemology of Bava Metzia" (University of South Florida, 1996)
which I am about to start writing. Uh, it was published already?
See Elisha ben Abuye
Most Israelis on the left mistakenly think that they want the chicken
to cross the road. But not to let them get to the other side. And
that's not really crossing the road. That's why I say it's better to
keep them in the coop.
You, Chicken, are the WORST %#*@ing housekeeper, EVER!!!! YOU'RE
A very interesting sh'eyla. There are many different halachic
opinions on this vital question for our time. In my tshuva I shall
review the opinions of the tannaim, amoraim, Rashi, Ralbag, Ramban,
Rambam,the ger, the gor, the grib, the grilbag, the grandpa,
grodzinskis, my grocer, Jerry Garcia, and Heilige Harav Hagaon
Hashlita Rebbe Hamoshiach Menachem Mendel Shneerson...zt'l.
I was privileged to hear the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, speak
on this subject. His discourses, which lasted several hours, were an
experience which represented an exquisite and unparalleled combination
of erudition, western philosophy, Torah learning and knowledge of
Yitzhak Rabin, zikhrono livracha, would have wanted the chicken to
cross the road; it is our duty to see that it comes to pass... The
question is not should the chicken cross the road, but should the
chicken remain on the sidewalk. This is the New Middle East. Soon
chickens will be crossing superhighways stretching from Tel Aviv to
Moses heard the answer at Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua...
Where was the chicken in Jewish history? What was its name? Let us
begin now to reclaim its significance, to refashion new rituals, to
allow its voice to speak through the ages ...
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
In the early days on Ms magazine I cared more about women than chickens;
but I see now that this was a sort of false consciousness, an
anti-chickenism within the movement...
Really the chicken didn't have to cross the road: this was G-d's
allowance for the weakness of human nature. In the time of the mashiah
chickens will no longer have to cross the road.
THE chicken:[ie: without the definite article this might be any
chicken, but THE suggests a particular chicken]; there is a midrash
that this is the first chicken created in gan eden. A second opinion:
poulez [old French].
Because it wanted to; in the modern era we all have autonomy,
including chickens. And if any "orthodox" institution attempts to
stop chickens crossing the road we will protest at this outrageous
infringement of religious, civil and poultry freedoms...
The chicken hasn't actually crossed yet, but I hope it may one day
It is impossible to answer this quesion, (or, for that matter, any
other), without referring to Alasdair MacIntyre's magisterial
"After Virtue" (London: Duckworth, 1981). His argument is taken
further in his "Whose Justice? Which Rationality?"
(London:Duckworth, 1988) and "Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry"
(London: Duckworth, 1990). Also of interest are his earlier works,
"A Short History of Ethics" (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967),
"Against the Self-Images of the Age" (London: Duckworth, 1971)
and especially "Secularization and Moral Change" (London: OUP, 1967).
MacIntyre's ideas are developed in a theological context in Stanley
Hauerwas, "The Peaceable Kingdom" (London: SCM,1983). The Talmud
Bavli and the London Beth Din also hold views on this question.
It is desirable that the chicken should cross the road, even in the
time of the coming of the mashiach (cf. Ramban).
Typical Hillel! Comes out with complete nonsense, and everybody ends
up quoting him! Life is so unfair! And as for the chicken! - if I
get my hands on that chicken it'll be straight to my talmidim for
Intro Schechting 101...
The chicken was doing a mitzvah, and so should we!
Leo Strauss is the key thinker on this question.
There were actually two chickens: Chicken One, and Chicken Two...
I'm covering this in my new movie, Raiders of the Lost Chicken-Coop,
from which all profits will go to my new Chicken Foundation (which
my mother, who has experience in these things, is going to head).
See my book, The Many Petalled Chicken.
[Just about comprehensible, but somewhat boring]
Rav. M. Tendler
Of course I could answer this most simple and obvious question, but
this attempt to state the most fundamental belief of Judaism through
the impersonal medium of email is fraught with danger. Can I possibly
prevent your erroneous and illogical deductions in this attempt to
teach the Torah "while standing on one foot." In all likelihood, you
couldn't understand, although I can tell you one thing. Chicken,
kosher; swordfish, treif.
At Chavurat Shalom we experimented with a chicken-free Judaism; the
beginnings of modern eco-kashrut...
Grunt [expletive deleted]. The chicken-meidele should go home and knit
I'm happy to announce a new $40 million endowment to help answer this
Rav Ovadiah Yosef
If it was shechted by an Ashkenazi, it's treif.
Rabbi Pinhas was on his way to visit his daughter, the wife of Rabbi
Shimon bar Yochai. On the way, he encountered a chicken crossing the
road, and he heard the sound of a cow. He said: There are no cows
in sight. The chicken answered him: I am a cow, I am crossing the
road to Yerushalayim, so that I can be offered up as an olah. Rabbi
Pinhas responded: Would that I could offer you as an olah, for your
fragrance would rise directly to the ein sof. But, alas, cows don't
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