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...

	Yediot Aharonot                 
		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.

	Woody Allen  
		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.)

	Shulamit Aloni          
		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...

	David Bar-Illan          
		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.

	Edgar Bronfman          
		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...

	Charles Bronfman       
		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

	Shlomo Carlebach       
		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? 

	Bill Clinton            
		Chaverim, I'd like to share with you a Dvar Torah on this important 

	Hillary Clinton         
		I know we had Jewish friends at Yale but this is getting ridiculous!

	Clinton's speechwriter  
		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.

	Discovery Program  
		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 !!

	Ibn Ezra                
		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...

	Viktor Frankl           
		It was searching for meaning.

	Aviv Geffen  
		A chicken is just a bunch of feathers. Pink Floyd is more important 
		to me than any chicken. 

	Arthur Green            
		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.

	Blu Greenberg           
		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.

	Yitz Greenberg          
		There have been three quite distinct historical Jewish responses to 
		this question...

	Bonna Haberman          
		What's most important is that chickens be able to daven freely at the 

	David Hartman           
		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!!

	Hasdai Crescas  
		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 
		lower vertebrates.

	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?

	Avram Infeld            
		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 
		to you...

	Israeli Border Guard  
		And what is your purpose for crossing over to the other side?
		Chicken: Bok
		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.

	Meir Kahane             
		The only good chicken is a dead chicken.

	Rodger Kamenatz         
		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 

	Mordechai Kaplan        
		The chicken as civilization! Give the chicken a voice, not a veto.

	Kitve ha-Ariza"l  
		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.

	Levi Lauer              
		Levinas is the key contemporary thinker on this problem.

	Yeshayahu Leibowitz     
		Judeo-chicken? Disco-chicken? Stupid question.  We simply follow the
		halacha. The chicken crosses the road. That's it.

	Yosef Leibowitz         
		Why did it cross the road?  Creation, revelation, redemption...

	Michael Lerner           
		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]

	Judah ha-Levi  
		My road is the East, but my chicken is in the farthest West.

	Uzi Meshullam  
		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"

	Jacob Neusner  
		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

	Bibi Netanyahu   
		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.

	Sara Netanyahu  
		You, Chicken, are the WORST %#*@ing housekeeper, EVER!!!! YOU'RE 

	Orthodox rabbi          
		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.

	Pinchas Peli            
		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 

	Shimon Peres            
		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 

	Pirkei Avot             
		Moses heard the answer at Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua...

	Judith Plaskow          
		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].

	Reform rabbi            
		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 
		do so.

	Jonathan Sacks          
		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...

	Danny Siegal            
		The chicken was doing a mitzvah, and so should we!

	Gary Shapiro            
		Leo Strauss is the key thinker on this question.

	Rav Soloveitchik            
		There were actually two chickens: Chicken One, and Chicken Two...

	Steven Spielberg        
		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). 

	Adin Steinsaltz         
		See my book, The Many Petalled Chicken.

	Leo Strauss             
		[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. 

	Art Waskow              
		At Chavurat Shalom we experimented with a chicken-free Judaism; the
		beginnings of modern eco-kashrut...

	Ezer Weizman            
		Grunt [expletive deleted]. The chicken-meidele should go home and knit 

	Leslie Wexner           
		I'm happy to announce a new $40 million endowment to help answer this
		crucial question.

	Rav Ovadiah Yosef  
		If it was shechted by an Ashkenazi, it's treif.

	The Zohar  
		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 
		have feathers.

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