April 5, 2017


אמר רבה אשתעו לי נחותי ימא בין גלא לגלא תלת מאה פרסי ורומא דגלא תלת מאה פרסי זימנא חדא הוה אזלינן באורחא ודלינן גלא עד דחזינן בי מרבעתיה דכוכבא זוטא והויא לי כמבזר ארבעין גריוי בזרא דחרדלא ואי דלינן טפי הוה מקלינן מהבליה ורמי לה גלא קלא לחברתה חבירתי שבקת מידי בעלמא דלא שטפתיה דניתי אנא ונאבדיה א”ל פוק חזי גבורתא דמריך מלא חוטא חלא ולא עברי שנאמר (ירמיהו ה) האותי לא תיראו נאם ה’ אם מפני לא תחילו אשר שמתי חול גבול לים חוק עולם ולא יעברנהו

we were lifted up,
my hand nearly touched the stars,
their warmth on my face.

Rabbah said: Seafarers told me: There is a distance of three hundred parasangs25  between one wave and the other, and the height of the wave is [also] three hundred parasangs. ‘Once,’ [they related], ‘we were on a voyage, and the wave lifted us up so high that we saw the resting place of the smallest star, and there was a flash as if one shot forty arrows of iron;26  and if it had lifted us up still higher. We would have been burned by its heat. And one wave called to the other: “My friend, have you left anything in the world that you did not wash away? I will go and destroy it.” The other replied: “Go and see the power of the master [by whose command] I must not pass the sand'[of the shore even as much as] the breadth of a thread”; as it is written: Fear ye not me? saith the Lord; will ye not tremble at my presence? who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea, an everlasting ordinance, which it cannot pass.27


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