Ask the Rabbi

Talmudic solutions for contemporary dilemmas

Ask the Rabbi

Dear Rabbi

I was disturbed to hear that our favourite rap artist Meh... is making antisemitic statements. Should I stop listening to his music and buying his exclusive branded clothes?

The Rabbi replies

A story is told by Talmudic scholars Rabbi “Doc” Kvetch and Rabbi “Li’l” Mitzvah. Long ago there lived a tailor called Dreck in the town of Klickbeit. Dreck’s clothes didn’t sell. He cut costs by paying poor children with dry bread to make the clothes from threadbare fabrics. He labelled them “Shmutters by Dreck”, then charged his customers large amounts for the garments.

A handsome Cossack modelled them, posing with his boot on the neck of one of the starving child workers. But still people ignored him in the marketplace.

One day in frustration the tailor kicked a stray dog. Some people gasped in horror; others said they had always hated that dog. Some said the dog had always lived in the town and chased away rats. Others said the dog carried diseases and conspired with the rats to poison the children.

There were loud arguments but at least people gathered around his stall. After a while, though, they got bored and drifted away.

Dreck kicked the dog again then fell to the ground and clutched his throat shrieking: “The dog has silenced me!” Now people flocked to the town of Klickbeit as they felt their opinion on the dog was of great importance. Mayor Musky was pleased but the other stallholders were not. Pickles lay in jars and fish sat in the hot sun. Dreck boasted that he was a more talented stallholder than the rest of them. So they dismantled his stall and told him he wasn’t welcome in the market square any more. Life in the little town of Klickbeit returned to normal – except that, now, many more people kicked dogs.

Posted: 19 November 2022