The Cow and the Calf

 

 

 

 

While imprisoned, Rabbi Akiva charged Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai concerning five matters. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said to Rabbi Akiva, “Rabbi, teach me Torah.” Rabbi Akiva answered, “I cannot teach you.” He said to him, “If you do not teach me, I will speak to my father Yochai and hand you over to the government.” He said to him, “My son, more than the calf wants to suck, the cow desires to suckle.” He said to him, “Who is endangered? Is it not the calf?” (B Pesachim112.)

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