Sunday, July 28, 2019

Worth your weight in gold (or onions)

LAST WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Your Weight in Onions. This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study explores many ways to pay off a divine debt: in gold, silver, pitch, vegetables—or limbs.
In Chapter 5 of this brief tractate [Arakhin], the focus turns to other kinds of pledges that a person can make based on his own person. For instance, the mishna in Arakhin 19a refers to one who says “it is incumbent upon me to donate my weight.” Perhaps such a vow might be taken on recovery from a serious illness, when a person wanted to express that he owes his entire bodily existence to God. With a vow according to weight, one would ordinarily specify the material to be donated: “if silver silver, and if gold gold.” For a full-grown person, donating one’s body weight in gold could turn out to be quite an expensive proposition.
Yes. The valuation in gold by weight for a person weighing 70 kilograms would be (by the current price of gold) nearly $3,200,000.

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

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