Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Some Jewish responses to an age old question, which I recently found on the web. A little lightness in our lives is always welcome!!

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 sh'eylah...

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 kotel...

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 dinner...

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 wind..

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? George!!!!!

    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 FIRED!!!!

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 poultry...

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 Damascus!

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 socks.

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.