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Joke #:  2654
(Category:  Religious Jokes)

A Talmudic Answering Machine Message

"Hello, this is the law offices of Hillel and Shammai. Please leave your name, number and brief message at the beep. These are the words of Hillel. Shammai says, leave your message first, and then your name and number, but both are the words of the living God."

Commentary

That doesn't sit right. Shammai would never say to leave your message first and then your name, making the recipient rely on the hope of recognizing your voice to know how to interpret the message (the same words, such as references to children and spouses and employers, will mean different things from different people).

No, Shammai would have said to leave your name first, then your number to complete the frame of reference and background information, and then your message. Hillel would have said, since messages are easier to remember than telephone numbers, leave your name first, then your message, and then a number at which you can be reached LAST so that it will be freshest in the listener's memory, unobscured by surprises in the message, in case the listener wishes to dial right away or cannot write it down. But this is valid, and that is valid.

Follow-ups on the Hillel/Shammai answering machine debate to soc.culture.jewish, but wait until Chol Hammo`ed Sukkoth so that people will be in a Simchat Torah mood. Shnat brakhah v'hatzlachah.


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