Time for Silence? Time for Speech?

The Book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) offers thirty pairs of phrases elaborating on the theme of a “season set for everything” (Kohelet 3:1-8):

1) To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2) A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3) A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up
4) A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and time to dance;
5) A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6) A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7) A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8) A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace.
— Kohelet 3:1-8 (“Old” JPS at mechon-mamre

In a discussion that references two of the phrases — “a time for silence and a time for speaking” (Kohelet 3:7) — The Babylonian Talmud (Zevachim 115b) adds a note saying that sometimes an individual is silent and is rewarded for silence, while sometimes an individual speaks and is rewarded for speech.

“A Song Every Day” hopes there is some reward for remaining silent yesterday rather than sharing some nonsense just to maintain daily posting for National Blog Posting Month. In case anyone is counting and/or felt cheated getting no post on 11/16, however, please consider this the missing post in the NaBloPoMo series.

Look for more on Zevachim and Kohelet later. Also, it might be interesting to notice that the 30 phrases above might be better understood as 28+2, a pattern that can also be seen in the dimensions of the Tabernacle and its coverings (see Exodus 26).

As part of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), a cousin of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), “A Song Every Day” plans thirty daily posts with some connection to the number 30.NaBloPoMo_November_blogroll_large

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Virginia blogs on general stuff a vspatz.net and more Jewish topics at "A Song Every Day. Manages WeLuvBooks.org. CommunitythruCovid.com is on hiatus.

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