Chapter 2, Mishna 1, 2
King Solomon made the Torah more accessible to people by writing Proverbs. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi looks at Deut. 7:10 and says, were this not in the Torah, we could never say it because it appears that God holds a grudge. Is God emotional? Do we have the power to make God joyful or angry? Apparently, because God says so in the Torah. Why is God “long-suffering?” Why doesn’t God reward the righteous and punish the wicked more promptly? How big can the enclosure around the well be? Do the virtual partitions of the enclosure still work if people routinely walk through them? Rabbi Yehuda says no, but the Rabbis overrule him. Rabbi Yochanan doesn’t like that ruling, neither does Rava. They grow colorful in their slippery slope argument about ill-defined partitions of mountains, cliffs, rivers and oceans. But we hold like the Rabbis.