It's been a long time since I've posted, and as it might be a week or two before the new comic is ready, I thought I would post my translation of a story in Masechet Taanith (25a). A reader recommended the masechet to me, and it was brilliant advice; I'm only going through the Ain Yaakov at the moment, but would love to do more serious study.
Since one of the primary images in Taanith is rain, please imagine that this takes place during a rainstorm. Two sidenotes: after bloodletting, the patient was supposed to eat a good meal; the Aramaic for "clove of garlic," ברא דתומא, literally means "son of garlic."
R Elazar ben Pedath, it was very hard for him
he went to get his blood let
and he had nothing to eat
he threw a clove of garlic in his mouth
his heart grew weak and he fainted
the rabbis came to ask after him
they saw him crying and smiling
a beam of light shot from his forehead
when he woke up they said to him
what's the reason you're crying and smiling?
he said to them, HaKadosh Baruch Hu
was sitting with me
I said to him, how long will I suffer in this world?
he said to me, Elazar my child, you want
I should restart the world,
so maybe you will be born
in a time of bread?
all that for only
I said to him, what's more,
what I've lived or what I will live?
he said, what you've lived.
I said before him, if so,
I don't want it.
he said, because you don't want it,
I will give you thirteen rivers of pure persimmon oil
in the world to come, like the Euphrates and the Tigris
for you to enjoy.
I said to him, what, not more?
he said to me,
then what's left to give to your friends?
I said, I asked for something from someone with nothing?
he flicked me in the forehead with his finger,
he said, Elazar my child, my arrows in you,
my arrows in you.