Parable Of The Two Watchmen

Biblical Torah Painting

Antoninus said to Rabbi Judah HaNassi: The body and the soul can each absolve themselves from judgment. The body can say: “It is the soul who has sinned. Why, from the day it left me, I lie like a dumb stone in the grave!” And the soul can say: It’s the body who transgressed. From the day I departed from it, I fly about in the air like a bird!”

Said Rabbi Judah: I will tell you a parable.

Once there was a king who had a beautiful orchard with splendid figs. He appointed two watchmen for his orchard. One watchmen was lame, and the other one was blind.

One day the lame man said to the blind man: “I see beautiful figs in the orchard. Come, I will ride on your shoulders, and we’ll take them and eat them.” So the lame man rode on the shoulders of the blind man, and they took the fruits and ate them.

Some time after, the owner of the orchard came and inquired of them, “Where are those beautiful figs?” The lame man replied, “Have I feet to walk with?” The blind man replied, “Have I eyes to see with?”

What did the king do? He placed the lame watchman on the shoulders of the blind watchman, and judged them together.


Taken from the Talmud, Sanhedrin 91A-B

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