SATIRE: Archeologists Ask Community’s Help Decoding Ancient Text Discovered Near Old Parksville
In February of 3023, archeologists sifting through the grounds of what is believed to have been an old campground near Old Parksville in Upstate New York struck paydirt, uncovering a paved courtyard surrounded by three buildings.
“We are jumping around in excitement,” archeological assistant Pitzgerald Bluberbutt sent in a message to 143 different news outlets, newspapers, newsletters, and anyone else who would listen. “The find will finally make the area of Old Parksville what it never was before, an interesting place to visit!”
While two of the discovered buildings are believed to be crumbling wooden structures haunted with the souls of thousands of young boys who lost their voices screaming, a third building, confusingly intact after so many years, was made of cement blocks and is believed to have housed an indoor pool.
“It’s the BETH!” slurred Bluberbutt, who was found heavily intoxicated in celebration following the find. But the greatest find remains an inscription found on the wall of the building’s semi-private ancient lavatory.
“It’s that that makes the find so interesting,” Bluberbutt was eventually able to point out. “It was written by a person in what we believe was a blue ballpoint pen. But it must have baffled everyone.”
In an exclusive look at the inscription, we can confirm that it is indeed ancient Hebrew, but with the multitudes of notes surrounding and presumably explaining it, we can extrapolate that it must have been a real mystery for everyone.
In an effort to recreate this worthwhile find, we have included a copy and translation of the ancient text below:
להבין עניין בית הכסא עיגול בינוני על רגל אחת אם יש מים חייב ברכה רבי שילשול אומר אפילו בלי מים חייב ברכה נוספת. צריכא כח יתרא ברכת הגומל מחויבת
To understand the concept of house of chair, medium circle on one leg. If there is water, a blessing is necessary. Rabbi Shilshul says, even without water another blessing is necessary. If extra power is required, Birchas Hagomel is required.
A request for the readers has been made to please expound on the inscription, providing high-quality commentary to help others understand this potent text.
(Place your commentary in the comment section below. Extra points if you give Rashi, Tosfos, or Mefarshim answers. The best commentary comment will be chosen by Comedy Influencer Mendy Pellin to win a $100 gift card. Don’t forget to put your email address so we can reach out to you as the winner!)
להבין עניין בית – poor flames in the house. (Rashi: flames are called “poor” because they’re never satisfied, as Mishlei (30:16) says, ואש לא אמרה הון, fire never says it has enough. Tosafos: עניין is related to ענה, as in וענית ואמרת, so it means “the flames speak loudly to the house.”)
הכסא עיגול – time (Rashi: compare בכסה ליום חגנו and ליום הכסא יבוא ביתו) is a circle. [Thus, the following events will repeat over and over in history.]
בינוני על רגל אחת אם – the middle on one of his mother’s feet (Rashi: referring to the story of R. Tarfon supporting his mother’s foot, and the chachamim saying that he hasn’t reached even the middle – בינוני – of kibbud av v’em)
יש מים חייב ברכה – there is water that requires a bracha (Tosafos: only when drinking because one is thirsty; see Berachos 45a and Tosafos there). Maharsha sees this as alluding to the story with R’ Yishmael’s mother and the water for washing his feet that she wanted to drink, mentioned in the Yerushalmi (Peah 1:1) immediately after the story of R’ Tarfon and his mother.
רבי שילשול אומר – Rabbi Shilshul says (Rabbeinu Chananel brings a tradition from the Geonim that this wasn’t his real name, but that he was so called because sometimes he davened with Poylishe chassidim in “shil” and other times with Lubavitchers in “shul”):
אפילו בלי מים חייב – even if he is guilty of not providing water [for his parents], or according to Maharsha, of not letting his mother drink the water, as in the above story,
ברכה נוספת – there is an extra bracha (for honoring his parents in other ways).
צריכא כח יתרא – But it requires the strength of Yisra (a brother-in-law of David, mentioned in Shmuel Beis 17:25),
ברכת הגומל מחויב – and he is required to say a bracha for being weaned (Rashi: as in ויגדל הילד ויגמל, the child grew and was weaned).
I got this
House of chair must be referring to the restroom. This can be concluded by several factors.
1. It’s inscribed on what seems to be a bathroom wall.
2. Ancient Hebrew text seem to refer to bathrooms as house of chairs (seemingly, because people are seated in the bathroom)
3. According to researchers this facility was occupied by chassidic people, in chassidic scripts כסא refers to covering. And
I got this 2
And in ancient times people used to use the bathroom only behind closed doors.
Medium circle on one leg definitely describes what toilets were in those times. As parallel archeological finds of the same period in history, toilets were made with a seat which contained a hole in the center which also forms a leg to hold the seat standing.
To understand the concept of the bathroom. The toilet seat on the toilet. If you #1 you say the after blessing. If #2 the same. And if constipated then gomel?
I got this 3
The continuation of this text sheds light on the original part. The writer begins to describe laws about blessing. One may find text like this throughout Jewish scripture. I’m this case though it would seem the writer was a bored staff member who didn’t necessarily excel in his talmudical study and while constipated in the bathroom, he began to imagine a talmudical discussion in which his …
I got this 4
In which his circumstances were discussed. Originally, he thought of his suffering while his constipation prevented him from joining the stimulating gossip discussions in the staff lounge. Until he thought, “I think it would be proper for the Talmud to have established a blessing of hagomel for servers of this situation”
Once that came into his mind he began to create an entire mishna in his mind
You are all reading (and translating) it wrong!
להבין ענין בית – to understand the concept of a home, הכסא עיגול בינוני – the covering (roof of home) which normally has 4 corners (of the elements: domem, tzomeach, chai, medaber) become rounded (a circle represents infinite) by the Beinoni (as defined in Tanya) who resides within the home. This Kabbalistic message explains the secret purpose of
Mushkie, You turned it into a ruchniyus message! And really funny too!! Using no punctuation to re-read the message!! And you left us in suspense with “the secret purpose of”…Bravo!
100% alter rebbe ksav kisei written with an alef and not a hay.