Monday, January 19, 2009

Where is "where is it written" written?

This is a very hard question to Google...

My mom used to ask this rhetorical question frequently, e.g. "Where is it written that only mothers can empty the dishwasher?" She was quite the Boston Yankee type; it never occurred to me at the time that the phrase had a Jewish ring.

I ran into the phrase in the Yiddish book I'm translating:

"What do you mean, you've already filled your school?" Khyene complained. "Where is it written that a teacher can have nine students and a tenth is forbidden?"

So, I am entertaining any answers, whether academic, faux-academic, or whimsical. Thanks for opining!

UPDATE:Michael Gilleland of Laudator Temporis Acti wrote:
I didn't search too hard, but thanks to Google Book Search I was able to find "Where is it written in all the word of God that wee should not weare bayes upon our heads?" in Jeremiah Burroughs, An Exposition of the Prophesie of Hosea (1643), p. 567.



At 4:55 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

indeed, and the critical struggle over whether we should, in fact, wear bayes upon our heads continues to the present day, and forces us to ponder the very essence of what it means to be human.


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