The Cornerstone, Part I. Above and Below the Jewish Talmud



The Stone which the builders rejected has become the Cornerstone.
By the LORD this has been done and it is wonderful in our eyes.

– Psalms 118:22-23

Part I. Above and Below the Jewish Talmud

The Jewish Talmud also contains metaphorical allusions to the two triangles which create the Star of David. Here are just a few passages related to this phenomenon:

Sanhedrin 103b



Once a man becomes poor in friends
below on earth… 





…he becomes poor above in Heaven.

Gittin 10b



The Jew signed first




..thinking that another Jew would sign above, but the lender got the signature of a Samaritan instead.
Sanhedrin 44b



Resh Lakish said: ‘He who devotes his strength to prayer



…has no enemies to overcome above.’ R. Johanan said: ‘One should ever implore mercy that all Heavenly beings may support his effort in prayer so that he may have no enemies on high.’


Yebamoth 105b



A man who offers up his prayers must direct his eyes towards the Temple
below, for it is said, ‘And Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually’… 




…And the other said: ‘The eyes of him who offers up prayers shall be directed towards the
Heavens above, for it is said ‘Let us lift up our heart with our hand.’
Yebamoth 105b




A man who offers up his prayers must direct his eyes to the Temple below




…and his heart towards the Heavens above

Baba Bathra 11a



It is related of King Monobaz that he spent all his own savings and the savings of his fathers in years of scarcity. His brothers and his father’s household…said to him, ‘Your father saved money and added to the treasures of his fathers, and you are squandering them.’ He replied: “My fathers stored up below



…and I am storing above , as it says, ‘Truth springeth out of the earth and righteousness looketh down from Heaven.’ My fathers stored in a place which can be tampered with, but I have stored in a place which cannot be tampered with.

Talmud, Tanchum. Voeschanan

Death is designed for man from time immemorial. When the hour of man’s departure hence arrives, nothing will save him from it. If he had the wings of an eagle and could soar high up above the earth… 


…he would, of his own accord,
come down to meet his fate.–Death is a new gate for the righteous to enter in.
Berakoth 17a

One should always strive to be on the best terms with his brethren and his relatives and with all men and even with the heathen in the street, in order that he may be beloved above


…and well-liked below and be acceptable to his fellow creatures.’

Berakoth 29b


R. Eliezer says: ‘Do Thy will in heaven above

…and grant relief to them that fear Thee below and do that which is good in Thine eyes. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who hearest prayer.’
Sotah 36a

Behold it is written: ‘And I will send the hornet before thee!’ R. Simeon b. Lakish said: ‘It stood by the bank of the Jordan and injected a virus [into the Canaanites] which blinded their
eyes above... 


…and castrated them below.’
Baba Mezi’a 86b

One should never break away from custom. For behold, Moses
ascended on High

…and ate no bread, whereas the Ministering Angels
descended below and ate bread.

May the LORD God bless you in the name of the Judeo-Christian tradition.


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