I am currently reading Rabbi Shimon Huberband's Kiddush Hashem, which is constructed of passages that he authored in the Warsaw Ghetto. In his description of Rosh HaShanah 5700 (1939), he mentions sitting around with other Jews in Piotrkow, and sharing rumours about the German army being defeated by a confederacy of Polish, French and English forces.

One Jew present expressed disbelief, and applied to these rumours a moshel from the gemara. In the translation of David E. Fishman (I haven't seen the original Yiddish), "There was one wise Jew who, after hearing the entire conversation, commented that he had no faith in the alliance between Poland, England, and France. He based this on the talmudic dictum regarding an arrogant pauper, an old adulterer, and a deceitful rich man. The arrogant pauper, he explained, was Poland; the old adulterer was France; and the deceitful man was England."

What is the talmudic passage that R' Huberband is alluding to?


Pesachim 113b:

ארבעה אין הדעת סובלתן אלו הן דל גאה ועשיר מכחש וזקן מנאף ופרנס מתגאה על הציבור בחנם

Four types of people cannot be endured by anyone: An arrogant pauper; a wealthy person who denies monetary claims against him; a lecherous old man; and a leader who lords over the community for no cause.

  • Shkoyach, thank you. – Shimon bM Sep 14 '20 at 20:12

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