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Just wondering if Torah sources have any answer to the world's most timeless and compelling question: why did the chicken cross the road?

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

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  • 3
    Nafka mina: was it a melacha she'eina tzricha legufaH ...
    – Shalom
    Mar 18 at 0:36
  • It was a glitch in the matrix. 🐥🐤🍗🐔.
    – Pycm
    Mar 18 at 15:16
  • I don't see how this question is on-topic.
    – msh210
    Mar 18 at 20:56
  • @msh210 good point
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Mar 18 at 21:59
  • 2
    @msh210 doesn't it fall under "apply a distinctly Torah style (e.g. Talmudic analysis) to an irrelevant topic"?
    – Harel13
    Mar 18 at 22:21

5 Answers 5

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This is one of four riddles that the wisest of all men was unable to solve (Proverbs 30:18-19):

שְׁלֹשָׁה הֵמָּה נִפְלְאוּ מִמֶּנִּי וארבע [וְאַרְבָּעָה] לֹא יְדַעְתִּים. דֶּרֶךְ הַנֶּשֶׁר בַּשָּׁמַיִם דֶּרֶךְ נָחָשׁ עֲלֵי צוּר דֶּרֶךְ אֳנִיָּה בְלֶב יָם וְדֶרֶךְ גֶּבֶר בְּעַלְמָה.‏

Three things are beyond me, and the fourth I don't know:
Why did the eagle cross the sky?
Why did the snake cross the rock?
Why did the ship cross the sea?
Why did the rooster cross the road with a hen?

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The midrash explains that the chicken* is actually Avraham Avinu.

As we learn in the commentaries to the Haggadah, Avraham, by choosing Hashem, "stood on the other side", i.e. the other side of the world, who all bowed to idols. And hence the name Ivri (Hebrew), i.e. "other sider".

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.


* the original formulation, scholars believe, had "dove" (see this Radak on Bereshit 15:9), and also it wasn't a road, but a river (see the opening of Maggid in the Passover Haggadah)

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to get to the Alter Cocker-doodle Doo.

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I think that this was a translation error - I think that the original question involved a rooster and not a chicken. As for the answer, he had a girsa about the end of Pirkei Avot 2:5 that read

וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין גֶּבֶרים, הִשְׁתַּדֵּל לִהְיוֹת גֶּבֶר

instead of

וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין אֲנָשִׁים, הִשְׁתַּדֵּל לִהְיוֹת אִישׁ

which he likely got from the girsa of Bar Kappara as translated by b a in the comment below:

בַּאֲתַר דְּלֵית גְּבַר — תַּמָּן הֱוֵי גְּבַר.

In a place where there is no rooster, there you should be, O rooster

So it must be, therefore, that there was simply no one on the other side of the road.

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    Your conjecture is right on track, this is the girsa of Bar Kappara: באתר דלית גבר תמן הוי גבר "In a place where there is no rooster, there you should be, O rooster" (Berachot 63a)
    – b a
    Mar 18 at 17:17
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The question is obviously existential, and therefore you already knew the answer before you asked the question.

As Rav Berg put it so eloquently in his book, Kabbalah for the Layman,

“From the kabbalistic perspective, that which is infinite and eternal is real and that which is finite, including this world and all that is a part of it, is illusion.”

Wisdom calls to us from Proverbs 8:17

"I love them that love me, And those that seek me earnestly shall find me."

The path is manifest by the intent of the seeker.

The bottom line is: there is no road.

There is only the need in the mind of the creation to seek elevation to the Creator. And toward that need, the road materializes.

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    The second bottom line is: There is no chicken either. Anyone can confirm this when hungry. Mar 19 at 2:30

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