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The Mishna Torah says that in exile, the Jews will suffer "many conflicting evils." The commentaries explain: "Evils that conflict with one another, like the sting of a wasp and a scorpion." The rabbis say: "The remedy for a wasp sting is cold water hot water aggravates it." "The rabbis add The remedy for a scorpion bite, is hot water cold water aggravates it." "But what if someone gets stung by a wasp and a scorpion?" the rabbis ask. Because it happens, we know it happens in the wild desert and in board rooms, it happens, and when it does What can we do? Wait for the pain to go away? Invent a foreign balm? Eradicate all wasps all scorpions and for good measure All rattlesnakes? No. That is not our way, and besides there are reasons for wasps and scorpions far beyond our understanding of such things. So what can we do? Remember that they are dangerous, Avoid them? Make jokes about things that bite? Wait another 6000 years for a world without stinging things? We can do what we have always done dance away from stings milk the rival dry of poison Our remedy throughout ill years has always been survival.
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