Sermon Illustrations

There’s a story about two rabbis in the Talmud, Hillel and Shammai. Hillel was patient and understanding, and more conceptual than his counterpart, Shammai, who was an engineer, or mathematician, in his mindset. According to the story, a gentile went to Shammai and said he would convert to Judaism if Shammai would teach him the entire Torah while the Gentile would stand on one foot — a metaphor for a very brief period of time. Shammai then pushed him out with the ruler in his hand.

The Gentile then went to Hillel, who converted him by saying, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the entire Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and learn.”