My wife, who thank God is my also my best critic, asked if I could write about why I named this blog, "The Three Fold Cord." It is based on a Mishne in tractace Kiddushin that goes as follows:
תלמוד בבלי מסכת קידושין דף מ:
Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Kiddushin, 40b
Anyone who engages in mikra [Bible], mishna, and derekh eretz [basic decency], he does not quickly sin as it says, “The three-fold cord will not quickly be broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) Everyone who does not have mikra, mishna, and derech eretz is not of civilization.
כל שישנו במקרא ובמשנה ובדרך ארץ לא במהרה הוא חוטא שנאמר והחוט המשולש לא במהרה ינתק וכל שאינו לא במקרא ולא במשנה ולא בדרך ארץ אינו מן היישוב:
The actual quote about the three-fold cord is from Ecclesiastes 4:12, and our Rabbis use it in many manners, by I particularly appreciate this one. It is the reason that many of my posts come in three parts. Though the three parts are not each focused on a separate aspect mikra, mishna, and derekh eretz, I like to think each is incorporated aspect each week. I understand mikra to mean Bible, but more broadly our earliest sources and traditions. I understand mishna to mean our adaptation of our earliest sources to the current time and place (whether that be third century Roman Empire or twenty-first century America), and derekh eretz to be how be put it all together in our conduct as members of a larger world and a small piece in God's creation. I also understand each to mean its literal meaning as well (אין יוצא מידי פשוטו), so I often try to include a bit of each.