Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) Scene 9: The commandos
FRANCIS: We're gettin' in through the underground heating system here, up through into the main audience chamber here, and Pilate's wife's bedroom is here. Having grabbed his wife, we inform Pilate that she is in our custody and forthwith issue our demands. Any questions?
COMMANDO XERXES: What exactly are the demands?
REG: We're giving Pilate two days to dismantle the entire apparatus of the Roman Imperialist State, and if he doesn't agree immediately, we execute her.
MATTHIAS: Cut her head off?
FRANCIS: Cut all her bits off. Send 'em back on the hour every hour. Show them we're not to be trifled with.
REG: And of course, we point out that they bear full responsibility when we chop her up, and that we shall not submit to blackmail!
COMMANDOS: No blackmail!
REG: They've bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers' fathers.
LORETTA: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers.
LORETTA: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers.
REG: Yeah. All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?!
XERXES: The aqueduct?
XERXES: The aqueduct.
REG: Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that's true. Yeah.
COMMANDO #3: And the sanitation.
LORETTA: Oh, yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like?
REG: Yeah. All right. I'll grant you the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done.
MATTHIAS: And the roads.
REG: Well, yeah. Obviously the roads. I mean, the roads go without saying, don't they? But apart from the sanitation, the aqueduct, and the roads--
COMMANDOS: Huh? Heh? Huh...
COMMANDO #2: Education.
REG: Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough.
COMMANDO #1: And the wine.
COMMANDOS: Oh, yes. Yeah...
FRANCIS: Yeah. Yeah, that's something we'd really miss, Reg, if the Romans left. Huh.
COMMANDO: Public baths.
LORETTA: And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now, Reg.
FRANCIS: Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it. They're the only ones who could in a place like this.
COMMANDOS: Hehh, heh. Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.
REG: All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
XERXES: Brought peace.
REG: Oh. Peace? Shut up!
(י) שְׁמַעְיָה וְאַבְטַלְיוֹן קִבְּלוּ מֵהֶם. שְׁמַעְיָה אוֹמֵר, אֱהֹב אֶת הַמְּלָאכָה, וּשְׂנָא אֶת הָרַבָּנוּת, וְאַל תִּתְוַדַּע לָרָשׁוּת:
(10) Shemaiah and Abtalion received [the oral tradition] from them. Shemaiah used to say: love work, hate acting the superior, and do not attempt to draw near to the ruling authority.
(ג) הֱווּ זְהִירִין בָּרָשׁוּת, שֶׁאֵין מְקָרְבִין לוֹ לָאָדָם אֶלָּא לְצֹרֶךְ עַצְמָן. נִרְאִין כְּאוֹהֲבִין בִּשְׁעַת הֲנָאָתָן, וְאֵין עוֹמְדִין לוֹ לָאָדָם בִּשְׁעַת דָּחְקוֹ:
(3) Be careful [in your dealings] with the ruling authorities for they do not befriend a person except for their own needs; they seem like friends when it is to their own interest, but they do not stand by a man in the hour of his distress.
The fox said to them: From what are you fleeing?
They said to him: We are fleeing from the nets that people cast upon us.
He said to them: Do you wish to come up onto dry land, and we will reside together just as my ancestors resided with your ancestors?
The fish said to him: You are the one of whom they say, he is the cleverest of animals? You are not clever; you are a fool. If we are afraid in the water, our natural habitat which gives us life, then in a habitat that causes our death, all the more so.
The moral is: So too, we Jews, now that we sit and engage in Torah study, about which it is written: “For that is your life, and the length of your days” (Deuteronomy 30:20), we fear the empire to this extent; if we proceed to sit idle from its study, as its abandonment is the habitat that causes our death, all the more so will we fear the empire. The Sages said: Not a few days passed until they seized Rabbi Akiva and incarcerated him in prison, and seized Pappos ben Yehuda and incarcerated him alongside him. Rabbi Akiva said to him: Pappos, who brought you here? Pappos replied: Happy are you, Rabbi Akiva, for you were arrested on the charge of engaging in Torah study. Woe unto Pappos who was seized on the charge of engaging in idle matters. The Gemara relates: When they took Rabbi Akiva out to be executed, it was time for the recitation of Shema. And they were raking his flesh with iron combs, and he was reciting Shema, thereby accepting upon himself the yoke of Heaven. His students said to him: Our teacher, even now, as you suffer, you recite Shema? He said to them: All my days I have been troubled by the verse: With all your soul, meaning: Even if God takes your soul. I said to myself: When will the opportunity be afforded me to fulfill this verse? Now that it has been afforded me, shall I not fulfill it? He prolonged his uttering of the word: One, until his soul left his body as he uttered his final word: One. A voice descended from heaven and said: Happy are you, Rabbi Akiva, that your soul left your body as you uttered: One.
(ד) שָׁאַל פְּרוֹקְלוֹס בֶּן פִלוֹסְפוֹס אֶת רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל בְּעַכּוֹ, שֶׁהָיָה רוֹחֵץ בַּמֶּרְחָץ שֶׁל אַפְרוֹדִיטִי, אָמַר לוֹ, כָּתוּב בְּתוֹרַתְכֶם, וְלֹא יִדְבַּק בְּיָדְךָ מְאוּמָה מִן הַחֵרֶם. מִפְּנֵי מָה אַתָּה רוֹחֵץ בַּמֶּרְחָץ שֶׁל אַפְרוֹדִיטִי. אָמַר לוֹ, אֵין מְשִׁיבִין בַּמֶּרְחָץ. וּכְשֶׁיָּצָא אָמַר לוֹ, אֲנִי לֹא בָאתִי בִגְבוּלָהּ, הִיא בָאתָה בִגְבוּלִי, אֵין אוֹמְרִים, נַעֲשֶׂה מֶרְחָץ לְאַפְרוֹדִיטִי נוֹי, אֶלָּא אוֹמְרִים, נַעֲשֶׂה אַפְרוֹדִיטִי נוֹי לַמֶּרְחָץ. דָּבָר אַחֵר, אִם נוֹתְנִין לְךָ מָמוֹן הַרְבֵּה, אִי אַתָּה נִכְנָס לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה שֶׁלְּךָ עָרוֹם וּבַעַל קֶרִי וּמַשְׁתִּין בְּפָנֶיהָ, וְזוֹ עוֹמֶדֶת עַל פִּי הַבִּיב וְכָל הָעָם מַשְׁתִּינִין לְפָנֶיהָ. לֹא נֶאֱמַר אֶלָּא אֱלֹהֵיהֶם. אֶת שֶׁנּוֹהֵג בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם אֱלוֹקַּ, אָסוּר. וְאֶת שֶׁאֵינוֹ נוֹהֵג בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם אֱלוֹקַּ, מֻתָּר:
(4) Proclos, son of a plosphos, asked Rabban Gamaliel in Acco when the latter was bathing in the bathhouse of aphrodite. He said to him, “It is written in your torah, ‘let nothing that has been proscribed stick to your hand (Deuteronomy 13:18)’; why are you bathing in the bathhouse of Aphrodite?” He replied to him, “We do not answer [questions relating to torah] in a bathhouse.” When he came out, he said to him, “I did not come into her domain, she has come into mine. People do not say, ‘the bath was made as an adornment for Aphrodite’; rather they say, ‘Aphrodite was made as an adornment for the bath.’ Another reason is, even if you were given a large sum of money, you would not enter the presence of your idol while you were nude or had experienced seminal emission, nor would you urinate before it. But this [statue of Aphrodite] stands by a sewer and all people urinate before it. [In the torah] it is only stated, “their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:3) what is treated as a god is prohibited, what is not treated as a deity is permitted.