Or, some say, he was a turkey -- but I first heard it as a rooster... Besides, I'm not about to call myself a TURKEY!
The original reference was to the "Indian Cock": which some scholars claim is the turkey (because people apparently mistook it for a peacock) and others say it is the Red Jungle Fowl of India, which is the original ancestor of all breeds of chickens.
Wouldn't this make a really great Purim debate -- was it a turkey or was it a rooster???? We Jews can agree on the big things, such as One God, Ten Commandments... it's those annoying little details that really get us going.
Then again folk tales do have a habit of mutating. Did you know that the "goose that laid the golden egg" was originally a chicken, too? So nu, what is this? A revisionist plot to deny chickens their rightful place in history? There's fowl play afoot, that's for sure...
Not to egg you on about this, but if you really want to pursue this profound dilemma, then check out the history of the turkey and the origins of the domestic fowl (chicken).
Anyway, the exact species of barnyard bird doesn't really affect the story, which I frequently tell, and which is my personal model for teaching Yiddishkeit (Judaism).
Plus, my wife and I like bantam chickens, which we keep as pets on our farm. We also had chickens when we lived in the boundaries of Sandstone -- until the town got uppity and passed an ordinance saying we could not have chickens in the backyard anymore. (My my, aren't we getting gentrified out here -- must be that population explosion from 1500 to 2500 over the last decade...)
Well, our banties are pets and we refused to kill them or give them away. We finally succeeded in getting them "grandfathered in" and were able to keep them until we moved to the farm.
Still, there are some folks in town who think of me as "the guy with that darned rooster!" All this was happening around the time when I opened the Amazon account. So I guess using rooster613 as my nickname is my way of thumbing my nose at a dumb law!
So -- beware of angry roosters -- they use fowl language!
As for the number 613 that refers to the 613 mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah. It's a shorthand way that many Jews use on the Net to let you know that they are Orthodox or Hasidic.
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