La Dive Bouteille/The Divine Bottle by François Rabelais

Haggadah Section: Kadesh

"Therefore here we hold not that laughing, but that drinking is the distinguishing character of man. I don’t say drinking, taking that word singly and absolutely in the strictest sense; no, beasts then might put in for a share; I mean drinking cool delicious wine. For you must know, my beloved, that by wine we become divine; neither can there be a surer argument or a less deceitful divination. Your academics assert the same when they make the etymology of wine, which the Greeks call, to be from vis, strength, virtue, and power; for ’tis in its power to fill the soul with all truth, learning, and philosophy" (Pantagruel).

"Et icy maintenons que non rire, ains boire est le propre de l'homme. Je ne dy pas boiez simplement et absolument, car aussi bien boivent les bestes : je dy boire vin bon et frais. Notez amiz que de vin divin on devient : et n'y a argument tant seur , ny art de divination moins fallace. Vos Academiques l'afferment rendans l'etymologie du vin oἶnoς estre comme vis, force, puissance. Car pouvoir il a d'emplir l'ame de toute vérité, tout savoir et philosophie. Si avez noté ce qui est en lettres Ionicques escrit dessus la porte du temple, vous avez peu entendre qu'en vin est vérité caché. La dive Bouteille vous y envoie : soyez vous-mêmes interpretes de vostre entreprinse."

"Drink your fill at the fountains of knowledge. To know, in order to love, is the secret of life. Avoid the hypocrites, the ignorant, the cruel: free yourselves from vain terrors; study man and the universe; learn to know the laws of the physical and moral world, so that you may obey them and them alone; drink, drink knowledge; drink truth; drink love." (Anatole France, Rabelais.)

"TRINCH, abreuvez ­vous aux sources de la connaissance. Connaître pour aimer, c'est le secret de la vie. Fuyez les hypocrites, les ignorants, les méchants ; affranchissez­-vous des vaines terreurs ; étudiez l'homme et l'univers ; connaissez les lois du monde physique et moral, afin de vous y soumettre et de ne vous soumettre qu'à elles ; buvez, buvez la science ; buvez la vérité ; buvez l'amour".

François Rabelais (1483-1553) was a Renaissance Writer and Humanist. In Pantagruel, the thirst for wine symbolizes the thirst for truth and knowledge.

Rabelais in "Pantagruel"

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