Who but David Daube is able to look at matters seemingly trivial and insignificant and show how astonishingly revealing they are of some of the deepest longings of the human spirit? How interesting that with his impeccable academic record, his belonging over the years to the most august and élite institutions of learning, in a word, his connection with the Establishment, that his instinct for how things look to the lowly and the oppressed has come more and more to the fore. Consider the fables of antiquity. They seem to be no more than moderately imaginative stories that possess some entertainment value, demand little of the listener's time and attention, ostensibly tell about the world of animals and plants but really about the human world. The genre was despised by the educated snobs of antiquity. Intellectuals in our culture, somewhere defined as people who are educated beyond their intelligence—actually this reflects Aesop's view of them in his time—would also overlook the genre if someone of Daube's stature were not around to remove the scales from their eyes.