About tekel: tekel is an aramaic word that means “weigh” or “weight.” It is best known from a biblical verse, from the book of Daniel 5:1-31. In this verse, the King of the Babylonians has caused offerings to be made to his pagan gods, using relics stolen by Nebuchadnezzar from the temple in Jerusalem. When these blasphemous offerings were made, a disembodied hand appeard and wrote upon the wall the words “mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.” Daniel was called in to read these words, and he found that they fortold the fall of the Babylonian empire.
Two popular idioms have arisen from this particular story. One is the phrase “the writing on the wall” as in, “I saw the writing on the wall, so I started packing my things that day.” Generally this refers to predicting the imminent failure or downfall of something.
The second idiom is a more literal translation into english of the original phrase. It goes “You have been weighed, and measured, and found wanting.” The most prominent contemporary use of this phrase has been in a cheesy movie called “A Knight’s Tale.” It’s what the bad guy always said after he knocked his opponent off the horse… until the end, when the good guy knocked the bad guy down… and then he didn’t say it.
Since the most interesting part of law school (and maybe life in general) seems to be an exercise in weighing the importance of one thing against another, I thought it was an appropriate name.
About me: I’m a recent graduate from the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene. This blog is to grab and provide a forum for comments on current events that I think are interesting.
I’ve inadvertently picked up a relatively high pagerank for a couple of posts I’ve done about the continued spread of Castle Doctrine laws around the US. So I tend to post a lot about that topic. Readers should not take the frequency of posts to imply that I’m especially for or against the concept, here in Oregon or anywhere else.