A couple of weeks ago, Mike Keesey brought up a point where, it seems, the ICZN doesn't actually say what everyone has always thought it says. The tone of the ensuing discussion reminds me of a story that a Jewish friend of mine once told me. It concerns a disagreement that the famous rabbi Akiba ben Joseph* once had with a group of other rabbis on a point of law (hush up if you've heard this one before).
*Well, to be honest, I'm not sure if it was actually Akiba that was the subject of the story. It might have been some other influential figure. For the sake of maintaining a narrative, let's just say it was Akiba.
Anywho, the argument had apparently been raging for some time - Akiba holding out for one interpretation, all the other rabbis in the room holding to the other - and had evidently reached something of an impasse. Eventually, frustrated at his failure to get his point across successfully, Akiba exclaimed that if he was in the right, then the tree standing at the door of the synagogue should uproot itself and walk away. Amazingly, this is exactly what happened at that very moment. But the other rabbis were unimpressed by this miracle - after all, they demanded to know, what would a mere tree know of the Holy Law? Akiba then made another oath, that his correctness should be demonstrated by the river running outside the synagogue turning back on itself, and flowing uphill. Again, the river did this very thing (and according to the story, it still does today). But once more the other rabbis only scoffed - what does a river know of the Holy Law?
His frustration at a peak, Akiba appealed to the highest authority he knew of, exclaiming that if he was in the right, G-D himself would speak in his favour. And at the point, the clouds opened, a light shone down from the sky, and a great voice could be heard - "Rabbi Akiba is right!" Hearing this voice, the other rabbis turned to face the heavens, and spoke as one: