Ben Zoma would say: Who is wise? One who learns from every man.
Who is rich?—one who is satisfied with his lot. As it is written [Psalms 128:2]: “If you eat of the toil of your hands, fortunate are you, how good it is for you!”
Chapter Four Text: Ethics of Our Fathers
An English translation of Chapter Four of Ethics of Our Fathers, also known as Pirke Avot.Read More
Who is Wise?
Why does Ben Zoma say “Who is wise — One who learns from every man”?Read More
The Impoverished Scholar
A person who fulfills the Torah in poverty—who recognizes the poverty of his mind before the infinite perfection of the divine truth—will ultimately fulfill it in wealth.Read More
Famous Last Words
The chassid Rabbi Moshe Rubin would tell the story of a man who had been told that he would receive all the land he could manage to cover on foot in one day.Read More
Do You Want to be Rich?
If you wish to be truly rich, our mishnah is saying, expend only the toil of your “hands,” the more external elements of your talents and faculties, in your material involvements, reserving the “toil of your head” for the more lofty things in life.Read More
A Lesson in Humility
What does it mean to “be humble before every man”?Read More
An Unclouded Harvest: Lessons of Achitofel
Achitofel was one of the greatest sages of his generation. Yet all his life he followed the route of giving precedence to his reason over his piety—a path which brought him much grief. Therein lies the deeper significance of the three pieces of advice he offers to his children before his passing: he is warning them not to repeat his error of placing wisdom before piety, as this pertains to the three “crowns” of human aspiration.Read More