Talmud Quotes

We have collected and put the best Talmud Quotes. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

May these Talmud Quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.

The Talmud (תלמוד) is considered an authoritative record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories. It consists of the Mishnah, a record of oral traditions, and the Gemara, which comments upon, interprets and applies these oral traditions. A section of the Mishnah is followed by the Gemara on that section. There are two distinct Gemaras: the Yerushalmi and the Bavli, and two corresponding Talmuds: Talmud Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Talmud) and the Talmud Bavli (Babylonian Talmud); The word “Talmud”, when used without qualification, usually refers to the Babylonian Talmud. Neither Gemara is complete.

The Talmud Quotes

Talmud Quotes

If your business does not prosper in one town, try another. – The Talmud

Cold water, morning and evening, is better than all the cosmetics. – The Talmud

There is a great difference between him who is ashamed before his own self, and him who is only ashamed before others. – The Talmud

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, grow, grow. – The Talmud

If one man says to thee, ”Thou art a donkey,” pay no heed. If two speak thus, purchase a saddle. – The Talmud

For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned it is the season of the harvest. – The Talmud

To break an oral agreement which is not legally binding is morally wrong. – The Talmud

You can educate a fool, but you cannot make him think. – The Talmud

A dream which is not interpreted is like a letter which is not read. – The Talmud

A person will be called to account on Judgment Day for every permissible thing he might have enjoyed but did not. – The Talmud

Make your books your companions. – The Talmud

Join the company of lions rather than assume the lead among foxes. – The Talmud

Don’t use the conduct of a fool as a precedent. – The Talmud

If silence be good for the wise, how much better for fools. – The Talmud

Man has three friends on whose company he relies. First, wealth which goes with him only while good fortune lasts. Second, his relatives; they go only as far as the grave, leave him there. The third friend, his good deeds, go with him beyond the grave. – The Talmud

Thy friend has a friend, and thy friend’s friend has a friend; be discreet. – The Talmud

A quotation at the right moment is like bread to the famished. – The Talmud

The Talmud Quotes

Talmud Quotes

Who is wise? One who learns from all. – The Talmud

The end result of wisdom is… good deeds. – The Talmud

Who is a wise man? He who learns of all men. – The Talmud

Fish die when they are out of water, and people die without law and order. – The Talmud

The sun will set without thy assistance. – The Talmud

There is no pity for a man who moans about living in one town and does not move to another. – The Talmud

The burden is equal to the horse’s strength. – The Talmud

This is the punishment of a liar: he is not believed, even when he speaks the truth. – The Talmud

The deeper the sorrow the less the tongue has it. – The Talmud

Silence (in court) may be equivalent to confession. – The Talmud

No labor, however humble, is dishonoring. – The Talmud

Loving kindness is greater than laws; and the charities of life are more than all ceremonies. – The Talmud

He who is without a wife dwells without blessing, life, joy, help, good, and peace. – The Talmud

When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son. – The Talmud

Man’s home means his wife. – The Talmud

If one person tell thee that thou hast asses’ ears, do not mind it; but if two persons make this assertion, at once place a pack-saddle upon thy back. – The Talmud

When the thief has no opportunity to steal he considers himself an honest man. – The Talmud

He who is ashamed will not easily commit sin. – The Talmud

Thy neighbor’s property must be as sacred to thee as thine own. – The Talmud

The study of the Law, when not sustained by secular work, must come to an end, and involve one in sin. – The Talmud

It is beautiful and rejoicing to see grapes on the vine; it is ugly and repugnant to see grapes on a thorn-bush. – The Talmud

Eat and drink to live; live not to eat and drink, for thus do the beasts. – The Talmud

Associate not with the wicked man, even if thou canst learn from him. – The Talmud

It is well to add a trade to your studies; you will then be free from sin. – The Talmud

He who revolts against the government commits as great a sin as if he revolted against God. – The Talmud

The consciousness of God’s presence is the first principle of religion. – The Talmud

Guard thy mouth from uttering an unseemly word. – The Talmud

He who makes a solemn vow without fulfilling it, his book will be searched. – The Talmud

When he was a puppy I fed him, and when he became a dog he bit me. – The Talmud

Respect your parents as you respect Me, says God. – The Talmud

An Israelite is prohibited from deceiving even an idolater. – The Talmud

With the pious God is strict, even to a hair’s breadth. – The Talmud

Regulate thy will in accordance with God’s will, and submit thy will to His will. – The Talmud

The Lord is not with him who, while possessing great knowledge, has no sense of duty. – The Talmud

Poor servants ask advice after a thing has happened. – The Talmud

When the calf kicks, ’tis time to thrash the cow. – The Talmud

Truth is heavy, therefore few carry it. – The Talmud

He who has the least understanding has the most questions. – The Talmud

When the ox is down, many are the butchers. – The Talmud

Medicine is a science whose practise is authorized by God Himself. – The Talmud

He who does not teach his son a handicraft trade neglects his parental duty. – The Talmud

Look not at the cask, but at what is in it. A new cask may contain old wine, and an old one may be altogether empty. – The Talmud

Be moderate in all things. – The Talmud

The Talmud Quotes

Talmud Quotes

Who are the pious? The modest. Who are the modest? Those who are bashful, knowing that God sees them. – The Talmud

Where the sages bid us beware for the sake of outward appearances, they mean us to regard even our innermost chamber as a marketplace. – The Talmud

Honor your wife that you may become rich. – The Talmud

Whosoever runs after greatness, greatness runs away from him ; he who runs from greatness, greatness follows him. – The Talmud

Whether a man be strong or weak, rich or poor, wise or foolish, depends mostly on circumstances that surround him from the time of his birth, but whether a man be good or bad, righteous or wicked, depends on his own free will. – The Talmud

Let a man be careful to honor his wife, for he owes to her alone all the blessings of his house. – The Talmud

He who divorces his wife is hated before God. – The Talmud

As a garment is made up of single threads, so every single gift aids in building the great work of charity. – The Talmud

The soul of one good man is worth as much as all the earth. – The Talmud

Money makes even bastards legitimate. – The Talmud

There is a compensation for everything except our first love. – The Talmud

A woman schemes while plying the spindle. – The Talmud

The more knowledge, the more spiritual life. – The Talmud

It requires but the slightest breeze of ill luck to cast down the proud, and quite right, too; for the immense ocean, which consists of countless drops of water, is nevertheless disturbed by the slightest breeze; and will there be anything more necessary to humble men, in whose veins only one drop of blood is flowing? – The Talmud

He who fears the opinion of the world more than his own conscience has but little self-respect. – The Talmud

Too many captains sink the ship. – The Talmud

The house that does not open to the poor will open to the physician. – The Talmud

Religion maketh the man. – The Talmud

Look not on thy prayers as on a task; let the supplication be sincere. – The Talmud

If thou hast commenced a good action, leave it not incomplete. – The Talmud

Money belonging to orphans should only be invested where the chance of gain is greater than the chance of loss. – The Talmud

The proud man is troubled at the slightest wind. – The Talmud

Do not reveal thy secret to the apes. – The Talmud

The loss of a pious man is a loss to his whole generation. – The Talmud

We ought not to live in a town where no physician resides. – The Talmud

When do justice and good will meet? – The Talmud

God causes the remedial herbs to grow up from the ground; they become a healing cause in the hands of the physicians, and from them the druggist prepares the remedies. – The Talmud

Speech is the messenger of the heart. – The Talmud

Pride is like idolatry. – The Talmud

Love your wife like yourself; honor her more than yourself. – The Talmud

Get your living by skinning carcasses in the street, if you cannot otherwise, and do not say, “I am a priest, I am a great man; this work would not befit my dignity”. – The Talmud

Charity is more than sacrifices. – The Talmud

He who turns away from the works of love and charity, turns away from God. – The Talmud

If you touch pitch, it will stick to your fingers; even so, if you associate with evil companions, you will acquire their vices. – The Talmud

Examine the contents, not the bottle. – The Talmud

Religion is the light of the world. – The Talmud

Jerusalem was destroyed because the instruction of the young was neglected. – The Talmud

He who looks daily after his field finds a corn. – The Talmud

God looks to the heart of man and then to the mind. – The Talmud

One contrition in man’s heart is better than many flagellations. – The Talmud

They who are modest will not easily sin. – The Talmud

Were it not for the existence of passions, no one would build a house, marry a wife, beget children, or do any work. – The Talmud

The world depends on its school-children. – The Talmud

He who is slow to anger and easily pacified is truly pious and virtuous. – The Talmud

A man’s merits should be fully stated in his absence, but only partially in his presence. – The Talmud

Attend no auctions if thou hast no money. – The Talmud

Judge not thy neighbor until thou hast been placed in his position. – The Talmud

Into the well from which thou drinkest do not cast a stone. – The Talmud

Even when the gates of heaven are shut to prayer, they are open to those of tears. – The Talmud

It is wrong to receive a present from a thief. – The Talmud

Happy is the old age that atones for the follies of youth; but happier still the youth for which old age needs not to blush. – The Talmud

Let thy house be open wide as a refuge, and let the poor be cordially received within thy walls. – The Talmud

Do not worry thyself with the trouble of tomorrow; perhaps thou wilt have no tomorrow, and why shouldst thou trouble thyself about a world that is not thine? – The Talmud

The soldiers fight and the kings are called heroes. – The Talmud

He who eats and drinks, but blesses not the Lord, is even as he who stealeth. – The Talmud

He who studies the Law in his youth gets its words absorbed in his blood, and they come readily from his mouth. – The Talmud

Prepare thyself in the antechamber that thou mayest worthily enter the throne-room. – The Talmud

Man is generally led the way which he is inclined to go. – The Talmud

A scholar is greater than a prophet. – The Talmud

He who maketh peace among strivers will inherit eternal life. – The Talmud

Anger profiteth nobody. – The Talmud

As a tree is known by its fruit, so man by his works. – The Talmud

Good deeds are better than creeds. – The Talmud

God may delay all other punishments, but the sin of perjury is avenged straightway. – The Talmud

The usurer will not prosper. – The Talmud

The less the merits of a person are, the more he will feel urged to proclaim them to the public. – The Talmud

A man should be careful not to afflict his wife, for God counts her tears. – The Talmud

Without religion there can be no true morality. – The Talmud

All ailings, only not the ailing of heart; all evils, but not an evil wife. – The Talmud

The sin of perjury is great. – The Talmud

Truth lasts forever, but falsehood must vanish. – The Talmud

Four dispositions are found among those who bestow charity. There is he who is willing to give, but does not wish others to give: he has an envious eye towards others. There is he who wishes others to give, but who will not give himself: he has an evil eye towards himself. He who is willing to give and wishes others to give also, is a pious man. He who neither gives himself nor wishes others to give, is a wicked man. – The Talmud

Arrogance is a kingdom without a crown. – The Talmud

Whoever has no possessions may be compared to an infant that has lost its mother. It may be nourished by many women, but it does not thrive, because a mother’s love no one is able to supply. The man who is supported by others, were it even by his own father or mother, or his children, never feels that contentment which his own exertions would give him. – The Talmud

He who cheerfully submits to sufferings brings salvation to the world. – The Talmud

Guard with jealous care thy neighbor’s honor. – The Talmud

Truth is its own witness. – The Talmud

Hear sixty advisers, but be guided by your own conviction. – The Talmud

One who restrains his temper, all his sins meet forgiveness. – The Talmud

Do not appease thy fellow in his hour of anger; do not comfort him while the dead is still laid out before him; do not question him in the hour of his vow; and do not strive to see him in his hour of misfortune. – The Talmud

Peace is the wisp of straw which binds the sheaf of blessings. – The Talmud

Birds of a feather flock together; and so with men — like to like. – The Talmud

Love takes no advice. – The Talmud

When the contending parties are made to agree peaceably. – The Talmud

It is better to be a menial than to live upon the charity of others. – The Talmud

Always pray with humility and with a clear conscience. – The Talmud

A child owes his life to three: to God, to his father, and to his mother. – The Talmud

The laborer is allowed to shorten his prayers. – The Talmud

Sin begets sin. – The Talmud

First, our passions are like travellers, making a brief stay, then like guests visiting us day by day, until at last they become our masters, holding us beneath their sway. – The Talmud

Happy is he who fears God when in the prime of life. – The Talmud

From the very spoon that the carver carved, he has to swallow hot mustard. – The Talmud

Discord is like a leak in a cistern. Drop by drop all the water escapes. – The Talmud

He who marries for money, his children shall be a curse to him. – The Talmud

Life is a passing shadow, says the Scripture. Is it the shadow of a tower or a tree? A shadow that prevails for a while? No; it is the shadow of a bird in his flight — away flies the bird and there is neither bird nor shadow. – The Talmud

Every union for a divine purpose is destined to last. – The Talmud

The receiver is as bad as the thief. – The Talmud

The world trembled with dread when God exclaimed: “Take not my name in vain”. – The Talmud

He who repeatedly sins, looking forward to penitence to cover his sins, his penitence will avail him nothing. – The Talmud

The reward of good works is like dates; sweet and ripening late. – The Talmud

Pride is a sign of the worst poverty — ignorance. – The Talmud

Blessed is he who gives from his substance to the poor; twice blessed he who accompanies his gift with kind, comforting words. – The Talmud

The possessions of him who lends usuriously shall sooner or later decrease and vanish. – The Talmud

It is our duty to relieve the poor and the needy, to visit the sick and bury the dead without distinction of race or creed. – The Talmud

If in anger the one hand remove thy wife or thy child, let the other hand again bring them back to thy heart. – The Talmud

The disciples of the wise are engaged all their days in building up the world. – The Talmud

An unkind wife is a mental affliction. – The Talmud

Habit strips sin of its enormity. – The Talmud

To resist sin is as meritorious as to be actively engaged in a good work. – The Talmud

It is a bounden duty to visit the sick. – The Talmud

Who is strong? He who subdues his passion. – The Talmud

Better no ear at all than one that listeneth to evil. – The Talmud

He who has no inner nobleness has nothing, even if he be of noble birth. – The Talmud

If in after life the son prospers and is richer than his father, he must see that his prosperity is shared by his parents. He must not live in greater luxury than they; he must not allow them to suffer poverty while he enjoys wealth. But the son must not make himself obnoxious by too many attentions. – The Talmud

To pray loudly is not a necessity of devotion ; when we pray we must direct our hearts towards heaven. – The Talmud

Drink not, and you will not sin. – The Talmud

The right way for man to choose is to do that which is honorable in his own eyes (i.e., approved by his conscience) and at the same time honorable in the eyes of his fellow men. – The Talmud

If thy wife is small, bend down to take her counsel. – The Talmud

Have a soft reply to turn away anger, and let thy peace be abundant with thy brother, with thy friend, and with everybody, even with the Gentile in the street, that thou shalt be beloved above and esteemed below. – The Talmud

He who is bashful before others but is not before himself is wanting in self-respect. – The Talmud

A man commits sin in secret; but the Holy One proclaims it openly. – The Talmud

Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a roe, and strong as a lion, to do the will of thy Father who is in heaven. – The Talmud

A woman is a shrewder observer of guests than a man. – The Talmud

The virtuous of all nations participate in eternal bliss. – The Talmud

The beginning of anger is madness, the end penitence. – The Talmud

Love your wife truly and faithfully, and do not compel her to hard work. – The Talmud

Even if it happens that the son is a teacher, yet if the father is present, the son must rise before him in the presence of all his pupils. – The Talmud

When the wife of a man’s youth dies, the altar of the Lord is in mourning. – The Talmud

If silence is becoming to a wise man, how much more so to a fool? – The Talmud

This world is like a road-side inn, but the world to come is like the real home. – The Talmud

The Messiah will not come until haughtiness shall have ceased among men. – The Talmud

The righteous promise little and do much. – The Talmud

Parental love should be impartial; one child must not be preferred to the other. – The Talmud

Use thy best vase today, for tomorrow it may, perchance, be broken. – The Talmud

Beware of an over-pious ignoramus and of one badly trained. – The Talmud

If a word spoken in time is worth one piece of money, silence in its time is certainly worth two. – The Talmud

When the castle goes to ruin, castle is still its name; when the dunghill rises, still it is a dunghill. – The Talmud

The Talmud Quotes

Talmud Quotes

He who is continually struggling with poverty is often enticed, on account of his sufferings, to murmur against an all-wise Providence. He frequently thinks: “Am I not also God’s creature? Why does there exist such difference between me and the wealthy? He sleeps quietly in his splendid mansion, and I have to lie in my miserable hut; he sleeps in his soft bed, and I am obliged to take my rest on the hard floor”. – The Talmud

There is hope for a man who is capable of being ashamed. – The Talmud

Man, be ever soft and pliable like a reed, and not hard and unbending like a cedar. – The Talmud

The grave is like a Melotian (silken) raiment for the pious man, who comes fully provided with provisions; the pious man can look upon the future life without fear, because he comes to the other world well prepared. – The Talmud

Those who work for the community shall work without selfishness, but with the pure intention to promote its welfare. – The Talmud

A town which has no school should be abolished. – The Talmud

The righteous are heard when they persevere in prayer. – The Talmud

Let a man never allow an obscene word to pass out of his mouth. – The Talmud

When a man has turned away from sin, reproach him no more. – The Talmud

Consider three things and thou wilt never sin: remember whence thou comest, whither thou goest, and before whom thou wilt have to render an account for thy doings. – The Talmud

When two men quarrel, he who is first silent is the better man. – The Talmud

The mercy we to others show, Heaven will show to us. – The Talmud

The voice of the people is as the voice of God. – The Talmud

Judge charitably every man and justify him all you can. – The Talmud

Despise not public opinion. – The Talmud

The most worthy crown is a good reputation. – The Talmud

He who unjustly hands over one man’s goods to another, he shall pay God for it with his own soul. – The Talmud

It is a father’s duty not only to provide for his minor children, but also to take care of their instruction, and to teach his son a trade and whatever is necessary for his future welfare. – The Talmud

Be a disciple of Aaron, loving peace, and pursuing peace. – The Talmud

There are three who are especially beloved by God: he who is forbearing, he who is temperate, and he who is courteous. – The Talmud

The love which shirks from reproving is no love. – The Talmud

Keep shut the doors of thy mouth Even from the wife of thy bosom. – The Talmud

Truth is the seal of God. – The Talmud

There is no difference between robbing a Jew or robbing a Gentile; if any, to rob a Gentile is a greater sin than to rob a Jew.
– The Talmud

A son must, if necessary, feed and support his parents. – The Talmud

The strict observance of Sabbath and the Day of Atonement is set aside, when the physician declares such desecration necessary, even against the will of the patient. – The Talmud

Do as much or little as thou canst, only let thy intention be always good. – The Talmud

The righteous need no monuments. Their deeds are their monuments. – The Talmud

A true wife makes the home a holy place. – The Talmud

From vagrants chit-chat, from rags vermia. – The Talmud

He who cannot bear one word of reproof will have to hear many. – The Talmud

Teach thy tongue to say, “I do not know”. – The Talmud

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time. – The Talmud

Before me, said the Lord, “there is no difference between Jew and Gentile; he that accomplishes good, will I reward accordingly”. – The Talmud

Peace is the vessel in which all God’s blessings are preserved to us and preserved by us. – The Talmud

The “Spirit of Evil “entices a man in this world, and testifies against him in the next. – The Talmud

The Sabbath is given to man, not man to the Sabbath. – The Talmud

A handsome dwelling, a pretty wife, and beautiful furniture, exert a cheering influence upon a man’s spirits. – The Talmud

A child must not stand or sit in the place which his father is in the habit of occupying. He must not contradict his father, and when he names him he must use a term of respect, such as “my honored father”. – The Talmud

He who performs a single good action gains for himself an Advocate, and he who commits a single sin procures for himself an Accuser. – The Talmud

The Bible was given to establish peace. – The Talmud

Misery and remorse are the children of revenge. – The Talmud

Judge everybody favorably. – The Talmud

Ignorance and conceit go hand in hand. – The Talmud

Whosoever engages in the study of the Law, and does not practise benevolence, is to be compared to a man who has no God. – The Talmud

So great is the virtue of repentance that it prolongs a man’s years. – The Talmud

The world is only saved by the breath of the school-children. – The Talmud

The measure man metes to man the same will be meted to him. – The Talmud

The just of all nations have a portion in the future reward. – The Talmud

There are three crowns: that of the Law, the priesthood, and royalty; but the crown of a good name is loftier than all these. – The Talmud

Learn first and philosophize afterwards. – The Talmud

If thy associates be insane, be thou sensible. – The Talmud

He who humiliates himself will be lifted up; he who raises himself up will be humiliated. – The Talmud

It is sinful to deceive the government regarding taxes and duties. – The Talmud

Without knowledge there can be neither true morality nor piety. – The Talmud

It is not the amount of trade that makes the man poor or rich, but honest working and dealing. – The Talmud

Great is the dignity of labor; it honors man. – The Talmud

If you interrupt your studies for one day, it will take you two to regain what you have lost. – The Talmud

Be eager to acquire knowledge; it does not come to thee by inheritance. – The Talmud

Our kindly deeds and our generous gifts go to heaven as messengers, and plead for us before our heavenly Father. – The Talmud

As the ocean never freezes, so the gates of repentance never close. – The Talmud

In proportion to thy efforts will be thy recompense. – The Talmud

To him who curbs his wrath, his sins will be forgiven. – The Talmud

A miser is as wicked as an idolater. – The Talmud

Do not buy stolen goods. – The Talmud

Do not accustom yourself to use oaths, or you will be led into perjury. – The Talmud

The usurer will have no share in an everlasting life. – The Talmud

Happy the child who sees its parents engage in an honest trade; woe to the child who must blush on account of their dishonest trade. – The Talmud

Wrong neither thy brother in faith nor him who differs from thee in faith. – The Talmud

Repeat, “repeat,” that is the best medicine for memory. – The Talmud

Reverence of God is the basis of morality. – The Talmud

He who gives charity in secret is greater than Moses. – The Talmud

He who has no wife is esteemed as dead. – The Talmud

The daughter’s doings have been the mother’s acts. – The Talmud

We cannot comprehend either the prosperity or the sufferings of the righteous. – The Talmud

He who devotes himself to the mere study of religion without engaging in works of love and mercy is like one who has no God. – The Talmud

When Satan cannot come himself, he sends wine as a messenger. – The Talmud

Healthy poverty is opulence, compared with ailing wealth. – The Talmud

If you have not desired wisdom in your youth, how will you acquire her in your old age? – The Talmud

Even he who lives upon charity should practise benevolence. – The Talmud

Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, Grow, Grow. – The Talmud

Men should thank God alike for evil and for good. – The Talmud

He who lays up no store of good deeds during the working days of life can never enjoy the eternal Sabbath. – The Talmud

What the child says out of doors he has learnt in doors. – The Talmud

The righteous control their desires, but the desires of the wicked control them. – The Talmud

Who are you whose prayers alone have prevailed? I am a teacher of little children. – The Talmud

Every beast associates with its kind, but man only with his equal. What can combine wolf with the sheep? So is the impious with the poor. Would the hyena associate with the dog? So the wealthy with the poor. The wild ass is torn to pieces by the lion, so the poor becomes the prey of the rich. – The Talmud

The Talmud Quotes

Talmud Quotes

The sensible man drinks only when he is thirsty. – The Talmud

He who lives by the work of his hands is greater than he who indulges in idle piety. – The Talmud

Hold your neighbor’s honor as sacred as your own. – The Talmud

He who honors his father and mother enjoys the fruit in this life, and stores up a treasure for the future. – The Talmud

A special mansion will be given in Heaven to every pious man. – The Talmud

Better little prayer with devotion than much without devotion. – The Talmud

He who derives his livelihood from the labor of his hands is as great as he who fears God. – The Talmud

Swear not, even to the truth, unless the court compels you to do so. – The Talmud

Happy the man who repents in the strength of his manhood. – The Talmud

The righteous are even greater in death than in life. – The Talmud

To accept excuse shows a good disposition. – The Talmud

Support the aged without reference to religion; respect the learned without reference to age. – The Talmud

God alone can judge. – The Talmud

Do not aspire for public offices; but where there are no men, try thou to be a man. – The Talmud

Charity is the greatest virtue. – The Talmud

In all God’s creation there is not a single object without a purpose. – The Talmud

Happy the man who resists his temptations. – The Talmud

It is as difficult to effect suitable matrimonial matches as it was to divide the Red Sea. – The Talmud

Pray for the welfare of the government, since if it were not for the awe which it inspires, men would swallow each other alive.
– The Talmud

The proud are pettish and the pettish are foolish. – The Talmud

It is sinful to deceive any man, be he even a heathen. – The Talmud

Not what you say about yourself, but what others say. – The Talmud

Man’s passions at first are like a cobweb’s thread, at last become like thickest cord. – The Talmud

When the righteous die, they live; for their example lives. – The Talmud

He who lives without a wife is no perfect man. – The Talmud

One man may earn immortality by the work of a few short years, while others earn it by the work of a long life. – The Talmud

Know that thou art always in God’s Presence. – The Talmud

Iron breaks stone; fire melts iron; water extinguishes fire; the clouds consume water; the storm dispels clouds; man withstands the storm; fear conquers man; wine banishes fear; sleep overcomes wine, and death is the master of sleep; but “Charity,” says Solomon, “saves from death”. – The Talmud

A dream that is not interpreted is like a letter that has not been opened. – The Talmud

A woman is more desirous of entering the state of matrimony than a man. – The Talmud

Every word, whether good or bad, accidental or intentional, is recorded in a book. – The Talmud

Teach the children of the poor without compensation, and do not favor the children of the rich. – The Talmud

He who hardens his heart with pride softens his brain with the same. – The Talmud

To what is a man likened, who consoles with his neighbor twelve months after his bereavement by death? He is like a surgeon, asking a man who had once broken his leg to let him break it again and heal it, that he may show him what excellent mendicaments he has. – The Talmud

Consider three things, and thou wilt never fall into sin: remember that there is above thee an All-Seeing Eye, an All-Hearing Ear, and a record of all thy actions. – The Talmud

Not without reason goes the crow to the raven, but because it is of its kind. – The Talmud

Deception in words is a greater sin than deception in money matters. – The Talmud

He who gratifies revenge destroys his own house. – The Talmud

When a son is called to do a service for his parents, he must first see that his person is tidy and clean; for a child must attend to his parents as though they were his king and queen. – The Talmud

Youth is a crown of roses, old age is a crown of rosemary. – The Talmud

Commit a sin twice, and you will think it perfectly allowable. – The Talmud

If the thief has no opportunity, he thinks himself honorable. – The Talmud

The ultimate end of all knowledge and wisdom is man’s inner purification and the performance of good and noble deeds. – The Talmud

The Eternal is the advocate of the poor. – The Talmud

The daughter is as the mother was. – The Talmud

A man without a fitting companion is like the left hand without the right. – The Talmud

Pride leads to the destruction of man. – The Talmud

To deserve mercy, practise mercy. – The Talmud

Sow peace at home, scatter its fruits abroad. – The Talmud

Even for the rebuilding of the Temple the instruction of the children must not be interrupted. – The Talmud

The righteous man is a pillar upon which all the world rests. – The Talmud

He gives little who gives with a frown; he gives much who gives little with a smile. – The Talmud

To be faithless to a given promise is as sinful as idolatry. – The Talmud

He who gives way to his wrath makes desolate his house. – The Talmud

Sin is sweet in the beginning, but bitter in the end. – The Talmud

A slanderer injures three persons: himself, him that receives the slander and the slandered person. – The Talmud

When the wine enters, the secret goes out. – The Talmud

As soon as a man marries his sins decrease. – The Talmud

He who lends money on usury consumes his own as well as the stranger’s. – The Talmud

Do not deem they speech secure, for the wall has ears. – The Talmud

An old man is a trouble in the house; an old woman is a treasure in the house. – The Talmud

Who is rich? He who has a good wife. – The Talmud

Be not easily moved to anger. – The Talmud

To slander is to murder. – The Talmud

Which is a vain oath? If one affirms impossibilities; as, for instance, that a camel was flying in the air. – The Talmud

Wisdom increases with years; and so does folly. – The Talmud

One seldom meets a man who likes his fellow artist. – The Talmud

A penny in an empty box rattles loudly. – The Talmud

Alas! for one thing that goes and never returns. What is it? Youth. – The Talmud

A thing to which a fool does not consent, know as the right thing. – The Talmud

Let thy house be a resort of the wise. – The Talmud

The chief thing is not learning, but the deed. – The Talmud

Silence is consent. – The Talmud

Be not like servants who wait on their master expecting to receive reward, but be you like those who serve their master without expecting reward. – The Talmud

Honor the sons of the poor; it is they who bring science into splendor. – The Talmud

Be of them that are persecuted, not of them that persecute. – The Talmud

Prayer is Israel’s only weapon, a weapon inherited from its fathers, a weapon tried in a thousand battles. – The Talmud

Man’s thoughts and ways shall always be in contact and sympathy with his fellow men. – The Talmud

Even to his own household the overbearing is distasteful. – The Talmud

Habit becomes natural. – The Talmud

The longest life is insufficient for the fulfilment of half of man’s desires. – The Talmud

It is better to lend than to give. To give employment is better than either. – The Talmud

The “evil imagination “takes advantage only of visible objects. – The Talmud

Knowledge without religion blesses not its possessor. – The Talmud

For the righteous there is no rest, neither in this world nor in the next, for they go, say the Scriptures, “from strength unto strength, from task to task, until they shall see God in Zion”. – The Talmud

Two pieces of coin in one bag make more noise than a hundred. – The Talmud

If a man does not go after wisdom, wisdom will not come to him. – The Talmud

The husband should always endeavor to provide bread for his house, for quarrel begins mostly on account of improvidence. – The Talmud

Do not be wise in words alone, but also in deeds, for the wisdom of deeds will be necessary for the world to come, while the wisdom of words remains on earth. – The Talmud

The study of God’s Word is the only antidote against temptation. – The Talmud

Hospitality is as important as divine worship. – The Talmud

Not as thou sayest, but as thy fellows say. – The Talmud

Actions speak louder than words. – The Talmud

Culture of heart is better than culture of learning. – The Talmud

Cleanse your heart before praying. – The Talmud

Study is more meritorious than sacrifice. – The Talmud

A man should be opposed to taking alms as well as to being a burden on the community. – The Talmud

An evil eye, an “evil imagination,” and misanthropy banish a man from the world. – The Talmud

Avoid anger and thou wilt not sin. – The Talmud

Charitable people silence the complaints of the poor. God says to these pious ones: “By your liberality you reconcile the poor man with Myself; you make peace between us”. – The Talmud

He that cherishes jealousy in his heart, his bones rot. – The Talmud

A child must love and honor his parents while they are living, and must love and respect them after they are dead; and as they loved and honored God, he must love and honor God, and thus make his parents live again in his own good deeds. – The Talmud

None may be called venerable save the wise. – The Talmud

When our conjugal love was strong, the width of the threshold offered sufficient accommodation for both of us; but now that it has cooled down, a couch sixty yards wide is too narrow. – The Talmud

Some are old in their youth, others young in their old age. – The Talmud

Ever associate with the good. – The Talmud

How may a man obtain greatness? By fidelity, truth, and lofty thoughts. – The Talmud

When the iron was created the trees commenced to tremble. The iron, however, said to them: “What are you trembling at? If none of your wood will join me, I will remain harmless”. – The Talmud

Good men promise little and perform much. Wicked men promise much and perform nothing. – The Talmud

Lend to the poor in the time of their need. – The Talmud

First build a house and plant a vineyard (i.e., provide for the means of the household), and then take a wife. – The Talmud

It is necessary to have a knowledge of the world, besides a knowledge of the Holy Law. – The Talmud

No Israelite is allowed to lend usuriously to a non-Israelite. – The Talmud

Charity is more valuable than sacrifices, and alone equals the exercise of all religious forms. – The Talmud

What should man do in order to live? Deaden his passions. What should man do in order to die? Give himself entirely to life. – The Talmud

A good man is modest. – The Talmud

He who loves thee scolds thee. – The Talmud

The end does not justify the means. – The Talmud

A woman loves a poor youth rather than a rich old man. – The Talmud

Were it not for patriotism, sterile lands would be deserted. – The Talmud

Never take the clothes of wife or children in payment of a debt. – The Talmud

Blessed is he who meekly bears his trials, of which everyone has his share. – The Talmud

The tears of true penitence are not shed in vain. – The Talmud

A judge that takes a bribe, even if he be otherwise perfectly righteous, will not depart from the world before he has become demented. – The Talmud

The liar is worse than the thief. – The Talmud

Even the most righteous shall not attain to so high a place in heaven as the truly repentant. – The Talmud

Blessed are the women who send their children to the house of prayer. – The Talmud

Rather be thou the tail among lions than the head among foxes. – The Talmud

Culture in a woman is better than gold. – The Talmud

To be unmarried is to live without joy, without blessing, without kindness, without religion, and without peace. – The Talmud

This world is an antechamber to the next. – The Talmud

Spending alms and practising benevolence exceed in importance all the other laws of the Torah. – The Talmud

The shepherd is lame and the goats are nimble, but at the entrance of the fold they will have to meet him and at the door of the stable they will be counted. – The Talmud

The Talmud Quotes

Talmud Quotes

When the woman slumbers, the workbasket falls to the ground. – The Talmud

Beware of too much laughter, for it deadens the mind and produces oblivion. – The Talmud

The merit of charitable works is in proportion to the grace with which they are practiced. – The Talmud

God’s commandments are intended to enhance the value and enjoyment of life, but not to mar it and make it gloomy. – The Talmud

If a man has knowledge, he has all things; if he has no knowledge, he has nothing. – The Talmud

The meddler has his spoon in every pot. – The Talmud

He who judges without mercy will himself be judged. – The Talmud

He who instructs a child is as if he had created it. – The Talmud

The fortune of this world is like a wheel with two buckets, the full becomes empty and the empty full. – The Talmud

He who denies his guilt doubles his guilt. – The Talmud

Let not your heart with cares be filled, for care has many a victim killed. – The Talmud

Take out the beam from thine eye. – The Talmud

Man possesses three sorts of friends in this world: his children, his wealth, and his Good Works. – The Talmud

Charity is the salt of riches. – The Talmud

The prayers of the proud are never heard. – The Talmud

Truth tells its own tale. – The Talmud

The practise of usury is as wicked as the shedding of blood. – The Talmud

All I weighed on scales, but found nothing lighter than bran; lighter than bran, however, is a son-in-law living in his father-infaw’s house: lighter still, a guest introduced by another guest. – The Talmud

The greater the man, the stronger his passion. – The Talmud

The death of the righteous is a calamity equal in magnitude to the burning of the Temple. – The Talmud

The aim and end of all wisdom are repentance and good works. – The Talmud

To break a verbal engagement, though legally not binding, is a moral wrong. – The Talmud

Whosoever is loved by mankind is also loved by the Supreme, but whosoever is not loved by mankind is not loved by the Supreme. – The Talmud

Slaves should never be addressed as such, for the name itself is contemptible. – The Talmud

If you have taken of a man his plough or his pillow for debt, return his plough in the morning and his pillow at night. – The Talmud

Be as eager to secure thy fellow’s honor as thine own, and yield not easily to anger. – The Talmud

Always acknowledge the truth. – The Talmud

Beautiful is the intellectual occupation, if combined with some practical work. – The Talmud

The beginning and end of the Law is kindness. – The Talmud

The thief’s end is the gallows. – The Talmud

Truth is the seal to God’s works. – The Talmud

If one finds a marked article he should advertise it publicly, so that the owner may recover it. – The Talmud

When the wise is angry, he is wise no longer. – The Talmud

Those who, when offended, do not give offence, when hearing slighting remarks, do not retaliate, they are the friends of God, they shall shine forth like the sun in its glory. – The Talmud

Love inspired by unworthy motives dies when those motives disappear. – The Talmud

He is rich who enjoys what he possesseth. – The Talmud

The honor and reverence due to parents are equal to the honor and reverence due to God. – The Talmud

He who helps himself will be helped by God. – The Talmud

Rather be thrown into a fiery furnace than bring anyone to public shame. – The Talmud

Only when the father tempts the son to commit sin is disobedience justifiable. – The Talmud

Keep partners with him whom the hour favors. – The Talmud

Whatever is hateful to thee, do not to thy neighbor. – The Talmud

Strife is like a jet of water pouring through a crevice; the wider the crevice, the stronger the flow. – The Talmud

There is a great difference between him who is ashamed before his own self and him who is only ashamed before others. – The Talmud

An old man (i.e., one entitled to veneration) is only he who has acquired wisdom. – The Talmud

Curse the sin, not the sinner. – The Talmud

The value of the words uttered with the lips is determined by the devotion of the heart. – The Talmud

Listen, sir, to my words, and give ear to my utterances. Keep from strifes with thy neighbor, and if thou seest that thy friend does anything wrong, guard thy tongue from gossip. – The Talmud

The Talmud Quotes

Talmud Quotes

We may say to the bee, neither thy honey nor thy sting. – The Talmud

Thy secret is thy slave. If thou let it loose, thou becomest its slave. – The Talmud

Buy nothing from a thief. – The Talmud

Everything is ordained by God’s providence, but freedom of choice is given to man. – The Talmud

He who acquires knowledge, without imparting it to others, is like a myrtle in the desert, where there is no one to enjoy it. – The Talmud

The wiser the man, the more careful should he be of his conduct. – The Talmud

Four shall not enter Paradise; the scoffer, the liar, the hypocrite, and the slanderer. – The Talmud

While the son honors his parents, God holds it as if He were dwelling near the child, and were Himself receiving honor. – The Talmud

Wait not to honor the physician till thou fallest sick. – The Talmud

All the blessings of a household come through the wife, therefore should her husband honor her. – The Talmud

He who teaches his son no trade is as if he taught him to steal. – The Talmud

On the soul’s appearance before the Divine Tribunal, the first question will be, “Hast thou been honest and faithful in all thy dealings? “ – The Talmud

The future gains from present pains. – The Talmud

Whatever God does is done for our good. – The Talmud

When misfortune befalls you examine your conduct and knowledge that God’s chastisement is just. – The Talmud

Work is more pleasant in the sight of the Lord than the merits of your fathers. – The Talmud

Three things produce love: culture of mind, modesty, and meekness. – The Talmud

Great is peace, for it is to the world what yeast is to the dough. – The Talmud

Three names are given to a man: one by his parents, another by the world, and the third by his works — the one which is written in the immortal book of his fate. Which of these three names is the best? Solomon teaches us, when he says: “A good name is better than the sweetest oil”. – The Talmud

First correct thyself, then correct others. – The Talmud

For the blind in mind there is no physician. – The Talmud

Anger showeth the character of a man. – The Talmud

Do not isolate thyself from the community and its interests. – The Talmud

If thou hast acquired knowledge, what canst thou lack? If thou lackest knowledge, what canst thou acquire? – The Talmud

No position can dignify the man. It is the man who dignifies the position. – The Talmud

Despise not small favors. – The Talmud

If your neighbor is sick, pray for him. – The Talmud

There are four kinds of temperament: To be easily provoked, and to be easily pacified, is to neutralize a bad quality with a good one; to be provoked with difficulty, and to be pacified with difficulty, is to neutralize a good quality by a bad one; to be provoked with difficulty, and to be easily pacified, is the temperament of a holy man; to be easily provoked and pacified with difficulty is the temperament of a wicked man. – The Talmud

Beautiful are the admonitions of those whose lives accord with their teachings. – The Talmud

The possessions of a widow, whether she be rich or poor, should not be taken in pawn. – The Talmud

One learned, who is not inwardly as outwardly, is not to be looked upon as learned. – The Talmud

The laborer at his work needs not rise before the greatest doctor. – The Talmud

Talmud Quotes

Talmud Quotes

Envy, lust, ambition, bring a man to perdition. – The Talmud

The rivalry of scholars advances learning. – The Talmud

The birds in the air even despise the miser. – The Talmud

Sinful thoughts are even more dangerous than sin itself. – The Talmud

The world stands on three things: on Law, Labor, and Benevolence. – The Talmud

Be the first to hold out the hand of peace. – The Talmud

Adversity is the true school of the mind. – The Talmud

Wisdom is a tree and active virtue is its fruit. – The Talmud

The noblest of all charities is in enabling the poor to earn a livelihood. – The Talmud

Where the children honor their parents, there God dwells, there He is honored. – The Talmud

Judge a man by his deeds, not by his words. – The Talmud

The horse fed too freely with oats oft becomes unruly. – The Talmud

Almsgiving is practised by means of money, but charity also by personal services and by words of advice, sympathy, and encouragement. Almsgiving is a duty towards the poor only, but charity towards the rich as well as the poor, nay, even towards the dead (by taking care of their decent burial). – The Talmud

A person dependent on the table of another has the world darkened. – The Talmud

That which man conceals in his innermost chamber is plain and manifest to God. – The Talmud

Where there is no peace, nothing flourishes. – The Talmud

Quarrelling is the weapon of the weak. – The Talmud

Cling steadfastly to that which is good. – The Talmud

The action of a fool cannot serve as a precedent. – The Talmud

Richer is one hour of repentance and good works in this world than all of life of the world to come; and richer is one hour’s calm of spirit in the world to come than all of life of this world. – The Talmud

From beginning to end God’s law teaches kindness. – The Talmud

This is the punishment of the liar, that when he tells the truth nobody believes him. – The Talmud

The Lord who proclaimed the Law of Sinai is the God of all nations. – The Talmud

Be mindful of the children of the poor, for learning comes from them. – The Talmud

Laughter and levity habituate a man to lewdness. – The Talmud

The wicked is in the power of his passion; the righteous keeps passion in his power. – The Talmud

Truth will stand, but falsehood must fall. – The Talmud

A woman prefers poverty with the affection of her husband to riches without it. – The Talmud

Poverty comes from God, but not dirt. – The Talmud

From his first love man derives true wedded bliss. – The Talmud

Whosoever tries to make gain by the crown of learning perishes. – The Talmud

If thy business does not prosper in one town try another. – The Talmud

Better one hour’s happiness in the next world than a whole lifetime of pleasure in this. – The Talmud

Be always sincere in your yea and your nay. – The Talmud

Though thousands do thy friendship seek, To one alone thy secret speak. – The Talmud

The testimony of a usurer is not valid before the court of Justice. – The Talmud

One hour employed in this world in the exercise of repentance and good deeds is preferable to a whole life in the world to come; and one hour’s refreshment of spirit in the future world is preferable to the entire life in this. – The Talmud

In three ways may we repent: by publicly confessing our sins, by manifesting sorrow for sins committed, and by good deeds, which are as sacrifices before the Lord. – The Talmud

Wealth may be like waters gathered in a house, which, finding no outlet, drown the owner. – The Talmud

He through whose agency another has been falsely punished stands outside of heaven’s gates. – The Talmud

Love is blind. That is why he always proceeds by the sense of touch. – The Talmud

Love labor and hate to be a professional minister. – The Talmud

A man’s wife has scarcely breathed her last when another is waiting to take her place. – The Talmud

The practice of beneficence will assure the maintenance of one’s possessions. – The Talmud

Man sees the mote in his neighbor’s eye, but knows not of the beam in his own. – The Talmud

What is sweeter than sweetness? Peace after enmity. – The Talmud

Prayer without devotion is like a body without life. – The Talmud

Learn a little here and a little there, and you will increase in knowledge. – The Talmud

The teachers are the guardians of a State. – The Talmud

A man may be known by three things: by his conduct in money matters, his behavior at the table and his demeanor when angry. – The Talmud

If any blame be attached to thee, be the first to declare it. – The Talmud

He who has compassion on his fellow man is accounted of the true seed of Abraham. – The Talmud

Let youth and old age not be joined in marriage, lest the purity and peace of domestic life be disturbed. – The Talmud

The Talmud Quotes

Talmud Quotes

Quotes From Wikiquote

  • Whoever destroys a soul [of Israel], it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life of Israel, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. – Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5; Yerushalmi Talmud 4:9, Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 37a.
    • Variant: Whoever destroys a single life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world, and whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world.
    • Quoted in Schindler’s List as “He who saves the life of one man saves the entire world.”
    • Parma Italy, mid-13th century codex; as cited in “The Origins of the Precept “Whoever Saves a Life Saves the World””, Philologos, Mosaic Magazine, Oct, 21 2016.
  • A man should endeavor to be as pliant as a reed, and never unyielding like the cedar. – Taanit 20b:33.

Bava Metzia

  • Let every man divide his money into three parts, and invest a third in land, a third in business, and a third let him keep by him in reserve. – Bava Metzia 42a.
  • One may decline the request of a lesser person, but one may not decline the request of a great person. – Bava Metzia 87a.

other Bavas

  • A legal decision depends not on the teacher’s age, but on the force of his argument. – Bava Batra 142b.
  • If your friend calls you a donkey, prepare a saddle for your back. – Bava Kamma 92b.


  • What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellow; this is the whole law. All the rest is a commentary to this law; go and learn it. – Shabat 30a.
  • If one has eaten garlic and has acquired a bad odor, he must not eat more garlic because the bad odor is (about him) already. – Shabat 30b.
  • Teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot. – Shabat 31a.

Pirkei Avot

Pirkei Avot (literally “Chapters of the Fathers” but usually translated as “Ethics of the Fathers”) is a section of the Mishnah. Unlike most of the Mishnah, which deals with Jewish law, this is mainly a compilation of ethical sayings by rabbis mentioned in the Talmud.

  • They [the Men of the Great Assembly] would always say these three things: Be cautious in judgment. Establish many pupils. And make a safety fence around the Torah. – Pirkei Avot 1:1
  • Shimon the Righteous was among the last surviving members of the Great assembly. He would say: The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness. – Pirkei Avot 1:2
  • Yossei the son of Yoezer of Tzreidah would say: Let your home be a meeting place for the wise; dust yourself in the soil of their feet, and drink thirstily of their words. – Pirkei Avot 1:4
  • Joshua the son of Perachia would say: Assume for yourself a master, acquire for yourself a friend, and judge every man to the side of merit. – Pirkei Avot 1:6
  • He (Hillel) would also say: If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am for myself, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when? – Pirkei Avot 1:14
  • Shammai would say: Make your Torah study a permanent fixture of your life. Say little and do much. And receive every man with a pleasant countenance. – Pirkei Avot 1:15
  • Rabbi Shimon the son of Gamliel would say: By three things is the world sustained: law, truth and peace. – Pirkei Avot 1:18
  • Rabbi (Judah HaNassi) would say: Which is the right path for man to choose for himself? Whatever is harmonious for the one who does it, and harmonious for mankind.
    Be as careful with a minor mitzvah as with a major one, for you do not know the rewards of the mitzvot. Consider the cost of a mitzvah against its rewards, and the rewards of a transgression against its cost.
    Contemplate three things, and you will not come to the hands of transgression: Know what is above from you: a seeing eye, a listening ear, and all your deeds being inscribed in a book. – Pirkei Avot 2:1
  • In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man. – Pirkei Avot 2:5
  • He (Hillel) would also say: One who increases flesh, increases worms; one who increases possessions, increases worry; one who increases wives, increases witchcraft; one who increases maidservants, increases promiscuity; one who increases man-servants, increases thievery; one who increases Torah, increases life; one who increases study, increases wisdom; one who increases counsel, increases understanding; one who increases charity, increases peace. One who acquires a good name, acquired it for himself; one who acquires the words of Torah, has acquired life in the World to Come. – Pirkei Avot 2:7
  • Rabban Yochanan the son of Zakkai received the tradition from Hillel and Shammai. He would say: If you have learned much Torah, do not take credit for yourself—it is for this that you have been formed. – Pirkei Avot 2:8
  • [Rabbi Yochanan] said to them: Go and see which is the best trait for a person to acquire. Said Rabbi Eliezer: A good eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: A good friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: A good neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To see what is born [out of one’s actions]. Said Rabbi Elazar: A good heart. Said He to them: I prefer the words of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours.
    He said to them: Go and see which is the worst trait, the one that a person should most distance himself from. Said Rabbi Eliezer: An evil eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: An evil friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: An evil neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To borrow and not to repay; for one who borrows from man is as one who borrows from the Almighty, as is stated, “The wicked man borrows and does not repay; but the righteous one is benevolent and gives” (Psalms 37:21). Said Rabbi Elazar: An evil heart. Said He to them: I prefer the word of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours. – Pirkei Avot 2:10
  • Rabbi Eliezer would say: The honor of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own, and do not be easy to anger. Repent one day before your death.
    • Asked his disciples: Does a man know on which day he will die? Said he to them: So being the case, he should repent today, for perhaps tomorrow he will die; hence, all his days are passed in a state of repentance. Indeed, so said Solomon in his wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9:8): ‘At all times, your clothes should be white, and oil should not lack from your head'” (Talmud, Shabbat 153a). – Pirkei Avot 2:10
  • Rabbi Joshua would say: An evil eye, the evil inclination, and the hatred of one’s fellows, drive a person from the world. – Pirkei Avot 2:11
  • Rabbi Tarfon would say: The day is short, the work is much, the workers are lazy, the reward is great, and the master of the house is insistent.
    He would also say: It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task, but neither are you free to absolve yourself from it. If you have learned much Torah, you will be greatly rewarded, and your employer is trustworthy to pay you the reward of your labors. And know, that the reward of the righteous is in the World to Come. – Pirkei Avot 2:15-16
  • Ben Zoma would say: Who is wise? One who learns from every man. As is stated (Psalms 119:99): “From all my teachers I have grown wise, for Your testimonials are my meditation.”
    Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations. As is stated (Proverbs 16:32), “Better one who is slow to anger than one with might, one who rules his spirit than the captor of a city.”
    Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot. As is stated (Psalms 128:2): “If you eat of toil of your hands, fortunate are you, and good is to you”; “fortunate are you” in this world, “and good is to you” in the World to Come.
    Who is honorable? One who honors his fellows. As is stated (I Samuel 2:30): “For to those who honor me, I accord honor; those who scorn me shall be demeaned.” – Pirkei Avot 4:1
  • Be a tail to lions rather than a head to jackals. – Pirkei Avot 4:20
    • Variant: Join the company of lions rather than assume the lead among foxes.
  • There are four types of people: One who says, “What is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine” is a boor. One who says “What is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours” — this is a median characteristic; others say that this is the character of Sodom. One who says, “What is mine is yours, and what is yours is yours” is a chassid [pious person]. And one who says “What is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine” is wicked. – Pirkei Avot 5:10
  • There are four types of temperaments. One who is easily angered and easily appeased–his virtue cancels his flaw. One whom it is difficult to anger and difficult to appease–his flaw cancels his virtue. One whom it is difficult to anger and is easily appeased, is a chassid. One who is easily angered and is difficult to appease, is wicked. – Pirkei Avot 5:11
  • There are four types of student. One who is quick to understand and quick to forget–his flaw cancels his virtue. One who is slow to understand and slow to forget–his virtue cancels his flaw. One who is quick to understand and slow to forget–his is a good portion. One who is slow to understand and quick to forget–his is a bad portion. – Pirkei Avot 5:12
  • There are four types of contributors to charity. One who wants to give but does not want others to give–is begrudging of others. One who wants that others should give but does not want to give–begrudges himself. One who wants that he as well as others should give, is a chassid. One who want neither himself nor others to give, is wicked. – Pirkei Avot 5:13
  • There are four types among those who attend the study hall. One who goes but does nothing–has gained the rewards of going. One who does [study] but does not go to the study hall–has gained the rewards of doing. One who goes and does, is a chassid. One who neither goes nor does, is wicked. – Pirkei Avot 5:14
  • There are four types among those who sit before the sages: the sponge, the funnel, the strainer and the sieve. The sponge absorbs all. The funnel takes in at one end and lets it out the other. The strainer rejects the wine and retains the sediment. The sieve rejects the coarse flour and retains the fine flour. – Pirkei Avot 5:15

Akiba ben Joseph

Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph (c. 40 – 135 CE) was one of the leading rabbis of the 2nd century; he was martyred by the Romans. He has been called the father of Rabbinic Judaism.

  • ‘Love your fellow as yourself’- Rabbi Akiva says: This is the great principal of the Torah. – Jerusalem Talmud Nedarim 30b
  • Jesting and levity lead a man to lewdness. – Pirkei Avot, 3:17.
  • A fence to wisdom is silence. – Pirkei Avot, 3:17.
  • Beloved is man, for he was created in the image of God. – Pirkei Avot, 3:18.
  • Beloved are Israel, for they were called children of the All-present. – Pirkei Avot, 3:18.
  • Nothing in the entire world is worthy but for that day on which The Song of Songs was given to Israel. – Mishnah
  • Who is wealthy?… Rabbi Akiva says: Anyone who has a wife whose actions are pleasant – Talmud Bavli, Shabbat
  • (To his 24,000 pairs of students) My (Torah knowledge) and yours are hers (his wife) – Talmud Bavli, Nedarim
  • All my days I have been troubled by the verse: “With all your soul”, meaning: Even if God takes your soul. I said to myself: When will the opportunity be afforded me to fulfill this verse? – Talmud Bavli, Berakhot

Quotes about Rabbi Akiva

  • Rabbi Yehuda said: This was the custom of Rabbi Akiva, when he would pray with the congregation he would shorten (his prayer) and go up, due to encumbrance on the congregation. But when he prayed by himself a person would leave (Rabbi Akiva alone) in one corner and find him in another corner. And why so much? Because of his bows and prostrations. – Talmud Bavli, Berakhot
  • Rabbi Tarfon said: Akiva, anyone who separates from you, it is as though he has separated from life – Talmud Bavli, Kiddushin
  • They said about Rabbi Akiva that in all his days he never said (to his students that the)” time had come to arise in the study hall”. except for the eves of Passover and the eve of Yom Kippur – Talmud Bavli, Pesachim

Hillel the Elder

Hillel the Elder (c. 110 BC–10 AD) was a Jewish religious leader who was born in Babylon and lived in Jerusalem during the time of King Herod; he is one of the most important figures in Judaic history, associated with the Mishnah and the Talmud. He was the ancestor of a long line of rabbis, including Judah haNasi, who compiled the Mishnah, and Judah’s son, Hillel the Younger.

  • דעלך סני לחברך לא תעביד. זו היא כל התורה כולה, ואידך פירושה הוא: זיל גמור
    • D’`alakh s’nai l’khavrekh la ta`avaid. Zo hi kol hatora kulahh, ve’idakh perusha hu: zil g’mor
      • That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation. Go and study it. – Babylonian Talmud, tractate Shabbat 31a
  • Be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving your fellow creatures and drawing them near to the Law. – Pirkei Avot, 1:12
  • A name made great is a name destroyed. He who does not increase his knowledge decreases it. – Pirkei Avot, 1:13
  • אם אין אני לי, מי לי? וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני? ואם לא עכשיו, אימתי?
    • Im ein ani li, mi li? U’kh’she’ani le’atzmi, mah ani? V’im lo ‘akhshav, eimatai?
      • If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? But when I am for myself, then what am “I”? And if not now, when? – Pirkei Avot, 1:14
  • Do not say “When I free myself of my concerns, I will study,” for perhaps you will never free yourself.Do not say: “When I am free, I will study”; perhaps you will never be free. – Pirkei Avot, 2:4
  • A boor cannot be sin-fearing, an ignoramus cannot be pious, a bashful one cannot learn, a short-tempered person cannot teach, nor does anyone who does much business grow wise. – Pirkei Avot, 2:5
  • In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man. – Pirkei Avot, 2:5
  • One who increases flesh, increases worms; one who increases possessions, increases worry; one who increases wives, increases witchcraft; one who increases maidservants, increases promiscuity; one who increases man-servants, increases thievery; one who increases Torah, increases life; one who increases study, increases wisdom; one who increases counsel, increases understanding; one who increases charity, increases peace. – Pirkei Avot, 2:7

Quotes about Hillel the Elder

  • A person should always be patient like Hillel and not impatient like Shammai – Talmud Bavli, Shabbat
  • “The merciful man does good to his own soul (Proverbs 11:17),” this [refers to] Hillel the Elder, who, at the time that he was departing from his students, would walk with them. They said to him, “Rabbi, where are you walking to?” He said to them, “To fulfill a commandment!” They said to him, “And what commandment is this?” He said to them, “To bathe in the bathhouse.” They said to him: “But is this really a commandment?” He said to them: “Yes. Just like regarding the statues (lit. icons) of kings, that are set up in the theaters and the circuses, the one who is appointed over them bathes them and scrubs them, and they give him sustenance, and furthermore, he attains status with the leaders of the kingdom; I, who was created in the [Divine] Image and Form, as it is written, “For in the Image of G-d He made Man (Genesis 9:6),” even more so!… – Midrash VayikraRabbah
  • when he died, they eulogized him (in the following manner): Alas pious one, alas humble one, student of Ezra – Talmud Bavli, Sotah
  • Hillel stood in the gate of Jerusalem one day and saw the people on their way to work. “How much,” he asked, “will you earn today?” One said: “A denarius”; the second: “Two denarii” “What will you do with the money?” he inquired. “We will provide for the necessities of life.” Then he said to them: “Would you not rather come and make the Torah your possession, that you may possess both this world and the world to come?” – The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906), Volume 6, p. 399
  • Just as Hillel’s actions were not based (even in theory) on any reasoned ethical system, so his moral teaching did not take the form of a systematic treatise, but was expressed in aphorisms, which were, no doubt, occasioned by particular circumstances, but have none the less a universal value. This value, indeed, is not for the doubter, who must needs either find a rational basis for morality, or discard it. They appeal to those who accept, as Hillel accepted, the fundamental postulates of Judaism; and their claim to universality rests, therefore, on the extent to which those postulates are in accord with the root facts of human nature. They are interpretative, not speculative. The moral sayings of Hillel recorded in the Talmud are few in number, but they embody with sufficient fulness the point of view which was expressed no less fully in his conduct. They are contained almost exclusively in the first two chapters of the “Ethics of the Fathers.” – Leon Simon, “Hillel,” The Jewish Literary Annual (1908)

Hillel the Younger

Hillel the Younger (or Hillel ben Gamaliel) was a Jewish religious leader of the early 3rd century C.E. He was a grandson of Judah haNasi, who compiled the Mishnah. He is not to be confused with his ancestor Hillel the Elder or his relative Hillel II. Apart from Pirkei Avot, he is mentioned once in the Babylonian Talmud – Baba Bathra 83b.

  • Do not judge your fellow man until you have come into his situation.– Pirkei Avot, 2:4
  • Do not separate yourself from the community.– Pirkei Avot, 2:4
  • Do not say, “when I have leisure I will study,” for you may never have leisure.– Pirkei Avot, 2:5
  • A boor cannot be sin-fearing, an ignoramus cannot be pious, a bashful one cannot learn, a short-tempered person cannot teach, nor does anyone who does much business grow wise.– Pirkei Avot, 2:5
  • במקום שאין אנשים, השתדל להיות איש.
    • Bemakom she’ein anashim, hishtadel lihyot ish.
    • In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.– Pirkei Avot, 2:6

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