Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Minor Tractate Zuta Rabbah: Chapter 3

DELIBERATE before a word passes thy lips, and be thoughtful how thou shouldst act in worldly affairs. See always that thy steps shall be rewarded. justify the judgment that was imposed upon thee and free thyself from anger. judge favorably thy neighbor, and see that thy verdict shall not make him guilty (if his guilt is not fully established). Be content with thy share, and adorn thyself with the little thou dost possess. Do not hate the one who reproves thee. Thy share wilt be blessed forever if thine eye will always be: good, and thy soul always satisfied. Let it be thy habit to say, "I do not know" (of a thing that thou art doubtful about), for thou mayest be caught lying. If thou neglect one command, thou wilt finally be negligent of other commandments. The same is if thou hast overlooked the words of the Law willingly: finally thou wilt be overlooked, willingly or unwillingly. If thou hast taken away others' property, thine will be taken away.

The commencement of making vows is the door to foolishness. Frivolity with women is the beginning of adultery. If thou hast guaranteed for some one, remember that it must be paid by thyself. If thou hast borrowed money, know that thou hast borrowed it to be repaid in time. If thou hast loaned money to somebody, be prepared to have difficulty in collecting it. Remember the time thou hast to repay, and settle thy accounts.

The following fifteen customs are ascribed to the sages: He is pleasant in entering, and so also when leaving; is prudent in his fear for Heaven; versed in wisdom; wise in his ways, has a good conception, a retentive memory, is clear in his answers, questions to the point, and answers according to the Law; he learns something new from every chapter taught to him; he is going to the wise; he learns for the purpose of teaching it and performing it.

Be as the lower threshold, upon which all persons tread, and still it lasts even when the whole building is demolished.

Sources: Sacred Texts