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Minor Tractate Zuta Rabbah: Synopsis


WHAT are the qualities of sages? Their thought concerning this world. If you have sustained a loss of your property, remember that job, etc. When you hear others insult you, do not answer them. Love the Law; love all creatures and respect them. Love doubtfulness. Keep aloof from everything that. may bring to sin. Keep aloof from grumbling. Seven patriarchs are resting in glory. Let all thy ways be for the sake of Heaven. Do not discuss in the presence of one who is greater than you in wisdom. Accept the words of Law, even when you are in affliction. Be afraid of a light sin. Do not say, "I will flatter this man," etc. If thou hast done much good to some one, consider it as very little. If others have done thee much wrong, etc. Do not hate the one who reproves thee. Let it be thy habit to say, "I do not know," The commencement of making vows is the door to foolishness. Fifteen customs are ascribed to the sages. Be as the lower threshhold, upon which all persons tread. The society of scholars is always agreeable. What should one study more--Scripture, Mishnayoth, or Talmud? No pay shall be exacted for teaching. Do not complain of your being less wise than another. Do not complain that another one is beautiful and you are ugly. Let. your ears not listen to vain talk. Be not afraid of the court of justice on earth. If you perform all the commandments with joy, etc. All that is said above is a warning to you,


A SCHOLAR must not eat standing, etc., etc. By four things the scholar is recognized, etc. The beauty of wisdom is modesty. The beauty of noble performance is secrecy. Four things are derogatory to scholars, etc. When entering, the greater shall be first, etc. For saying benediction, the greater is first. The first step to sin is in one's thoughts. A scholar must be careful in his eating, drinking, washing, anointing, etc. After peace but not after war. Rather follow behind a lion than behind a woman. Who respects the sages?, etc. Keep aloof from anger. Love the poor in order that your children shall not come to poverty, etc. If you keep your mouth from slander, you will spend all the days of life in peace. When you see your neighbor has become poor, do not refuse to help him. If you lower yourself, the Lord will lift you up. This world resembles the eyeball of a Man, etc.,


ALTHOUGH evil decrees are enacted, one after another, against Israel, still they endure forever. Seek peace at the place where you are, and if you do not find it, seek it in other places. All manner of lying is prohibited, except it be to make peace between one and his neighbor. Great is peace, in that the covenant of the priests was made with peace. When the Messiah shall come to Israel, he will begin with peace. Great is peace, in that all the benedictions and prayers conclude with peace. He who loves peace runs after peace, offers peace, and answers peace, the Holy One, etc.

Sources: Sacred Texts