RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr
“Antignos of Socho received the tradition from Shimon the Righteous. He would say: Do not be as slaves, who serve their master for the sake of reward. Rather, be as slaves who serve their master not for the sake of reward. And the fear of Heaven should be upon you.”
This sounds uncannily familiar to what Rav Sha’ul (Apostle Paul) said to the Ephesians. Rav Sha’ul’s teacher Gamliel, is in the Talmud and the Perkei Avot. Its contributors were contemporaries of Rav Sha’ul. So no doubt he learned these very sayings during his Yeshiva days under Rav Gamliel. So did Rav Sha’ul have this Perkei Avot text in mind when he wrote to the Ephesians? I think it is highly possible. This again shows that Rav Sha’ul was a Torah Observant and even a Traditions Observant Jewish Rav. This Brit Chadasha text fits perfectly with the Perkei Avot only that Rav Sha’ul adds Messiah Yeshua into the mix as a motivating factor not to just give your employer eye service; to just work when he’s looking. But to work just as hard when he is looking as to when he is not. Give your 100% and an honest days work. Because even if the boss doesn’t see you, God and Messiah Yeshua does, and even at our secular jobs we should work as if Yeshua Himself was your on site supervisor and we were doing all the work for Him. If you work so as to please God, you will automatically please your earthly boss. Rav Sha’ul adds that the employers too ought to treat their employees as God would treat them, knowing that HE is over you as well and will dish out just deserts.
--Yehudah ben Shomeyr