RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr
“Hillel would say: Do not separate yourself from the community. Do not believe in yourself until the day you die. Do not judge your fellow until you have stood in his place. Do not say something that is not readily understood in the belief that it will ultimately be understood [or: Do not say something that ought not to be heard even in the strictest confidence, for ultimately it will be heard]. And do not say "When I free myself of my concerns, I will study,'' for perhaps you will never free yourself.”
Maybe this is where the famous saying comes from, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” And maybe this was partially what Yeshua was thinking when He said:
Matt. 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
This was further reiterated by His half-brother Ya’akov (James):
James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and [your] nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
Lastly excuses and procrastination is dealt with. Just as one has a fixed time to eat, sleep, shower, and work, even moreso one must have fixed time to study Torah. There are no excuses for not doing so. If you say you are to busy, then you are to busy and you need to let something in your life go so as to fit in Torah study. Torah study is like our food and sleep combined! It is of the utmost importance to the soul.
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr