RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr
2:8. 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.
Our obedience to God does not deserve any special accolades. It is what we were created to do. Rabbi Yochannan ben Zachai said, “If you have learned much Torah, do not claim credit for yourself, because for such a purpose you were created.”
There is a tradition that states that when you were conceived that and Angel was assigned to you in the womb to teach your Torah for 9 months. And then it was time for you to be born the angel put his finger on your lips and said “Shhh.” Hence the indentation under our nose that helps form our lips. This is why we enter the world screaming because we immediately forgot the Torah we were taught in the womb. So the meaning and purpose for our life is to re-discover, re-learn what we already know. It’s one thing to know it in your head, and it is another to learn it and have it in your heart.
Here is the answer to the age old question; “What is the meaning of Life?”
Ecc.12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
I Cor. 8:1b Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
Much Torah knowledge without living it out, applying it in daily life will make one prideful.
You may know the cure for a deadly disease, but if you don’t transfer it from the realm of thought to the realm of action it means nothing, it is worthless.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth:
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr