RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
By Yehudah ben Shomeyr
“There are four types of student. One who is quick to understand and quick to forget--his flaw cancels his virtue. One who is slow to understand and slow to forget--his virtue cancels his flaw. One who is quick to understand and slow to forget--his is a good portion. One who is slow to understand and quick to forget--his is a bad portion.”
Which one are you? Which one do you want to become? The choice is yours; it is in your hand to decide which student you will be.
“There are four types of contributors to charity. One who wants to give but does not want others to give--is begrudging of others. One who wants that others should give but does not want to give--begrudges himself. One who wants that he as well as others should give, is a chassid. One who want neither himself nor others to give, is wicked.”
If we are honest with ourselves I know we can remember times when we were one or more of the givers described above. The first one just wants the prestige of giving and being praised as the only one who opened their pocket book and heart to give. Someone else giving would take that away from him and he’d just be a regular contributor. The second thinks, he has too many problems and needs of his own. He is his own charity case and hasn’t the time to worry about others. Others will stand in the gap and take care of others; I have to focus on me he says. The third is more concerned about the cause and the people who benefits from it than to care about what he has or how “good” he looks in others eyes, this is truly the way to be. The final person describes speaks for itself.
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr