RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
By Yehudah ben Shomeyr
This is one of my favorite passages for the Perkei Avot and speaks for itself about the joy and merit of Torah study.
“Ben Hei Hei would say: According to the pain is the gain.”
Just like the saying of weightlifters today, “No pain, no gain.”
“He would also say: Five years is the age for the study of Scripture. Ten, for the study of Mishnah. Thirteen, for the obligation to observe the mitzvot. Fifteen, for the study of Talmud. Eighteen, for marriage. Twenty, to pursue [a livelihood]. Thirty, for strength, Forty, for understanding. Fifty, for counsel. Sixty, for sagacity. Seventy, for elderliness. Eighty, for power. Ninety, to stoop. A hundred-year-old is as one who has died and passed away and has been negated from the world.”
This is not gospel but a good standard to go by when raising a child in Torah. Now this is not to say to start them out at the age of five, but to start study at five. After the purification of mother and child after they are born one should read Scripture in the home and should allow the child to hear the Torah in synagogue, because it is like air, even though the child does not understand it he nonetheless benefits from it.
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr