RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr
“Shammai would say: Make your Torah study a permanent fixture of your life. Say little and do much. And receive every man with a pleasant countenance.”
“Make your Torah study a permanent fixture of your life.”
Routine is so important! Not to be a slave to it, because sometimes things come up and you have to tweak it and just go with the flow. But if you do not make time for Torah study it will never come or happen on its own. Something will just keep coming up, or you’ll find yourself too busy and other lame excuses that hold no water such as these.
“Say little and do much.”
As the saying we all know goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” And “No one cares to hear how much you care and until they see and know how much you care.”
“And receive every man with a pleasant countenance.”
Not to say your feelings are not important, but at the same time we should do our best not to wear them on our sleeve, especially if they are negative feelings. Being obsessed with one’s own feelings is a form of selfishness and idolatry. Honestly, do you know what a difference a smile, even from a stranger, makes? This is a virtual effortless way of blessing someone else from afar and helping them to have a little bit of a brighter day. As a result it is a small way we can continue to “Tikkun Olam” fix our world, assist God in its maintenance and repair.
The commentary to the texts calls these three things, “Three Spiritual Goals” we all need to strive to adhere to.
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr