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The Precious Words

The Precious Words

Ethics 1:4


Rabbi Yosai ben Yoezer of Tziraidah says; “Make your house a meeting place for the Sages. Cling to the dust of their feet, and drink in their words thirstily.” (Avot 1:4)

Quickly, he took of his coat, and stufed it into the hole.
Quickly, he took of his coat, and stufed it into the hole.
Once there lived a great Sage named Shmuel. He taught his students that they must always be careful about their possessions.

If a person had fields or orchards, Shmuel said he should visit them every day to see that they were in good condition. If anything needed to be repaired, it should be taken care of right away.

Shmuel also taught that if someone was not careful to check his property, he would suffer great losses. But if he was always careful to check his property, Shmuel said that he would surely find gold.

Rav Assi was one of Shmuel’s students. In order to follow Shmuel’s teaching, he used to visit his fields every day to see if everything was in order. He always wondered if one day he would find gold, but he never did.

One day, when he went to look over his fields, he heard the sound of water gushing. He decided to check it out. Near his fields there was a dam. The water had burst through a hole, and was streaming out. If Rav Assi did not do something quickly, all his crops would be destroyed.

Quickly, he took off his coat, and stuffed it into the hole. The water stopped for a while, but shortly it began dripping once more. Soon, the hole would again open up!

Rav Assi began to shout and cry for help. Other farmers heard him and came running. They all worked hard, and soon succeeded in repairing the damage. Everyone’s harvest was saved from the flood.

Then Rav Assi understood. “So this is the fortune of gold that Shmuel promised! If I had not visited my fields today, all the crops would have been ruined! I would have lost everything. How wise are the words of our Sages!”

Others said that Shmuel’s words were meant even for people who do not have fields and orchards. Every day a person should check himself, to see if he has behaved as he should. That way, if something is not correct we can set it right immediately.

That is the only way to truly improve our character.

Courtesy of Tzivos Hashem and the archives of The Moshiach Times children's magazine. If you would like to subscribe to The Moshiach Times, click here to contact Tzivos Hashem.
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Pastor Larry May 17, 2011

helping others I grew up on a farm. when neighbors needed any help at all , the folks for miles around would go take their tools and work the fields or do whatever was needed. We always had a big dinner meal together. It was so much fun. Reply

sp4rrowh4wk Denver, USA June 7, 2009

Thank you for making this wisdom available to both children and adults.

May G-d continue to bless you with wisdom and happiness. Reply

Ethics of the Fathers is a tractate of the Mishna that details the Torah's views on ethics and interpersonal relationships. Enjoy insights, audio classes and stories on these fascinating topics.
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