1. 'Aqabiah ben Mahalaleel said, Consider three things, and thou wilt not come into the hands of transgression. Know whence thou camest; and whither thou art going; and before whom thou art about to give account and reckoning.
Know whence thou camest: from a fetid drop; and whither thou art going: to worm and maggot; and before whom thou art about to give account and reckoning: before the King of the kings of kings, blessed is He.
2. R. Chananiah, prefect of the priests, said, Pray for the peace of the kingdom, since but for fear thereof we had swallowed up each his neighbour alive.
3. R. Chananiah ben Thradyon said, Two that sit together without words of Thorah are a session of scorners, for it is said, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful; but two that sit together and are occupied in words of Thorah have the Shekinah among them, for it is said, Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, &c.
4. One that sits and studies, the Scripture imputes to him as if he fulfilled the whole Thorah, for it is said, He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
5. R. Shime'on said, Three that have eaten at one table, and have not said over it words of Thorah, are as if they had eaten of sacrifices of (the) dead, for it is said, For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness without MAQOM ("without mention of the name of God").
6. But three that have eaten at one table, and have said over it words of Thorah, are as if they had eaten of the table of MAQOM, blessed is He, for it is said, And he said unto me, This is the table that is before the Lord.
7. Chananyiah ben Chakinai said, He who awakes by night, and he who is walking alone by the way, and turns aside his heart to idleness, is "guilty of death."
8. R. Nechonyiah ben ha-Qanah said, Whoso receives upon
him the yokel, of Thorah, they remove from him the yoke of royalty and the yoke of worldly care; and whoso breaks from him the yoke of Thorah, they lay upon him the yoke of royalty and the yoke of worldly care.
9. R. Chalaftha of Kaphar-Chananiah said, When ten sit and are occupied in words of Thorah the Shekinah is among them, for it is said, God standeth in the CONGREGATION of the
mighty (Ps. lxxxii. 1). And whence (is it proved of) even five? Because! it is said, He judgeth among gods. And whence even three? Because it is said, . . . and hath founded his TROOP in the earth (Amos ix. 6). And whence even two? Because it
is said, Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another (§ 3). And whence even one? Because it is said, In all places where I record my name I will come unto THEE, and I will bless thee (Ex. xx. 24).
10. R. La'zar ben Jehudah of Barthotha said, Give Him of what is His, for thou and thine are His; and thus he saith in David, For all things come of Thee, and of thine own have we given thee (I Chron. xxix. 14).
11. R. Jacob said, He who is walking by the way and studying, and breaks off his study (Mishnah) and says, How fine is this tree! how fine is that tree! and how fine is this fallow? they account it to him as if he were "guilty of death."
12. R. Dosithai, son of R. Jannai, said in the name of R. Meir, When a scholar of the wise sits and studies, and has forgotten a word of his Mishnah, they account it unto him as if he were "guilty of death," for it is said, Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the words which thine eyes have seen (Deut. iv. 9). Perhaps his Mishnah
has but grown hard to him? What need then to say, "And lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life"? Lo! he is not guilty, till he has sat down and suffered them to depart from his mind.
13. R. Chananiah ben Dosa said, Whosesoever fear of sin precedes his wisdom, his wisdom stands; and whosesoever wisdom precedes his fear of sin, his wisdom stands not.
14. He used to say, Whosesoever works are in excess of
his wisdom, his wisdom stands; and whosesoever wisdom is in excess of his works, his wisdom stands not.
15. He used to say, With whomsoever the spirit of men is pleased, the Spirit of God is pleased; and with whomsoever the spirit of men is not pleased, the Spirit of God is not pleased.
16. R. Dosa ben Horkinas said, Morning sleep, and midday wine, and the babbling of youths, and frequenting
the meeting houses of the vulgar, put a man out of the world.
17. R. Li'ezer ha-Moda'i said, He that profanes things sacred, and contemns the festivals, and annuls the covenant of Abraham our father, and acts barefacedly against the Thorah, even though he be a doer of good works, has no portion in the world to come.
18. R. Ishma'el said, Be pliant of disposition (or to a chief)
and yielding to impressment, and receive every man with cheerfulness.
19. R. 'Aqibah said, Merriment, and lightness of disposition, accustom a man to lewdness.
20. He used to say, Tradition is a fence to Thorah; tithes
are a fence to wealth; vows a fence to sanctity; a fence to wisdom is silence.
21. He used to say, Beloved is man that he was created
22. Beloved are Israel that they are called children of
God; greater love (was it that it) was made known to them that they are called children of God, as it is said, Ye are the children of the LORD your God (Deut. xiv. 1).
23. Beloved are Israel that there was given to them the instrument with which the world was created; greater love
(was it that it) was made known to them that there was given to them the instrument with which the world was created, as it is said, For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not MY LAW (Prov. iv. 2).
24. Everything is foreseen; and freewill is given. And the world is judged by grace; and everything is according to work.
25. He used to say, Everything is given on pledge; and the net (Eccl. ix. 12) is cast over all the living. The office is open; and the broker gives credit; and the ledger
is open; and the hand writes; and whosoever will borrow comes and borrows; and the bailiffs go round continually every day, and exact from a man whether he wills or not; and they have whereon to lean; and the judgment is a judgment of truth. And everything is prepared for the BANQUET.
26. R. La'zar ben 'Azariah said, No Thorah, no culture;
no culture, no Thorah. No wisdom, no fear (of God); no fear (of God), no wisdom. No knowledge, no discernment; no discernment, no knowledge. No meal, no Thorah; no Thorah, no meal.
27. He used to say, Whosesoever wisdom is in excess of his works, to what is he like? To a tree whose branches are abundant, and its roots scanty; and the wind comes, and uproots it, and overturns it. And whosesoever works are in excess of his wisdom, to what is he like? To a tree whose branches are scanty, and its roots abundant; though all the winds come upon it, they stir it not from its place.
28. R. La'zar Chasmah said, "Qinnim" (Mishnah about bird-sacrifices) and "Pitheché
Niddah" (Mishnah relating to menstruation) are essentials of Thorah; canons of astronomy and Gematria (Numerology) are after courses of wisdom.