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Mishna - Mas. Avoth Chapter 1

MISHNAH 1. 
MOSES RECEIVED THE TORAH AT SINAI AND TRANSMITTED IT TO JOSHUA, JOSHUA TO THE ELDERS, AND THE ELDERS TO THE PROPHETS, AND THE PROPHETS TO THE MEN OF THE GREAT SYNAGOGUE. THE LATTER USED TO SAY THREE THINGS: BE PATIENT IN [THE ADMINISTRATION OF] JUSTICE, REAR MANY DISCIPLES AND MAKE A FENCE ROUND THE TORAH.

MISHNAH 2. 
SIMEON THE RIGHTEOUS WAS ONE OF THE LAST OF THE MEN OF THE GREAT SYNAGOGUE. HE USED TO SAY: THE WORLD IS BASED UPON THREE THINGS: THE TORAH, DIVINE SERVICE, AND THE PRACTICE OF KINDLINESS.

MISHNAH 3. 
ANTIGONUS (A MAN) OF SOCHO RECEIVED [THE ORAL TRADITION] FROM SIMEON THE RIGHTEOUS. HE USED TO SAY: BE NOT LIKE UNTO SERVANTS WHO SERVE THE MASTER IN THE EXPECTATION OF RECEIVING A GRATUITY, BUT BE LIKE UNTO SERVANTS WHO SERVE THE MASTER WITHOUT THE EXPECTATION OF RECEIVING A GRATUITY, AND LET THE FEAR OF HEAVEN BE UPON YOU.

MISHNAH 4. 
JOSE B. JO'EZER (A MAN) OF ZEREDAH, AND JOSE B. JOHANAN [A MAN] OF JERUSALEM RECEIVED [THE ORAL TRADITION] FROM THEM [I.E. SIMEON THE RIGHTEOUS AND ANTIGONUS]. JOSE. B. JO'EZER USED TO SAY: LET THY HOUSE BE A HOUSE OF MEETING FOR THE SAGES AND SUFFER THYSELF TO BE COVERED BY THE DUST OF THEIR FEET, AND DRINK IN THEIR WORDS WITH THIRST.

MISHNAH 5. 
JOSE B. JOHANAN (A MAN) OF JERUSALEM USED TO SAY: LET THY HOUSE BE WIDE OPEN, AND LET THE POOR BE MEMBERS OF THY HOUSEHOLD, ENGAGE NOT IN TOO MUCH CONVERSATION WITH WOMEN. THEY SAID THIS WITH
REGARD TO ONE'S OWN WIFE, HOW MUCH MORE [DOES THE RULE APPLY] WITH REGARD TO ANOTHER MAN'S WIFE. HENCE HAVE THE SAGES SAID: AS LONG AS A MAN ENGAGES IN TOO MUCH CONVERSATION WITH WOMEN, HE CAUSES EVIL TO HIMSELF, [FOR] HE GOES IDLE FROM [THE STUDY OF] THE WORDS OF THE TORAH, SO THAT HIS END WILL BE THAT HE WILL INHERIT GEHINNOM.

MISHNAH 6. 
JOSHUA B. PERAHIAH24 AND NITTAI THE ARBELITE RECEIVED [THE ORAL TRADITION] FROM THEM [I.E. THE FOREGOING]. JOSHUA B. PERAHIAH USED TO SAY: APPOINT FOR THYSELF A TEACHER AND ACQUIRE FOR THYSELF A COMPANION AND JUDGE ALL MEN IN THE SCALE OF MERIT.

MISHNAH 7. 
NITTAI THE ARBELITE USED TO SAY: KEEP AT A DISTANCE30 FROM AN EVIL NEIGHBOUR, DO NOT MAKE THYSELF AN ASSOCIATE OF A WICKED MAN, NEITHER DO THOU ABANDON FAITH IN [DIVINE] RETRIBUTION.

MISHNAH 8. 
JUDAH B. TABBAI AND SIMEON B. SHETAH RECEIVED [THE ORAL TRADITION] FROM THEM [I.E. THE FOREGOING].
JUDAH B. TABBAI SAID: DO THOU NOT [AS-A JUDGE] PLAY THE PART OF AN ADVOCATE; WHILST THEY [I. E. THE PARTIES IN A LAWSUIT] ARE STANDING BEFORE THEE, LET THEM BE REGARDED BY THEE AS IF THEY WERE [BOTH OF THEM]
GUILTY, AND WHEN THEY LEAVE THY PRESENCE, [AFTER] HAVING SUBMITTED TO THE JUDGMENT LET THEM BE REGARDED BY THEE AS IF THEY WERE [BOTH OF THEM] GUILTLESS.

MISHNAH 9. 
SIMEON B. SHETAH USED TO SAY: BE THOROUGH IN THE
INTERROGATION OF WITNESSES, AND BE CAREFUL IN THY WORDS, LEST FROM THEM [I. E. FROM YOUR WORDS] THEY LEARN TO UTTER FALSEHOOD.

MISHNAH 10. 
SHEMAIAH AND ABTALION RECEIVED [THE ORAL TRADITION]
FROM THEM [I.E. THE FOREGOING]. SHEMAIAH USED TO SAY: LOVE WORK, HATE ACTING THE SUPERIOR, AND DO NOT BRING THYSELF TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE RULING AUTHORITY.

MISHNAH 11. 
ABTALION USED TO SAY: YE SAGES BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR
WORDS, LEST YE BE CONDEMNED TO EXILE, AND YE BE EXILED TO A PLACE OF EVIL WATERS, AND THE DISCIPLES WHO FOLLOW YOU DRINK AND DIE, WITH THE RESULT THAT THE NAME OF HEAVEN BECOMES PROFANED.

MISHNAH 12. 
HILLEL AND SHAMMAI RECEIVED [THE ORAL TRADITION] FROM THEM [I.E. THE FOREGOING]. HILLEL USED TO SAY: BE THOU OF THE DISCIPLES OF AARON, LOVING PEACE AND PURSUING PEACE, [BE THOU ] ONE WHO LOVETH [ONE'S FELLOW.] CREATURES AND BRINGETH THEM NIGH TO THE TORAH.

MISHNAH 13. 
HE [ALSO] USED TO SAY: A NAME THAT IS WIDESPREAD LOSES ITS FAME; ONE WHO DOES NOT ADD [TO HIS KNOWLEDGE] CAUSES [IT] TO CEASE; WHOEVER DOES NOT STUDY [THE TORAH] DESERVES DEATH; WHOEVER MAKES [UNWORTHY] USE OF THE CROWN [OF LEARNING] PASSETH AWAY.

MISHNAH 14. 
HE [ALSO] USED TO SAY: IF I AM NOT FOR MYSELF, WHO IS FOR ME, BUT IF I AM FOR MY OWN SELF [ONLY], WHAT AM I, AND IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

MISHNAH 15. 
SHAMMAI USED TO SAY: MAKE THY [STUDY OF THE] TORAH [A MATTER OF] ESTABLISHED [REGULARITY]; SPEAK LITTLE, BUT DO MUCH; AND RECEIVE ALL MEN WITH A PLEASANT COUNTENANCE.

MISHNAH 16. 
RABBAN GAMALIEL USED TO SAY: APPOINT A TEACHER FOR
THYSELF AND AVOID DOUBT, AND MAKE NOT A HABIT OF TITHING BY GUESSWORK.

MISHNAH 17. 
SIMEON, HIS SON, USED TO SAY: ALL MY DAYS I GREW UP AMONG THE SAGES, AND I HAVE FOUND NOTHING BETTER FOR A PERSON THAN SILENCE. STUDY IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, BUT DEED; WHOEVER INDULGES IN
TOO MANY WORDS BRINGS ABOUT SIN. 

MISHNAH 18. 
RABBAN SIMEON, SON OF GAMALIEL61 USED TO SAY: ON THREE THINGS DOES THE WORLD STAND: ON JUSTICE, ON TRUTH AND ON PEACE, AS IT IS SAID: JUDGE YE TRUTHFULLY AND A JUDGMENT OF PEACE IN YOUR GATES.