(In Pirkei Avot, we call each entry a mishna)
“Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua; and Joshua to the Elders; and the Elders to the Prophets; and the Prophets transmitted it to the People of the Great Assembly. They [the People of the Great Assembly] said three things: Be deliberate in judgment; develop many students; and make a fence for the Torah.”
I read this passage at every baby naming I do. Why? Because when every new life comes into this world, they become the next carrier of our heritage.
As the first passage of the book of Jewish ethics, we are reminded that these ethics are transmitted through relationship with each other. It’s our responsibility to teach our children these ethics not just by our words but by our actions. Each generation is responsible for the next. A responsibility not to be taken lightly.
This passage also gives us a road map.
“Be deliberate in judgment;
Develop many students;
Make a fence for the Torah.”
Which translates to:
Strengthen our tradition.
In the next 30 days we’ll follow that road map. In the meantime begin to ponder (maybe even journal) on those three things. What do you do to strengthen yourself? To strengthen others? To strengthen our tradition?