"He [Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah] used to say, anyone whose wisdom is greater than his deeds to what is he comparable? To a tree whose branches are many and whose roots are few, and the wind comes and turns it over. As it is said: 'And he will be like a lonely tree in a wasteland, and it will not see when good comes. It will dwell on parched soil in the desert, a salted land, uninhabited' (Jeremiah 17:6). But one whose deeds are greater than his wisdom to what is he comparable? To a tree whose branches are few and whose roots are many, that even if all the winds in the world blow against it, they do not move it from its place. As it is said 'And he shall be like a tree planted on the water, and towards the stream it will spread its roots,and it will not see when heat comes. Its leaves will be fresh, in a year of drought it will not worry, and it shall not cease yielding fruit' (ibid., 17:8)."
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Pirkei Avot, Chapter 3, Mishna 22
Posted by Jonathan Dresner at 10:50 PM