Simeon ben Azai, sometimes Ben Azai

Simeon ben
Azai, sometimes Ben Azai
fl early 2nd Century

Palestinian Rabbi, One of the Compilers of the Talmud who engaged in esoteric speculation

Author Quotes

If thou hast fear of those who command thee, spare those who obey thee.

Rav Eliezer said to Ben Azzai: Such words sound good when they come from those who practice them. You preach but do not practice well. Ben Azzai replied: But what shall I do, my soul yearns for Torah? The world can increase through others.

The reward for doing a mitzvah is the opportunity to do another mitzvah.

Who is rich? He who is happy with what he has. As is stated (Psalms 128:2): "If you eat of toil of your hands, fortunate are you, and good is to you"; "fortunate are you" in this world, "and good is to you" in the World to Come;

Who is strong? He who controls his impulses. As is stated (Proverbs 16:32), "Better one who is slow to anger than one with might, one who rules his spirit than the captor of a city.";

Who is wise? He who learns from everyone. As is stated (Psalms 119:99): "From all my teachers I have grown wise";

Women, like roses, should wear only their own colors, and emit no borrowed perfumes.

As whole caravans may light their lamps from one candle without exhausting it, so myriads of tribes may gain wisdom from the great Book without impoverishing it.

Ben Zoma, seeing the crowds on the Temple mount, said, "Blessed be He who created all these to attend to my needs. How much had Adam to weary himself with! Not a mouthful could he taste before he plowed and sowed, and cut and bound sheaves, and threshed and winnowed and sifted the grain, and ground and sifted the flour, and kneaded and baked, and then he ate; but I get up in the morning and find all this ready before me. How much had Adam to weary himself with! Not a shirt could he put on before he sheared and washed the wool, and hatcheled and dyed and spun and wove and sewed, and then he clothed himself; but I rise in the morning and find all this ready before me. How many trades are anxiously busy early in the morning; and I rise and find all these things before me!"

Go down the ladder when thou marriest a wife; go up when thou choosest a friend.

A grateful guest says, "That host be remembered for good! How many wines he brought up before me; how many portions he placed before me; how many cakes he offered me! All that he did, he did for my sake." But the ill-willed guest says, "What did I eat of his? A piece of bread, a bite of meat. What did I drink? A cup of wine. Whatever he did, he did for the sake of his wife and his children." Thus the Scripture says [Book of Job xxxvi. 24], "Remember that thou magnify His work, whereof men have sung

Whoever does not engage in reproductive sexual relations, lo, such a one sheds blood and diminishes the divine image, since it says, For in the image of God he made man. And it says, And you be fruitful and multiply (Gen 9:67)

A mitzvah causes another mitzvah and a sin causes another sin.

Be eager to fulfill the smallest duty and flee from transgression; for one duty induces another and one transgression induces another transgression. The reward of a duty is a duty, the reward of one transgression is another transgression.

Do not be scornful of any person, and do not be disdainful of anything, for you have no person without his hour, and you have nothing without its place.

Give your tongue more holiday than your hands and eyes.

He who does not engage in reproduction and propagation rises up against scripture and diminishes the Image (of God). For it says: 'For in the image of God he made man" (Gen 1:6) and 'be fruitful and multiply!'(Gen 1:7).

If a word be worth one Shekel, silence is worth two.

In seeking wisdom thou art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it, thou art a fool.

Run to fulfill a minor mitzvah as you would to fulfill a more serious one and run away from sin. For a mitzvah causes another mitzvah and a sin causes another sin. athe reward of a mitzvah is a mitzvah and the reward of a sin is another sin.

Who is a Hero? He who controls his impulses. As is stated (Proverbs 16:32), "Better one who is slow to anger than one with might, one who rules his spirit than the captor of a city."

Who is a rich man? He who is happy with his portion. As is stated (Psalms 128:2): "If you eat of toil of your hands, fortunate are you, and good is to you"; "fortunate are you" in this world, "and good is to you" in the World to Come.

Who is a wise man? He who learns from every man. As is stated (Psalms 119:99): "From all my teachers I have grown wise"

Who is an honorable man? He who honors his fellow man; As is stated (I Samuel 2:30): "For to those who honor me, I accord honor; those who scorn me shall be demeaned.

Despise not any man, and do not spurn anything; for there is no man that has not his hour, nor is there anything that has not its place.

Author Picture
First Name
Simeon ben
Last Name
Azai, sometimes Ben Azai
Birth Date
fl early 2nd Century
Bio

Palestinian Rabbi, One of the Compilers of the Talmud who engaged in esoteric speculation