Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Rabbi Eliezer ben Isaac Papo, aka "ha-Kosesh" or "The Saint"

Bulgarian Rabbi of the community of Selestria, famous for writing the Pele Yoetz, a book giving advice on how to behave as a Jew

"By analyzing your worries, you will become aware that all worry is useless. Worries fall into two categories: worrying about the past and worrying about the future. As regards to the past, worry will not change the situation. You are compounding your suffering or loss by your present worrying. If you are worrying about something that might happen in the future, do what you can to protect yourself and prevent a loss. If there is nothing you can do, all your worrying will make no difference. So why waste your present moments worrying?"

"A person once came into a room where a few people were sleeping. The sleepers were dreaming nightmares and cried in their sleep. The person who was awake did not join them in their crying for he realized it was merely a dream. Similarly, I realize this world is like a dream. People upset over worldly matters are as in the midst of a nightmare. I am awake and am cognizant of how illusory worldly suffering really is."

"Frequently when we get angry at someone we fail to realize that he sees the situation much differently than we do. While we think he is acting wrongly, he views his behavior as correct. Since he is acting in a manner he considers proper, we should not condemn him and become angry."

"How goodly is this good trait of a generous spirit. It is good for Heaven and good for people, good for himself and good for others, good for this World and good for the World to Come. It is a gift from God and ingrained in humanity. "

"Do not open your mouth to the Devil, for a covenant has been forged with the lips, and a person should not call his comrade goy (non-Jew) or mumar (apostate) and the like, lest Heaven forbid, it will come true regarding him or his offspring."