Chapter One - Mishna 11

Avtalyon says, "Scholars, be cautious with your words"
Avtaylon says: "Wise men, be careful your words. Maybe you will be forced to leave your country and go to a place of bad waters. The students who follow your will drink and die, and the name of Heaven will be lowered in people's eyes."

Avtalyon is warning teachers to be especially careful when teaching their students. In the picture above, the teacher is weighing his words and thinking before he speaks. His lessons must be clear so his students will understand what he means to say. If a great teacher is not careful with what he says, as punishment he may have to leave his land and go to another place. This will be a place of "bad waters", meaning the people there may not be searching for the truth. Since the teacher chose words that had more than one meaning, these new students will twist them when they become teachers they will make people misunderstand the Torah. They will take good people who want to know the truth and tell them these "lies" making them believe that this was what the great teacher meant. People will believe they are following Torah, but since this is not Torah, they will "die" in spirit. Because they misinterpreted your teachings, people will lose respect for Hashem.

Click on the image to get a printable copy.

Pirchei Shoshanim Home Page
Index Next Previous

To order this book please e-mail us at