“Preserve and hear all these things” (Dt.12:28)—
if you’ve heard only a little Torah,
you’ll eventually hear much.
If you’ve preserved only a little,
you’ll eventually preserve much.
If you’ve preserved what you’ve heard,
you’ll eventually preserve what you haven’t heard.2
Preserve what is at hand [to do],
and eventually you’ll learn [more to do] for the future.
If a person earns the merit of Torah-study,
he earns it for all his generations,
till the end of all generations.3
“Preserve and hear” (Dt.12:28)—
whatever is not heard in the oral-performative tradition,
has no bearing upon behavior.4
“All these things which I am commanding you” (Dt.12:28)—
so that the simplest commandment
shall be as dear to you
as the most arduous commandment.5
“For you will perform the good and the virtuous” (Dt.12:28)—
“the good”—in the sight of Heaven;
“and the virtuous”—in the sight of human beings:
words of R. Akiva.6
And, moreover, He states;
“He shall find favor and appreciation
in the sight of God and human beings” (Prov.3:4).
R. Ishmael says:
“And the virtuous” (Dt.12:28)—
in the sight of Heaven.7
- H:133-134; JN1:226
- Mechilta Ishmael, vayass`a, 1. Cf. Pisqa’ 96.3
- This material is lacking in several mss. See F:145, n.1 and Fraade: 252, n. 162.
- For the tradition (mishnah) comprehends all meaningful action (ma`aseh).
- // M. Avot 2:1 and Pisqa’ 82.1 .
- =T. Sheq.2:1.
- The bulk of 79.2 is repeated below at 96.3