Ecclesiastes 7:15-18
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אֶת הַכֹּל רָאִיתִי בִּימֵי הֶבְלִי יֵשׁ צַדִּיק אֹבֵד בְּצִדְקוֹ וְיֵשׁ רָשָׁע מַאֲרִיךְ בְּרָעָתוֹ: (טז) אַל תְּהִי צַדִּיק הַרְבֵּה וְאַל תִּתְחַכַּם יוֹתֵר לָמָּה תִּשּׁוֹמֵם: (יז) אַל תִּרְשַׁע הַרְבֵּה וְאַל תְּהִי סָכָל לָמָּה תָמוּת בְּלֹא עִתֶּךָ: (יח) טוֹב אֲשֶׁר תֶּאֱחֹז בָּזֶה וְגַם מִזֶּה אַל תַּנַּח אֶת יָדֶךָ כִּי יְרֵא אֱלֹהִים יֵצֵא אֶת כֻּלָּם:
In my own brief span of life, I have seen both these things: sometimes a good person perishes in spite of his goodness, and sometimes a wicked one endures in spite of her wickedness. So don't overdo goodness and don't act the wise person to excess, or you may be dumbfounded. Don't overdo wickedness and don't be a fool, or you may die before your time. It is best that you grasp the one without letting go of the other, for one who fears God will do one's duty by both. [JPS translation, edited for gender neutrality]
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What appears to be Kohelet's attitude toward social justice?

2. Is Kohelet cynical or simply pragmatic?

3. How can we use this text when setting goals in our own lives? Should we use this text at all?

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Time Period: Biblical (early ancestors to 165 BCE)