Pirkei Avot: In the Image Mishnah 2:1

Dor Holech, Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel, 1982 © Zion Ozeri

(א) רַבִּי אוֹמֵר, אֵיזוֹהִי דֶרֶךְ יְשָׁרָה שֶׁיָּבֹר לוֹ הָאָדָם, כֹּל שֶׁהִיא תִפְאֶרֶת לְעוֹשֶׂיהָ וְתִפְאֶרֶת לוֹ מִן הָאָדָם...

(1) Rabbi said: which is the straight path that a man should choose for himself? One which is an honor to the person adopting it, and [on account of which] honor [accrues] to him from others....

1) What feelings does this image evoke in you?

2) What do you think the elderly man in the photograph is thinking about? How do you know?

3) What other title and caption or midrash might you suggest for this image?


This advice comes from Rabbi Judah the Prince, who was so central in Rabbinic literature that he is often just called "Rabbi." He is the one who edited the Mishnah into the collection we have today.

1)What do you think it means to choose "the straight path?"

2) Think of a moment in your life when you felt yourself choosing one path instead of another. How did you make that choice? What factors where important to you?

3) How do you balance your own thoughts and feelings and your knowledge of how others will react when you make a choice?


Help build a digital scrapbook by adding your own image or Midrash, with a caption, here, in response to these questions:

1) How might you visually represent the moment of choosing a particular path?

2) What helps you make the right choice, and what obstacles sometimes appear that confuse you or lead you to make a choice you later regret?