Pirkei Avot: In the Image Mishnah 2:6

Killing Fields, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2018 © Zion Ozeri

1) How do you interpret this picture?

2) What do you think the photographer was thinking about in capturing this photograph?

3) What feelings or ideas come to mind when you look at this image?

אַף הוּא רָאָה גֻלְגֹּלֶת אַחַת שֶׁצָּפָה עַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם. אָמַר לָהּ, עַל דַּאֲטֵפְתְּ, אַטְפוּךְ. וְסוֹף מְטִיפַיִךְ יְטוּפוּן:

...He (Hillel) saw a skull floating on the face of the water. He said to it: because you drowned others, they drowned you. And in the end, they that drowned you will be drowned.


1) Today, we might paraphrase Hillel by saying "what goes around comes around," but we know that it doesn't always work that way. Why do you think Hillel might react this way to seeing a skull in the water?

2) Think about a time in your life when you saw something that made you pause and confront the consequences of negative actions. What was it, and how did you react?


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

1) What does it look like to see something that reminds us of the negative consequences of bad choices?

2) Can you envision something that makes you wish for this kind of simple justice in the world?