Pirkei Avot: In the Image Mishnah 2:13

The Shema Prayer, Columbia, © Zion Ozeri

1) What do you think is happening in this photograph?

2) What stands out to you about the women in this image?

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

רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי זָהִיר בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּבַתְּפִלָּה. וּכְשֶׁאַתָּה מִתְפַּלֵּל, אַל תַּעַשׂ תְּפִלָּתְךָ קֶבַע, אֶלָּא רַחֲמִים וְתַחֲנוּנִים לִפְנֵי הַמָּקוֹם בָּרוּךְ הוּא..

Rabbi Shimon said: Be careful with the reading of Shema and the prayer, And when you pray, do not make your prayer something automatic, but a plea for compassion before God...


1) You can read more about the Shema, a central piece of Jewish prayers, here. Why do you think Rabbi Shimon recommends being careful with this recitation?

2) "The prayer" that is referenced here is the Amidah, or Prayer of Silent Devotion. What do you think it means to make your prayer "automatic?"

3) Think of a time when you switched to doing something very intentionally after doing it without thinking for a while - or vice versa. What did that change feel like?


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 do something very carefully?

2) Is there a moment that represents a request for compassion from someone else?