3. Antigonus of Soko received from Shime'on ha-Çaddiq. He used to say, Be not as slaves that minister to the lord with a view to receive recompense; but be as slaves that minister to the lord without a view to receives recompense; and let the fear of Heaven be upon you.
Rosedale Tar Drip
I don't know why so many of these wise Jewish sayings have three statements in them, and the first two are much easier to take than the third. They are almost like a syllogism:
No lazy people pass exams.You agree with the first two statements and then feel like you've been sold a bill of goods. You know "students are lazy." That's why they are students. And professors are lazy too. Even Picasso had those moments drinking wine and chasing after women. What a waste that was!
Some students pass exams.
Some students are not lazy.
The Jewish pearls of wisdom are like Buddhist koans. It is easy to buy the idea of not doing things for recompense (or gain), and it is a fine idea to work for the lord (esp. when the lord is defined as "all things"), but how can one do any of this with a fear of Heaven? Is this a fear that if we do things for gain, and we are not ministers of the lord, we'll be struck dead?