What Rabbi Yochanan Asked - Pirke Avot 2:9

[Rabbi Yochanan] said to them: Go and see which is the best trait for a person to acquire.

  • Said Rabbi Eliezer: A good eye.
  • Said Rabbi Joshua: A good friend.
  • Said Rabbi Yossei: A good neighbor.
  • Said Rabbi Shimon: To see what is born [out of ones actions].
  • Said Rabbi Elazar: A good heart.

He said to them: I prefer the words of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours.


He said to them: Go and see which is the worst trait, the one that a person should most distance himself from.

  • Said Rabbi Eliezer: An evil eye.
  • Said Rabbi Joshua: An evil friend.
  • Said Rabbi Yossei: An evil neighbor.
  • Said Rabbi Shimon: To borrow and not to repay; for one who borrows from man is as one who borrows from the Almighty, as is stated, "The wicked man borrows and does not repay; but the righteous one is benevolent and gives"' (Psalms 37:21).
  • Said Rabbi Elazar: An evil heart.

He said to them: I prefer the word of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours.

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