Allen S. Maller
Allen S. Maller

A Calif and a Rabbi share wisdom

Although one was a late first century rabbi and the other was Calif of a new Muslim Empire; both of these men shared the following wise lessons; which 21st century Arabs and Jews still need to learn.

Rabbi Simeon Ben Zoma (d. 100CE) said: Who is wise? One who learns from everybody, as it is written (Psalm 119:99) “I have gained understanding from all my teachers.”

Who is mighty? He who subdues his passions, as it’s written (Proverbs 16:32) “One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled is better than one who captures a city.”

Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion, as it is written (Psalm 128:2) “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.”

Who is honored? He that honors his fellow men as it is written (I Samuel 2:30) “For those who honor me, I will honor.”

From: Pirke Avot: Aphorisms of the Fathers (early sages and rabbis) 4:1

Calif Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 661CE) said: Who is the smartest? An errant man who sees the right path and turns toward it.

Who is the strongest of people? The one who controls his anger.

What is the best kind of contentment? That of one who is satisfied with what God gave him.

Who is your worst friend? The one who tempts you into sin.

Who is the most mature? The one who never flies into a rage.

From: A Treasury of Virtues: A collection by the Fatimid Shafi’i judge al-Quda’i (d. 1062) of sayings, sermons, and teachings attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 661). Translated by Tahera Qutbuddin.

About the Author
Rabbi Allen S. Maller has published over 450 articles on Jewish values in over a dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim magazines and web sites. Rabbi Maller is the author of "Tikunay Nefashot," a spiritually meaningful High Holy Day Machzor, two books of children's short stories, and a popular account of Jewish Mysticism entitled, "God, Sex and Kabbalah." His most recent books are "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms' and "Which Religion Is Right For You?: A 21st Century Kuzari" both available on Amazon.
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