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The Sound of Silence

2016-1[Rabbi] Shimon [ben Gamliel] says:  All my days I grew up among the sages, and I never found anything better for a person than silence.  Action, not study, is the main thing; and excessive talk inevitably leads to sin.

~Ethics of Fathers 1:17

Listen, my son, to the guidance of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; for they are a charm of grace upon your head and precious gems about your neck.

~Proverbs 1:8-9

Traditionally, discipline came from the father, whose stern and urgent words provided guidance along the path of life. However, it was the quiet lessons learned by example from the mother that defined that path and had the most enduring influence as children grew up into the adults they were meant to become.

No matter how parenting roles may have changed, the general principles remain.  Intellectual maturity, symbolized here as a charm of grace upon the head, guides the steps we take; the intuitions of the conscience, when articulated through speech, are the precious gems about the neck, which keep us turned toward our ultimate destination.

Only when our thinking and speaking are filtered through the wisdom absorbed from responsible parents and trustworthy teachers will we be able to find our place in the world and live in harmony among our fellows.

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