Thursday, November 8, 2007

Ideal Student

I found this in The Book of Jewish Practice, whose author says that it's from Ethics of the Fathers.  It's a list of the 48 qualities which make an ideal student:
  • mouthing the words of the text
  • pronouncing these distinctly
  • understanding the text and using discernment
  • studying in a spirit of awe, reverence, humility and good cheer
  • ministering to the wise
  • having good fellow students
  • arguing with students
  • serenity of mind
  • having a knowledge of Scripture and Mishnah
  • engaging in moderation in business, in worldly matters, in pleasures, in sleep, in conversation, in laughter
  • having patience
  • being good-natured
  • having confidence in the wise
  • tolerating one's suffering
  • recognizing one's place
  • rejoicing in one's lot
  • caution in speech
  • claiming no credit for achievement
  • being a lovable person
  • loving God and all His creatures
  • loving righteousness
  • straight dealing and rebuke
  • keeping aloof from fame
  • having no pride in one's learning
  • having no personal pleasure in rendering decisions
  • bearing the yoke with one's companions and judging them favorably and helping them in their pursuit of truth and peace
  • being composed in study
  • asking questions and attempting to provide solutions
  • listening and then adding to the information imparted
  • studying in order to teach and to practice
  • making one's teacher wise
  • attending carefully to what he says
  • repeating a teaching in the name of its author, giving the author the credit that is due
I think that a lot of these are very valuable, and most are qualities that I hope to possess.

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