Matthew 23:8

New Testament

6 They love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and elaborate greetings in the marketplaces and to have people call them ‘Rabbi.’ 8 But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher and you are all brothers. 9 And call no one your ‘father’ on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Pirkei Avot 1:10


9 Shimon ben Shetach used to say: be thorough in the interrogation of witnesses, and be careful with your words, lest from them they learn to lie. 10 Shemaiah and Abtalion received [the oral tradition] from them. Shemaiah used to say: love work, hate acting the superior, and do not attempt to draw near to the ruling authority. 11 Abtalion used to say: Sages be careful with your words, lest you incur the penalty of exile, and be carried off to a place of evil waters, and the disciples who follow you drink and die, and thus the name of heaven becomes profaned. 12 Hillel and Shammai received [the oral tradition] from them. Hillel used to say: be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving mankind and drawing them close to the Torah. 13 He [also] used to say: one who makes his name great causes his name to be destroyed; one who does not add [to his knowledge] causes [it] to cease; one who does not study [the Torah] deserves death; one who makes [unworthy] use of the crown [of learning] shall pass away.

 Notes and References

"... Many leaders are concerned about honor and fame. They want adulation for what they have done. Avot has a great deal to say about the way to achieve fame ... The above sayings show that the ancient sages felt that the only true honor comes from caring and honoring others. Paradoxically, the best way to achieve fame is by honoring others. Even a teacher must give honor to his students. Shemayah felt that lordship, i.e., power, was to be shunned. The Talmud included this need for power among the things that shorten a person’s life; “vainglory” is listed as one of the traits that drive a person out of the world.19 The reason is quite simple. A benevolent person is focused on benefiting others, while a vain person cannot devote his attention to others ..."

Friedman, Hershey Harry and Fischer, Dov Learning About Leadership, Trust and Benevolence from Ethics of the Fathers (Avot) (pp. 1-20) Journal of Religion and Business Ethics: Vol. 3, Article 8, 2014

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