(Just before you make the Hillel sandwich and turn to the Passover meal, I have a suggestion. It turns out that HILLEL did not work for The Food Network. He was much more than a chef. Jewish tradition tells wonderful stories about his intelligence and compassion. The Mishnah credits him with some important “sayings” that are fascinating. So…maybe…Just before eating the sandwich, you can bring this reading forward. Have one or two Seder participants read the quotes responsively. Ask everyone to choose their favorite quote. Or simply enjoy these extra teachings from a great rabbi by the name of HILLEL. BTW, Hillel lived around the turn of the eras. He was born approximately 30 BCE.)
Be of the disciples of Aaron. Like Aaron, love peace and pursue it by loving your fellow creatures and drawing them near to the Torah.
When you seek fame, it flees; when you do not add, you take away; when you do not learn, you earn destruction.
When you make selfish use of the crown of Torah, you drive yourself out of the world.
If I am not myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
It ain't over until the fat lady sings.
Do not separate yourself from the community.
Do not be certain of yourself until the day you die; do not judge another until you are in his place.
Do not say: “When I have leisure I shall study.” You may never have any leisure.
The reticent do not learn; the hot-tempered do not teach.
In a place where no one behaves like a human being, you must try to be human.
The more Torah, the more life, the more counsel, the more understanding, the more justice, the more peace there is in the world.
On one occasion, it happened that a certain Roman came before a rabbi called Shammai (a contemporary of Hillel) and said to him, “Take me as a proselyte, but on condition that you teach me the entire Torah, all of it, while I stand on one foot.” Shammai instantly drove him away with a builder’s measuring rod he happened to have in his hand. When the Roman came before Hillel and made the same request, Hillel said to him, “What is hateful to you do not do to your fellow man. This is the entire Torah, all of it; the rest is a commentary. Go and study it.”