Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Task

1) From "Pirke Avos," Chapter 2, Mishnas 20-21

Rabbi Tarfon said: The day is short, the task is great, the laborers are lazy, the wage is abundant and the master is urgent.

He used to say: It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task. Yet, you are not free to desist from it. If you have studied much in the Torah much reward will be given you, for faithful is your employer who shall pay you the reward of your labor. And know that the reward for the righteous shall be in the time to come.

2) From "The Middle Years," by Henry James (1893)

“A second chance — that’s the delusion. There never was to be but one. We work in the dark — we do what we can — we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."