I’m a Fundamentalist: Refrigerator-Magnet Texts

This is a list of brief-yet-meaningful passages from our tradition, Tanakhic (Biblical) and rabbinic, that I have found to be the most helpful to keep in front of me at all times. All of them could easily be made into refrigerator magnets for easy referral. I hope you appreciate this list, but all the more so, I encourage you to find your own (and put them on the fridge). Want help? Call/email/message/tweet at me.

Leviticus 19:2

(2) Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy.

ויקרא י״ט:ב׳

 דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־כָּל־עֲדַ֧ת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֥ אֲלֵהֶ֖ם קְדֹשִׁ֣ים תִּהְי֑וּ כִּ֣י קָד֔וֹשׁ אֲנִ֖י ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵיכֶֽם׃

Pirkei Avot 2:16

(16) [Rabbi Tarfon] used to say: It is not your responsibility to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it…

משנה אבות ב׳:ט״ז

 הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, לֹא עָלֶיךָ הַמְּלָאכָה לִגְמֹר, וְלֹא אַתָּה בֶן חוֹרִין לִבָּטֵל מִמֶּנָּה

Jerusalem Talmud Nedarim 9:4

Rabbi Akiva taught: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). This is the major principle of the Torah.

תלמוד ירושלמי נדרים פרק ט: הל’ ד

ואהבת לרעך כמוך ר’ עקיבה או’ זהו כלל גדול בתורה

Pirkei Avot 4:1

Who is rich? The one who is happy with his lot, as it says, “When you eat [from] the work of your hands, you will be happy, and it will be well with you” (Psalms 128:2). “You will be happy” refers to this world. “And it will be well with you” refers to the world to come.

משנה אבות ד׳:א׳

איזהו עשיר. השמח בחלקו. שנאמר (תהלים קכח, ב) יגיע כפיך כי תאכל אשריך וטוב לך. אשריך בעולם הזה. וטוב לך לעולם הבא

Micah 6:8

(8) He has told you, O man, what is good, And what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk modestly with your God.

מיכה ו׳:ח׳

 הִגִּ֥יד לְךָ֛ אָדָ֖ם מַה־טּ֑וֹב וּמָֽה־ה’ דּוֹרֵ֣שׁ מִמְּךָ֗ כִּ֣י אִם־עֲשׂ֤וֹת מִשְׁפָּט֙ וְאַ֣הֲבַת חֶ֔סֶד וְהַצְנֵ֥עַ לֶ֖כֶת עִם־אֱ-לֹהֶֽיךָ׃

Deuteronomy 30:11-12

(11) Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. (12) It is not in the heavens, that you should say, “Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?”

דברים ל׳:י״א-י״ב

 כִּ֚י הַמִּצְוָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם לֹֽא־נִפְלֵ֥את הִוא֙ מִמְּךָ֔ וְלֹ֥א רְחֹקָ֖ה הִֽוא׃ לֹ֥א בַשָּׁמַ֖יִם הִ֑וא לֵאמֹ֗ר מִ֣י יַעֲלֶה־לָּ֤נוּ הַשָּׁמַ֙יְמָה֙ וְיִקָּחֶ֣הָ לָּ֔נוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵ֥נוּ אֹתָ֖הּ וְנַעֲשֶֽׂנָּה׃