“Be patient in judging, have many talmidim, and put a protective fence around the Torah” — Anshei Knesset Hagedolah (Avot 1:1)
Although the main thrust of this counsel is to the judges and leaders of , there is a message in it for every Jew as well.
“Be patient” before making any decision, whether in regard to passing judgment on someone’s righteousness or in regard to doing business. “Have many talmidim,” because assuring that you and your family are doing the right thing is not enough. You must also reach out to others because you may have a greater impact on them than all those who lecture him. “Put a protective fence” around yourself to guard you from situations where you will easily come to sin. Every man is a judge, a teacher and a legislator.