Our Path is Inspired by Rabban Yohanan

Once when Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai was leaving Jerusalem, Rabbi Joshua was walking behind him and saw the Temple in ruins. Rabbi Joshua said, “Woe to us that this has been destroyed, the place where atonement was made for the sins of Israel.” Rabbi Yohanan responded, “No, my son, do you not know that we have a means of making atonement that is just like it? And what is it? It is deeds of love and mercy, as it is written: ‘For I desire kindness, and not sacrifice.’”

Hosea 6:6

Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai taught, “if you have a sapling in your hand, and someone says to you that the Messiah has come, stay and complete the planting, and then go to greet the Messiah.” 

 – Avot d’Rabi Natan 31b

For more about the life of Rabban ben Zakkai, click here.