Check out the attached quote, supposedly from the Talmud. Sounds good, right? I happen to concur with the message. But the quote itself is not real!
Since we live in an era of fake news, we need to be careful about sharing quotes. This is challenging because when we read a quote that supports “our” position, we instinctively assume that it’s correct. Psychologists call this confirmation bias Its just hard for us to intuitively realize that those who share quotes usually aren’t scholars. People often just reuse graphics seen elsewhere.
How best to counter this? Generally assume best intent, but also follow the Russian proverb, Trust but verify (Доверяй, но проверяй; Doveryai, no proveryai.)
Just like we should always check social and political stories with reputable news sources, PolitiFact and Snopes, we should check Jewish quotes that are endlessly shared on social media.
As for this “Talmud” quote being shared online? It turns out to be a mashup of different authors, written at different times, for different purposes. The analysis is below.