While it has become more common today to record your “to do” list on your smartphone, take a moment to marvel at the ingenuity of the ballpoint pen invented by Hungarian Jew, László Bíró, which used to be the “go-to” gadget to record your “to do” list, and may still be, if your phone loses its charge.

In the seventeenth Mishna in the first chapter of Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, Shimon, taught that he learned from the sages that there is nothing better for a person than silence. If we find ourselves in a situation where we are about to utter words that might be hurtful to another, it would certainly be helpful to pause, pull out a ballpoint pen and jot down those words to allow a moment of reflection to consider the possible ramifications if uttered aloud. To learn more about the value of silence in particular, and character refinement in general, print out the first chapter of Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers this afternoon and join thousands of fellow Jews around the globe who will be enjoying an uplifting experience and inspired discussions this Shabbat.