Pirkei Avos Chapter 6, Mishna

The 48 Ways Chapter 6, Mishna 6, Introduction “Torah is greater than priesthood and kingship, for kingship is acquired with 30 qualities, priesthood is acquired with 24, whereas the Torah is acquired with 48 ways….” This mishna lists the 48 skills or qualities needed to “acquire” the Torah. This list is commonly referred to as the “48 Ways” and serves as the basis for a … Continue reading Pirkei Avos Chapter 6, Mishna

Pirkei Avos Creating Souls Chapter 6, Mishna 3

By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “One who learns from his fellow a single chapter [of Torah], a single law, a single verse, a single statement, or even a single letter, must treat him with honor. For so we find with David, King of Israel, who learned from Achitofel two things alone, and he called him his teacher, his guide, and his intimate friend, as it is … Continue reading Pirkei Avos Creating Souls Chapter 6, Mishna 3

Pirkei Avos

Is Torah a Burden? Part II Chapter 6, Mishna 2(b) By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Rabbi Yehoshua ben (son of) Levi said, on every day a heavenly voice emanates from Mount Horeb, announcing: ‘Woe to them, the people, because of the affront to the Torah.’ For anyone who does not study is called ‘rebuked,’ as the verse says ‘As a golden ring in a swine’s snout, … Continue reading Pirkei Avos

An Upside-Down World

Pirkei Avos “Yossi ben Yo’ezer used to say: Let your house be a meeting place for the sages, cleave to the dust of their feet, and drink thirstily their words.” An Upside-Down World Chapter 5, Mishna 27 By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Ben (son of) Hai Hai said, according to the distress is the reward.” Regarding ben Hai Hai’s unusual name (really nickname), see our discussion … Continue reading An Upside-Down World

Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 20

Endless Arguments Chapter 5, Mishna 20 “Any dispute which is for the sake of Heaven will ultimately endure, and one which is not for the sake of Heaven will not ultimately endure. What is a dispute for the sake of Heaven? This is a debate between Hillel and Shammai. What is a dispute not for the sake of Heaven? This is the dispute of Korach … Continue reading Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 20

Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 19

True Love Chapter 5, Mishna 19 “Any love which is dependent on something, when the ‘something’ ceases, the love ceases. Any love which is not dependent on anything will never cease. What is a love which is dependent? The love of Amnon for Tamar. And which is not dependent? The love of David and Yehonasan.” As always, the words of the Sages are so clear … Continue reading Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 19

Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 18

The Gift of Selective Memory Chapter 5, Mishna 18 “There are four types of students (lit., among those who sit before the Sages) — a sponge, a funnel, a strainer, and a sifter. The sponge absorbs everything. The funnel brings in on this [side] and brings out on the other. The strainer lets out the wine and retains the lees. The sieve lets out the … Continue reading Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 18

Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 17

Killing Ourselves Chapter 5, Mishna 17 “There are four types among those who go to the study hall. [One who] goes but does not ‘do’ receives reward for the going. [One who] does but does not go receives reward for the doing. [One who] goes and does is pious. [One who] does not go and does not do is wicked.” This week’s mishna contrasts people … Continue reading Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 17

Dual Standards

Maimonides on Life Dual Standards Chapter 5, Law 7(a) <“The Torah scholar should not scream and cry out when he speaks — as animals. He should not raise his voice excessively. Rather, his speech should be gentle with all people (lit., ‘all creations’). When he speaks gently, he should be careful that he not distance himself until [his speech] resembles that of the arrogant. “He … Continue reading Dual Standards