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 Avot

Pirkei Avot Pirkei Avot (Literally, “Chapters of the Fathers”, and oftentimes called “Avot”) is a tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Mishnaic period. This little tractate contains five chapters and is often called “Ethics of the Fathers”. The text of this edition of the Avot is a paraphrased translation in idiomatic language from the writings of H.H. Catholicos Patriarch +Mar Dalin … Continue reading Pirkei Avot

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 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

G-d Striking Back, Part I

Pirkei Avos G-d Striking Back, Part I Chapter 5, Mishna 11(a) By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Pestilence comes to the world for death penalties mentioned in the Torah which are not in the hands of the courts [to administer] and for [the forbidden use of] Sabbatical year produce. The sword comes to the world for the delay of justice, the perversion of justice, and for those … Continue reading G-d Striking Back, Part I

Religion or Bird Watching?

Pirkei Avos Chapter 5, Mishna 10 By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Seven types of punishments come to the world on account of seven basic transgressions. If some people tithe and some do not, a famine caused by [partial] drought will result; some will be hungry and some will be sated. If people have determined not to tithe, a famine resulting from both unrest and drought will … Continue reading Religion or Bird Watching?

Torah Scholar or Apparition?

Pirkei Avos Chapter 5, Mishna 9 By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Seven things apply to an uncultured person (Heb., ‘golem’), and seven to a wise person. A wise person does not speak before one who is greater than he in wisdom or years; he does not interrupt his fellow; he does not rush to respond; he asks relevant questions; he answers accurately; he discusses first things … Continue reading Torah Scholar or Apparition?

Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 8(b)

Pirkei Avos What’s Special About Sabbath? Part II Chapter 5, Mishna 8(b) By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Ten things were created on the Sabbath eve at twilight. They are: the mouth of the earth [which swallowed Korach and his co-conspirators] (Numbers 16:32), the mouth of the well [which accompanied Israel in the desert], the mouth of the donkey [which rebuked Balaam] (ibid., 22:28), the rainbow, the … Continue reading Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 8(b)

Pirkei Avos Chapter 5, Mishna 8(a)

What’s Special About Sabbath? Part I By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Ten things were created on the Sabbath eve at twilight. They are: the mouth of the earth [which swallowed Korach and his co-conspirators] (Numbers 16:32), the mouth of the well [which accompanied Israel in the desert], the mouth of the donkey [which rebuked Balaam] (ibid., 22:28), the rainbow, the Manna, the staff [of Moses], the … Continue reading Pirkei Avos Chapter 5, Mishna 8(a)