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Pirkei Avot Videos

Pirkei Avot Videos

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Video | 43:38
The Ten Utterances
The world was created with ten utterances. What does this come to teach us? Certainly, it could have been created with a single utterance...
In this class we take a practical and relevant approach in studying this classic text. We’ll examine the wisdom of Pirkei Avot through the lens of the classical commentators as well as the Kabbalists to gain an even more profound understanding of its many life-lessons.
When recording the chain of passing down the Torah, Ethics of the Fathers states that the Torah was received by Moses from Sinai. Why the emphasis on this particular individual and this particular location? Moses and Sinai each stand for unique traits that must distinguish anyone true student of Torah – one who is to receive the Torah in his or her own life.
Video | 8:54
The Greatest Job
The Mishna states in Ethics of the Fathers: “Any Torah study that is not combined with work will not endure.” Elsewhere, the Talmud asserts that man was created for toil in Torah.
The Talmudic tractate Pirkei Avos is a guide to higher ethical conduct. It does not deal with the basic tenets of Jewish law. Pirkei Avos is concerned with matters that go beyond the letter of the law.
Some Jewish commentators saw the conflict between body and soul as insurmountable, others saw it as non-existent, yet others saw it as an opportunity for a step by step process of mystical synthesis
The world, our Sages tell us, stands on three pillars—Torah, Avodah (Prayer) and Acts of Kindness. This class will explore the inner dimension and effect of these 'pillars', both on the individual and the world at large. (Based on the maamor Podoh B'sholom 5716)
The prevalent custom is to study a chapter of Ethics of Our Fathers each week starting the Shabbat after Passover. Prior to studying each chapter, we add the introductory teaching of ‘Kol Yisrael’ (All Jews). Learn why this is inserted as a preface to Pirkei Avos.
Video | 31:04
The Ethics of Sinai
Ethics of Our Fathers begins by stating that Torah was received by Moses at Sinai and was passed down to the subsequent generations. The Mishnah specifies five generations in particular, why?
Shimon the Righteous was among the last surviving members of the Great assembly. He would say: The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness. (Ethics of Our Fathers 1:2)
Rebbi [Yehudah HaNassi] would say: Which is the right path for man to choose for himself? Whatever is harmonious for the one who does it, and harmonious for mankind. (Ethics of Our Fathers 2:1)
Video | 30:09
Beloved Are Jews
Beloved is man, for he was created in the image [of G d]; Beloved are the people Israel, for they are called children of G d; Beloved are the people Israel, for a precious article was given to them. (Ethics of Our Fathers ch.3:14)
Rabbi Shimon would say: There are three crowns—the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood and the crown of sovereignty—but the crown of good name surmounts them all. (Ethics of Our Fathers 4:13)
Ben Bag Bag would say: Delve and delve into it (Torah), for all is in it; see with it; grow old and worn in it; do not budge from it, for there is nothing better. Ben Hei Hei would say: According to the pain is the gain. (Ethics of Our Fathers ch.5:21)
One who learns from his fellow…a single law…must treat him with respect. For so we find with David, king of Israel, who did not learn anything from Achitofel except for two things alone, yet he called him his "master," his "guide" and his "intimate"… (Ethics of Our Fathers, ch.6:3)
Rabbi Chananya ben Akashya said: “The Holy One, blessed be He, wished to make the people of Israel meritorious; therefore He gave them Torah and mitzvot in abundant measure, as it is written: ‘The L rd desired, for the sake of his [Israel’s] righteousness, to make the Torah great and glorious.’”
Humans seemed hard-wired to fail. Why would G-d especially design His world to allow so much failure? To address this topic, we explore the teaching in Ethics of Our Fathers that the world was created with ten statements (ch.5:1).
He (Hillel) also saw a skull floating upon the water. Said he to it: Because you drowned others, you were drowned; and those who drowned you, will themselves be drowned. (Ethics of Our Fathers ch.2:6)
Akavia the son of Mahalalel would say: Reflect upon three things and you will not come to the hands of transgression. Know from where you came, where you are going, and before whom you are destined to give a judgment and accounting. From where you came--from a putrid drop; where you are going--to a place of dust, maggots and worms; and before whom you are destined to give a judgment and accounting--before the supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He. (Ethics of Our Fathers ch.3:1)
The world was created with ten utterances. What does this come to teach us? Certainly, it could have been created with a single utterance. However, this is in order to make the wicked accountable for destroying a world that was created with ten utterances, and to reward the righteous for sustaining a world that was created with ten utterances. (Ethics of Our Fathers ch.5:1)
Ben Zoma would say: Who is wise? One who learns from every man. Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations. Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot. Who is honorable? One who honors his fellows. (Ethics of Our Fathers ch.4:1)
Video | 22:18
The Heavenly Voice
Said Rabbi Yehoshua the son of Levi: Every day, an echo resounds from Mount Horeb (Sinai) proclaiming and saying: "Woe is to the creatures who insult the Torah.”And the tablets are the work of G d, and the writing is G d's writing, engraved on the tablets"; read not "engraved" (charut) but "liberty" (chairut)---for there is no free individual, except for he who occupies himself with the study of Torah. (Ethics of Our Fathers ch.6:2)
The Sages instruct us in Ethics of Our Fathers: “Be of the disciples of Aaron the High Priest.” Aaron was the holiest Jew. Yet, which of his qualities do the Sages instruct us to emulate? “Love peace and pursue peace; love all creatures and draw them close to Torah.”
Ethics of the Fathers is a tractate of the Mishna that details the Torah's views on ethics and interpersonal relationships. Enjoy insights, audio classes and stories on these fascinating topics.