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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.

Speak Like a Chasid

Speak Like a Chasid

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Speak Like a Chasid

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.
Lubavitcher Rebbe, Ethics of the Fathers
Speak Like a Chasid
Disc 140, Program 559

Event Date: 25 Av 5739 - August 18, 1979

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.

Yet in the fifth chapter we read, “There are four character types: One who says, ‘What is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine’ is an ignoramus. One who says ‘What is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours’ – this is a median characteristic; others say that this is the character of a Sodomite. One who says, ‘What is mine is yours, and what is yours is yours’ is pious. And one who says ‘What is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine’ is wicked.”

Although this mishnah may seem to be stating the obvious, a more literal reading will reveal its deeper message.

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