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Pirkei Avot Videos

The Ten Utterances
Video | 43:38
The Ten Utterances
Ethics of Our Fathers 5:1
The world was created with ten utterances. What does this come to teach us? Certainly, it could have been created with a single utterance...
Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 1
The Wisdom of Pirkei Avot
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.
Introduction to Learning Pirkei Avot
Why the tractate in the Mishnah on ethics is called Avot or “Fathers”. Learn the distinction between law and beyond the law, and how this can be applied practically.
Humility, Prerequisite to Torah
Farbrengen, 19 Kislev, 5743 • December 5, 1982
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.
The Greatest Job
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.
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.
Does Being Spiritual Mean Rejecting Our Bodies?
Jewish approaches to asceticism from the Mishnah to Chassidic teachings
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
Who Frequented the Study Halls of 1st Century Israel?
A close look at the composition of a typical study hall during the early Mishnaic period. Looking for clues in the Kaufmann Manuscript of the fifth chapter of Ethics of Our Fathers.
A Vengeful G-d?
Video | 38:05
A Vengeful G-d?
The first teaching of the fifth chapter of 'Ethics of Our Fathers' states that the primary reason why G-d created the world in the manner in-which He did is to 'exact retribution from the wicked'. This statement appears puzzling and indeed disturbing. This class will peel back the layers in light of the teachings of Chassidus and reveal its powerfully loving message.
What Is an Argument for the Sake of Heaven?
When division becomes a virtue
Our Sages declare that Korach and his followers are the symbol of divisiveness that "will not ultimately endure"; whereas the dissenting views of Hillel and Shamai represent a virtuous difference of opinion "that will ultimately endure". But why would argument of any kind, especially one that endures forever, be considered a virtue?! In answering this question, this class traces the origins of all conflicts and reveals the ultimate resolution to them all. (Based on the Maamar Vayikach Korach 5767)
Setting the World Straight
The 3 Pillars of Torah, Prayer and Acts of Kindness
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 Ethics of our Fathers
with Rabbi Yossi Shanowitz
All Jews Have a Place in the World to Come
Learning Pirkei Avot on Five Levels
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.
The Ethics of Sinai
Video | 31:04
The Ethics of Sinai
Learning Pirkei Avot on Five Levels
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?
The World Stands on Three Pillars
Learning Pirkei Avot on Five Levels
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)
What Is the Straight Path for Man?
Learning Pirkei Avot on Five Levels
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)
Beloved Are Jews
Video | 30:09
Beloved Are Jews
Learning Pirkei Avot on Five Levels
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)
The Crown of a Good Name
Learning Pirkei Avot on Five Levels
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)
According to the Pain is the Reward
Learning Pirkei Avot on Five Levels
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)
What King David Learns from Achitofel
Learning Pirkei Avot on Five Levels
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)
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.