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Pirkei Avot Videos

The Characteristics of a Wise Person
Mishnah 5:7 “Seven qualities that bring us to the acquisition of truth…” The layout of the Mishnah teaches us that framing things in the positive is better than focusing on what is wrong. It then continues to teach us a progression of seven ideas that help us to attain wisdom.
Looking at Ages and Stages
Mishnah 5:22 “At five, we begin the study of Scripture. At 10, the Oral Tradition…At 80, self-mastery… At 100….” Each age of life is appropriate for a different stage of growth. This class looks at the various stages of development and the deeper meaning behind the Mishna’s description for each one.
Forty-Eight Qualities to Acquiring Divine Wisdom
Mishnah 6:6 “Torah is greater than priesthood or sovereignty…Torah is acquired with 48 qualities…” Listen and meditate on these 48 qualities necessary to acquire Divine wisdom. How many of these qualities do you connect with? Which of these come easily to you and which are challenging for you?
Every Jew Has a Share in the World to Come
The customary preamble to Pirkei Avot
Ethics and the Transmission of Torah
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 1, mishnah 1
The Three Pillars of the World
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 1, mishnah 2-3
“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G d, and deeds of kindness.” “Do not be as slaves who serve their master for the sake of reward...”
Make Your Home a Place of Torah and Hospitality
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 1, mishnah 4-5
“Let your home be a meeting place for the wise… Let your home be wide open, and let the poor be members of your household…”
A Spiritual Mentor and a Good Friend
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 1, mishnah 6
Make for yourself a rabbi, acquire for yourself a friend, and judge everyone favorably.
Distance Yourself from a Bad Neighbor
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 1, mishnah 7
“Distance yourself from a bad neighbor, do not cleave to a wicked person, and do not abandon belief in retribution.”
Guidance for Judges, Love Work and Abhor Power
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 1, mishnah 8-10
When sitting in judgment, do not act as a counselor-at-law. When the litigants stand before you, consider them both guilty… Increasingly cross-examine the witnesses… Love work, loath mastery over others, and don’t fraternize with the government.
Love and Pursue Peace Like Aaron
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 1, mishnah 11-12
"Scholars, be careful with your words. For you may be exiled to a place inhabited by evil elements who will distort your words to suit their negative purposes…Be of the disciples of Aaron: a lover of peace, a pursuer of peace, one who loves the creatures and draws them close to Torah."
Torah for Personal Gain & My Responsibility
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 1, mishnah 13-14
One who advances his name, destroys his name… If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?
Make Torah Your Focus
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 1, mishnah 14-15
Make your Torah study a permanent fixture of your life. Say little and do much. And receive every man with a pleasant countenance. Make for yourself a master; stay away from doubt; and do not accustom yourself to tithe by estimation.
What Is the Straight Path for Man?
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 2, mishnah 1
Which is the right path for man to choose for himself? Whatever is harmonious for oneself and for mankind. Be as careful with a minor mitzvah as with a major one… Contemplate three things, and you will not come to the hands of transgression: Know what is above from you: a seeing eye, a listening ear, and all your deeds being inscribed in a book.
A Prescription for Happiness
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 4, mishnah 1
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.
The Jewish View of Cosmology
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 5, mishnah 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.
The Greatness of Torah Study
Learning Pirkei Avot: chapter 6, mishnah 1
Rabbi Meir would say: Whoever studies Torah for Torah's sake alone, merits many things; not only that, but [the creation of] the entire world is worthwhile for him alone. He is called friend, beloved, lover of G‑d, lover of humanity, rejoicer of G‑d, rejoicer of humanity… (Pirkei Avot 6:1)
Creatures of Holiness
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.”
Uncompromising Love
The Mishnah instructs us to “Be a student of Aaron,” love peace, pursue peace; love G-d’s creations...” Notably, the passage concludes, “and bring them close to Torah.”
My Thoughts on Charity (part 3)
The four types of people in giving charity described in Ethics of Our Fathers.
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.