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10

The Rav (ad loc.) explains that these are opposites: One who borrows without repaying doesn't foresee that, therefore, people will refuse to lend to him in the future. R' Shim'on b. N'san'el didn't want to say "one who doesn't see what's coming", explains the Rav, because others who don't see what's coming aren't so bad, as they may be able to get around ...


9

Nitei Gavriel cites sources that say that in that case the people in Eretz Yisrael indeed start saying Pirkei Avos on Shabbos the 22nd of Nissan and continue from there, so that they recite the sixth chapter on the sixth Shabbos of the Omer. For the seventh Shabbos, then, they study the first chapter of Maseches Derech Eretz Zuta. (He actually says ויש ...


8

Depends on what you mean by "Tanna". Generally, in classic sources, the Anshei K'nesses HaGedola refers to the generation of Ezra and Nechemya that built the new community in Israel. Then Shimon HaTzaddik was the last surviving member of that generation. (This creates some chronology problems, but let's take this as a given anyway.) The Tannaim is the name ...


7

The Baal Shem Tov asked this question (Keser Shem Tov Siman 22, quoted by the Lubavitcher Rebbe here) and answered as follows: The Gemora in Chagiga (3b) says that words of Torah are compared to a plant, for just as a plant grows and increases, so the words of Torah grow and increase. This means that when one teaches a Torah idea to another, he is not ...


7

In Maseches Kallah Rabosi (4:2) asks similar questions: 1) why does the Mishnah begin with a Golem, he should have begun with the Chochom (7 things of a Chochom and afterwards 7 things of a Golem)? 2) Why does he enumerate the 7 of the Chochom and not the 7 of the Golem? The Gemara answers: Because he wanted to state the advantages of the Chochom, and the ...


6

First of all, as @msh210 noted, R' Shimon ben Nesanel cannot have said "someone who does not see the consequences of an action", because that is simply the absence of a good trait, but not necessarily a bad one. It would have been equivalent to if R' Eliezer had said "one who does not have a good eye." That said, the simplest way to understand R' Shimon's ...


6

A few answers: It's to make the simple Jews feel better, knowing that they too have a share in Olam Haba, not just the scholars (Kol Bo, cited in Mateh Moshe 486) Before studying the maxims for proper behavior in Pirkei Avos, we want to start off by describing the goal towards which these lead us. (R' Moshe Almosnino, cited there) We recite these chapters ...


6

Mishnayoth regularly employ a style of continuing a train of thought and then returning to a previous thought. It's actually codified by the Gemara as a standard practice of Mishnah, so much so that laws are derived from the juxtaposition of subject to subject within a Mishnah or adjoining Mishnayoth. See Bab. Berachoth 2a, for example ("תנא פתח בערבית והדר ...


6

A few points. 1 - Yabia Omer authored by Rabbi Yehuda Leib Grobart questions why does it say the disciples of Avraham and Bilaam and not Avraham and Bilaam themselves. He answers that Bilaam looked to an outsider like a complete Tzadik however he was a fraud. The only way to tell the difference was by their students and that is why it says the disciples of ...


6

The Maharal says that the twilight period before the first Shabbos has a dual quality. It is still Friday, so it is still a day of creation, but it is Shabbos, a day above creation. So the things created at that time are of a miraculous and not of the natural order, but are still creations of G-d. The Midrash Shmuel says that since Adam sinned before the ...


5

We do not say them that week. Rama OC 553:2


5

The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that there are three opinions as to what "Pen Tishkach" prohibits: Rambam doesn't count it as a Mitzva at all. Moreover, according to the Rambam, one doesn't have to learn Svara, just the final Halacha, so forgetting Bavli would be fine. Ramban says it refers to the giving of the Torah, and the Drash in Avos is an Asmachta ...


5

Our Sages teach that "silence is a fence for wisdom" (Avos 3:13). Rabbeinu Yonah (ibid.) mentions two ways through which silence begets wisdom. Firstly, it trains a person to avoid interrupting his fellow or feeling like he has to speak up even if he does not know the answer to a question, and these qualities are conducive to wisdom. Secondly, as mentioned ...


5

The Baal Shem Tov: When silent one is able to think (about higher worlds - Mizritcher Maggid), which creates wisdom. (Slightly simplified). The Mizritcher Maggid: When silent he receives from levels higher than him, but when being a giver [speaking] he cannot be a receiver.


5

As quoted here from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the theological significance of tongs is that they are preparatory - they exist for the purpose of making something else - and the idea of G-d creating them is that even things which are preparatory to something holy and significant can itself be worthwhile and significant. As for the second question, creation of ...


4

The Alter Rebbe in his Hilchos Talmud Torah (2:1) defines Mishna as Halachic decisions which explain the 613 Mitzvos, their conditions and details, as well as Rabbinic enactments, as statements without their reasons. Talmud (Gemara in that statement - as is clear from the context there and in Chapter 1) on the other hand is the reasons/explanations for the ...


4

Torah L'shma is learning Torah for the sake of learning torah, to learn the Truth. And not, in contrast, to learning Torah in order to be exalted above creation, or to become like a powerful river, or in order to have all the secrets revealed. ;) The irony is lost on many.


4

The Great Synagogue of Rome still says Pirkei Avot between Mincha and Maariv as a communal liturgical recitation in the summer. Source: I was there once. In light of edits to question: They did not do it before Aleinu IIRC, but they did do it before they broke for Seudah Shelishit, so I'd say it was still part of the general Mincha service and not part of ...


4

The Tif'eres Yisrael (commentary on this mishna) says Hilel's maxim is directed at a community leader, and offers a few explanations for it: One should follow the practices of the community. One should act in the best interest of the community, and take their advice, about how to have Torah classes, prayer sessions, or the like. One should feel the pain of ...


4

There are two separate angles the two sources wish to respectively address. Avot intends to list possible degrees of Divine presence, nothing more. The Talmud wishes to detail specific differences in each group, independent of the degree of presence this is why here there is more detail and the number five is missing. First, one who learns Torah, Shechinah ...


3

Maimonides's commentary on Avos explains that when someone has a lot of words he will sin, after all, as it's impossible that among his words won't be one word that's inappropriate to say. He goes on to list five categories of speech: mitzva speech (like Torah study), forbidden speech (like false testimony), inappropriate but not outright forbidden ...


3

Several of your questions are answered in "Vedibarta Bam" on Pirkey Avos. 1. Why is it in Aramaic? Hillel used the Aramaic, the vernacular, in expressing this important belief in retributive justice, so that it would be understood by the masses. He felt it important for them to know that if for any reason whatsoever a murderer or evil-doer is not ...


3

The description of Hashem "making" is part of Ma'aseh Bereishis. That is the items that were not part of the normal "laws of nature" that had been created during the first six days of creation had to be created just before Shabbos, which put a stop to "creation". The actual use of the tongs for metal work had to wait until people had developed their ...


2

The Rambam, in his Commentary on the Mishna, says that both Avraham and Bilaam's characteristics are explicit in the Torah. This could explain why they were chosen. The Tiferet Yisroel, in his commentary on the Mishna, says that the mishna is saying that this applies even to a non-Jew. That's why it chooses Avraham, because the students of Moshe have to ...


2

The Radak explains that קדושיו refers to the ascetics of the world, just like a nazir is called "kadosh" for being an ascetic (similar to the language of נזיר אחיו "[Yosef] elevated over his brothers" (ba)). He is telling them not to fear that they will run out of things to feed themselves — fear only G-d.


2

I'm not sure if this answers the question, but the Tosafot Yom Tov on the Mishna explains that a Golem is not the opposite of a Chacham. He (based on the Bartenura) explains that a Golem means something which is formed, but is unfinished. In our case, someone who has intellect and good character, but has not yet completely refined himself (both ...


2

Like almost any good question in Judaism, there are a variety of opinions. I'll present a few here. In this case, though, I believe that the answers are not necessarily mutually exclusive: at the end of the day, everyone would agree to some extent that all of the following are noble motivations. As the Ben Ish Hai says in the beginning of Parshas Naso (2nd ...


2

The Alter Rebbe in Hilchos Talmud Torah (4:3) defines Lishma as learning LeShem Shamayim - for the sake of heaven. In other words, to do what G-d wants, and not to receive a reward in this world or the next, or because of fear of punishment in this world or the next. Certainly not to be a "Gadol" or any other such intention to use the Torah, or to win ...


2

Rambam Hilchos De'os is halachikally binding except where the Rambam specifically states that it is limited to a Talmid Chacham (e.g. chapter 5). Hilchos De'os contains the specification of no less than 11 Biblical mitzvos including the prohibitions against revenge and lashon hara and these commandments are certainly obligatory. The portions that deal with ...


2

The first Mishna in Pirkei Avot deals with the chain of Mesorah, how the Torah was passed down from generation to generation, starting with Moshe at Sinai. Rav Ovadiah MiBartenura asks what's the relevance of this Mishnah to the rest of the tractate, which seemingly deals with ethics? He answers that this Mishnah was given as an introduction to let us know ...



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