Questions tagged [pirke-avot-ethicsof]

The six chapters of Avot, a tractate of Mishnayot.

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2answers
294 views

How to go about finding a personal Rav

The mishna in Avot (1:6) tells us: יהושוע בן פרחיה וניתאי הארבלי קיבלו מהם. יהושוע בן פרחיה אומר, עשה לך רב, וקנה לך חבר; והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות When living in different areas I have gone ...
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478 views

6 chapters of Avos in 7 weeks

Some study pirke Avos weekly through the summer, from Pesach to Rosh Hashana. Others do so only for the six Shabasos between Pesach and Shavuos, one chapter a week. I've heard the latter custom ...
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What is learning torah lishma?

In pirkei avot chapter 6 Rebbi Meir lists various benefits that will happen to one who learns "torah lishma" such as "it is revealed to him the secrets of the Torah. He becomes like an increasingly ...
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what are the “Mishnah” and “Gemara” referenced in Pirkei Avot 5?

At the end of Pirkei Avot 5, we have a statement (of either Ben Hei Hei or R. Yehuda ben Tema --- I have two siddurim with slightly different texts): He used to say: at five years of age, the study ...
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1answer
771 views

What is the reason for the specific items listed in Pirkei Avot 5:6 being created just before Shabbat?

Pirkei Avot chapter 5, mishnah 6 says: Ten things were created at twilight of Shabbat eve. These are: the mouth of the earth [that swallowed Korach]; the mouth of [Miriam's] well; the mouth of [...
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Why is it important that God created the first pair of tongs?

It says in Pirkei Avot 5:6 that God made the first pair of tongs immediately before creation. Could not one have made tongs out of bone or wood wrapped in leather or made with a metal, such as gold, ...
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Are seemingly hashkafik texts like Pirkei Avot and Rambam Hilchot Deot halachikly binding?

A surface read of Pirkei Avot and Hilchot De'ot would suggest that their contents appears to be primarily advice as to how one should proceed over and above the minimal halachik requirements. ...
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Pirkei Avot 2:1 - What does “major” and “minor” mean in terms of mitzvot?

Avot 2:1 והוי זהיר במצווה קלה כבחמורה שאין אתה יודע מתן שכרן של מצוות והוי מחשב הפסד מצווה כנגד שכרה ושכר עבירה כנגד הפסדה Be as careful with a minor mitzvah as with a major one, for you do ...
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Rashi on Tractate Avot

As mentioned here the commentary attributed to Rashi on Avot may not have been authored by him. This is stated by R. Yaakov Emden in the introduction to "Ets Avot". Which other sources state that ...
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4answers
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Is serving Hashem in order to receive reward in Olam Habah ideal?

משנה אבות פרק א משנה ג אַל תִּהְיוּ כַעֲבָדִים הַמְשַׁמְּשִׁין אֶת הָרַב עַל מְנָת לְקַבֵּל פְּרָס, אֶלָּא הֱווּ כַעֲבָדִים הַמְשַׁמְּשִׁין אֶת הָרַב שֶׁלֹּא עַל מְנָת לְקַבֵּל פְּרָס, וִיהִי ...
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What does Avot 6:6 mean when it invokes redemption?

The last element of the list of forty-eight habits of Torah-acquisitive people in Avot 6:6 is, unlike the previous forty-seven, presented with a statement about its particular positive consequences: ...
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Rabbi “shopping”

Is there any explicit halachah against going to different rabbanim to find the most lenient one for a specific shaylah? I know it says in pirkei avos "asei l'cho rav", but what if you don't have a ...
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Pirkei Avos on shabbos during mincha?

It seems clear from the Rama, MB, and other sources (as well as from most printed siddurim) that Pirkei Avos is said in the synagogue at Shabbos Mincha as part of the tefillah in the summer months, ...
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Are we supposed to know which transgressions are light or severe?

I remember learning that we cannot know which commandments are more important than which others -- God gave them all to us and we don't say that we prioritize some over others (aside from the special ...
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How are we supposed to interpret “Derech eretz kadma l'Torah”?

I'm having a lot of trouble understanding how we should interpret the pseudo-midrash "דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה", ~~ "Derech eretz should come before Torah." The actual text of the ...
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3answers
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What does R. Yehudah mean in Avot 2:1 when he states that we do not know the reward of mitzvot?

Pirkei Avot 2:1 (excerpt): רַבִּי אוֹמֵר... וֶהֱוֵי זָהִיר בְּמִצְוָה קַלָּה כְּבַחֲמוּרָה, שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ מַתַּן שְׂכָרָן שֶׁל מִצְוֹת. My translation: Rabbi [Yehuda haNasi] said: ......
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1answer
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What is the mitzvah of tzedakah dependent on?

We learn in the Rambam commentary on Avos (3:19) that it is preferable to give a little bit of tzedakah to many people than a few large amounts to a few people. When does one fulfil the mitzvah of ...
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One who says something in the name of the person who originally said it

The Sages (Avos 6:6) teach: ha'omer davar b'shem omro ("one who says something in the name of the person who originally said it"). We have learned that one who says something in the name of the one ...
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507 views

Do not separate yourself from the community: what exactly is the community?

Hillel teaches in Pirke Avot (2:4): do not separate yourself from the community. I'm not a historian, but I have the impression that at the time he was writing, towns tended to have one (Jewish) ...
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1answer
253 views

Do 20+ Singles Violate Halachah?

Does the practice of 20+ year-old single men not in yeshiva violate halacha? For not getting married at 18 like it is prescribed in Avos? What is the age limit where you can push it off before it ...
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2answers
250 views

The 5th Commandment - Who should be financially supported first - children or parents?

During a recent Pirkei Avot shi'ur in my synagogue, our rabbi discussed two concepts. Jewish Virtual Library citing of Talmud, Tractate Kiddushin 31B Our Rabbis taught: What is "revere" and what ...
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Pirkei Avos on Shabbos Tisha B'Av

When Tisha B'Av comes out on a Shabbos, do we say Pirkei Avos in the cycle on that Shabbos?
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1answer
217 views

Explanation of Avos 2:6?

Is there a comprehensive explanation of Avos 2:6? אַף הוּא רָאָה גֻלְגֹּלֶת אַחַת שֶׁצָּפָה עַל פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם. אָמַר (לָהּ), עַל דַּאֲטֵפְתְּ, אַטְפוּךְ. וְסוֹף מְטַיְּפַיִךְ יְטוּפוּן Why is ...
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Why was the statement of Ben Hei Hei added at the end of Pirkei Avos 5?

The Alter Rebbe of Lubavitch writes: ואף גם זאת דבן ה' למקרא היא ברייתא שלא הובאה בגמרא, ואינה משנה לגירסת הרמב"ם בפירוש המשניות עיין שם במדרש שמואל That the statement of Ben Hei Hei commonly ...
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1answer
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Sefas Emes and your mission

Someone mentioned that the Sefas Emes quotes in the name of the Chiddushei HaRim on that Mishnah (Avos 1:14), אם אין אני לי מי לי, וכשאני לעצמי מה אני, ואם... The Sefas Emes says, Every yid has ...
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Why Start Pirkei Avos With Kol Yisroel?

Why do we start off saying Pirkei Avos by first saying the Mishna from Sanhedrin "Kol Yisroel"?
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Getting married at 18

The Mishna in Avos says that one should get married at 18 , is there a reason for this particular age ?
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Is one suppose to engaged or married eighteen years old?

It says in Avos (5:21), "At eighteen years old לַחֻפָּה." What does לַחֻפָּה mean? Most people translate it to mean for the [marriage] canopy, [enter] the marriage canopy or enters the wedding canopy....
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1answer
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Source in Arabic for “ושמע האמת ממי שאמרה”

Rambam says "ושמע האמת ממי שאמרה" ("Accept the truth from whomever says it") in Shmonah Perakim. Does anyone know what he said in the original Judeo Arabic?
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Do the forty-eight qualities with which Torah is acquired correspond to the days of the counting of the omer?

Pirkei Avot 6:6 includes a list of forty-eight (48) qualities with which Torah is acquired: Study, listening, verbalizing, comprehension of the heart, awe, fear, humility, joy, purity, serving the ...
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1answer
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Not consoling mourners during shiva?

We read in pirkei avos (4:18) the following: רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר אוֹמֵר, אַל תְּרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרְךָ בִשְׁעַת כַּעֲסוֹ, וְאַל תְּנַחֲמֶנּוּ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמֵּתוֹ מֻטָּל לְפָנָיו, וְאַל ...
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Is it permissible for a woman to learn Pirkei Avot & Shulchan Aruch?

Is there anything prohibiting/restricting a woman from reading Pirkei Avot or the Shulchan Aruch?
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Pirkei Avot 2:1 - What does “major” vs. “minor” mean in terms of Rabbinical vs. Torah mitzvot?

Follow up to this M.Y. question. In summary, Pirkei Avot says that we should not compare "major" vs. "minor" mitzvoth for we don't know the reward given to mitzvoth. Frequently, we actually DO ...
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How could Rebbi Zeira forcibly forget his learning?

In Bava Metzia 85a it says that ר' זירא כי סליק לארעא דישראל יתיב מאה תעניתא דלשתכח גמרא בבלאה מיניה Rebbi Zeira, when he left to the land of Israel, fasted 100 times to cause himself to forget ...
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Do you have to judge dead people favorably?

In Avot we learn that one should judge all people favorably ("והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות"). I would like to know if that includes the deceased. Meaning, can I look back on the life of a person who is ...
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Mouth of the donkey (“פִי הָאָתוֹן”): how can the Rambam seem to contradict the mishnah in Pirkei Avos?

NOTE: I heard this question raised in R' Hershel Schachter's parsha shiur (YUTorah - Balak 5779 from 23:28-24:17) The Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim 2:42 writes: וכן ענין בלעם כולו 'בדרך' ודברי ה'אתון' ...
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Who added the sixth chapter of Avot?

The tractate Avot consists of five chapters. At some point, a sixth chapter was "added". This sixth chapter is an adaptation from the eighth (or sixth, depending on edition) chapter of the 'minor' ...
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Why is Pirkei Avot the only mishnah that warrants saying an introductory paragraph?

This related M.Y. question explains the purpose of saying the introductory paragraph Kol Yisra'el prior to learning Pirkei Avot each week. Why is Pirkei Avot, in particular, the only mishna that ...
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Why does the sixth Perek of Avos begin ברוך שבחר בהם ובמשנתם

שנו חכמים בלשון המשנה, ברוך שבחר בהם ובמשנתם Our Sages taught in the words of the Mishnah; blessed is He Who chose them and their Mishnayos In all standard Siddurim that I’ve seen, this phrase ...
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Discrepancies in the Forty-Eight Qualities of Torah

The "sixth chapter" of Avot lists forty-eight qualities with which Torah is acquired. גדולה תורה יותר מן הכהונה ומן המלכות, שהמלכות נקנית בשלשים מעלות, והכהנה בעשרים וארבע, והתורה נקנית בארבעים ...