Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers)

Discussion in 'Judaism' started by Avi, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    I have become more interested in learning about ethics and morality and thought it might be fun to post some quotes from Pirke Avot.

    It turns out that this section of the Talmud, which deals with ethical and moral principles, contains no halacha (Jewish religious law).

    Unfortunately, I have an edition which does not contain any commentary or analysis, so I can only offer my own thoughts.


    Part 1 offers three simple rules. I wonder if these three rules are really fundamental in some way ? I am not sure these three rules are the most obvious ? Deliberation ? Disciples ? Torah study certainly makes sense though.

    Look at the high value placed on charity. I like that !!
     
  2. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    And I found some commentary, on-line, but it is pretty conservative (give me that good liberal viewpoint :)):

    Maharal Archives - Torah.org#

    I will return to this commentary shortly.
     
  3. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

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  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Quite interesting you've brought this up.

    Now in my mind there is study....but what is study if you ignore application?

    Let us explore how these three rules apply in the outside world...or inside this forum maybe.

    We've got a code of conduct here...is deciding to join this outfit an implication that one should actually adhere to the code of conduct?

    Say it has a rule...like the rule against multiple aliases for example. Now that rule is in place to insure honesty amongst those that decide to join. Do we actually have to follow that rule if we are studying and applying morality and ethics via the three rules.

    Last first, keep a fence around the Torah...don't dilute the principles...now the Torah may easily trump the CoC in this regard...but what would the Torah have to say about adhering to that rule?

    Second...raise up many desciples...how is that done? I would contend by actions, that your followers follow your actions, therefor if one is to be setting the standard...the abiding by or ignoring the CoC would be an indication of what one would like others to do as well. Yes, no, maybe so?

    First last, be deliberate in judgement...So in contemplating ones actions, in regards to the other two...there isn't much room for shades of grey or making justifications...are we being honest and ethical and abiding by the laws of the book, and (no ORs here) setting the example for others to follow?

    So as I see it, as you've stated it, these are the things that should assist you in making decisions.

    Now I can't say it is the best way...but it is surely one way...and I don't see how one could go wrong.
     
  5. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    The third rule, about "putting a fence" around the actual law, means precisely that you not only follow the rule, but also go beyond what the letter of the rule says, not doing anything that even hints at not following the rule.
     
  6. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    says who? certainly there is halakhah that is/can be derived from this section and even more certainly there is halakhah about following ethical and moral principles!

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     

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