Friday, May 27, 2011

PIRQE ABOT: What's on its name?

Today is the 23 of Iyar/ 38 days of Omer (5 weeks,3 days)

Pirqe Abot o Massechet Abot is the ninth treatise of The Order of "Damages" (Seder Nezikin), the section of the Mishna which deals with civil law (damages, torts, compensation, etc.). In English is know as the "Chapters of the Fathers", and has also been termed Mishnat ha-Chasidim, "Instruction for the Pious", because of the Rabbinic saying (Baba Kamma, 30a.) "He who wishes to be pious, let him practice the teachings of Abot".

On account of the nature of its content, it is generally designated in English as the "Ethics of the Fathers".

The use of the word Abot (=fathers), in the title, is of very ancient date. There are various explanations for it. Samuel de Uceda, in his collective commentary Midrash Shemuel, says that as this tractate of the Mishnah contains advice and good counsel, which, for the most part, come from a parent, the Rabbis mentioned in it adopt the role of "fathers," and are therefore so designated. Additionally, this treatise is the basis of all subsequent ethical and moral teachings and doctrines, and the Rabbis are, in consequence, the "fathers" or prototypes of all ethical teachers and moralists that will come after them.

The Rabbis of Abot are also the "fathers" or "ancestors of Rabbinic Judaism" also known as CHAZAL. "Abot" is used here as it is used in the Hebrew expression abot ha-olam the "fathers of the world," which designate the most distinguished teachers, which is a true characterization of the Rabbis of Abot


Candle lighting in NYC: 7.58 PM

Shabbat Ends in NYC: 9.07 PM


The more I learned about Israel and Middle East politics, the more I appreciate this 5 minutes presentation