Pirke Avot Classes
The Adams Street Shul

Congregation Agudas Achim Anshei Sfard

YaffeShlomo02Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe's classes on Pirke Avot, from the spring and summer of 2013:

2013-05-02  Pirke Avot, from 1:18 to 2:1.
(55 minutes)

How do law, truth, and peace compete with each other?  Where is the right balance?  What is a beautiful life?

Jewish wisdom from the second century.

The text under discussion is as follows:


Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel said: On three things the world is sustained: on truth, on judgment, and on peace, as it is it says (Zechariah 8:16):  "Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace."


Rabbi Judah the Prince said:  Which is the proper course that a man should choose for himself?  That which is an honor to him and elicits honor from his fellow men.  Be as scrupulous about a light precept as of a weighty one, for you do not know the reward allotted for each precept.  Balance the loss incurred by the fulfillment of a precept against the gain and the accruing from a transgression against the loss it involves.  Reflect on three things and you will never come to sin:  Know what is above you --a seeing eye, a hearing ear, and all your deeds recorded in a book.