By Chaim Willis
What can assist us do this? In today’s international, a few search it via making extra money, a few search it via reaching status, a few search it via new and extra dynamic applied sciences, a few search it via severe activities, and a few search it via hedonistic pleasures. a few extra idealistic humans search it via political activism or aiding others.
What only a few humans do to any extent further is search it throughout the knowledge of the “ancients”. The philosophy significant in collage is taken into account a nerd, and the spiritual pupil is taken into account to be certain up in beside the point examine. similar to buyers are searching for the latest app and iPhone, somebody this present day who appears to be like for knowledge (and there aren’t that many) is probably going to hunt it in new and untested philosophies, hoping they are going to encounter the best direction via accident.
This notion is unlucky, as the genuine resource of a route to progress within the glossy global is the Torah, G-d’s “instructions for residing” that got to the Jewish humans greater than three 000 years in the past at Mount Sinai. And the best interpreters of that knowledge are the Sages of the Jewish humans, whose knowledge was once accumulated within the Talmud. And the main entire compilation of the knowledge that folks have to care for the demanding situations of today’s international is Pirkei Avos.
The smooth global began 2 500 years in the past (as may be defined within the first bankruptcy, ‘What is Pirkei Avos?’). Our Sages needed to grapple with the matter of the way to outlive with that means in an international the place the best problem to Judaism used to be the atheism and comparable philosophies brought through the Greek conquest of the land of Israel. The common final result of these philosophies was once hedonism – simply because if G-d isn't really correct, and there's no eternity, the one intellectually constant alternative is to stay a lifetime of transitory excitement by way of every kind of leisure. They, and the Sages who got here after them, used their deep wisdom of Torah to set out the foundations for residing that will be had to struggle for fact and which means in this type of international (and it's the related global and a similar demanding situations today).
It is the objective of this publication to provide an explanation for a few of these ideas, as said by way of the Sages in Pirkei Avos’ first bankruptcy. In it are time-tested instruments for residing which are as very important and worthwhile at the present time as they have been greater than 2 000 years ago.
For observant Jews, who already proportion the honor for Pirkei Avos that every one spiritual Jews have, i'm hoping many of the reasons given the following, and the proper examples used from the realm at the present time, provides you with new insights that can assist you to boost Torah further.
For the Jewish instructor or any Jew curious about outreach to secular Jews, i am hoping those interpretations can help to teach your scholars that the knowledge of the Sages will do extra for them than the fascinating yet empty sights of today’s burdened and harmful world.
For the non-observant Jew, or non-Jew, who lacks familiarity with our Sages and with Pirkei Avos, i am hoping i've got made the reasons of the knowledge of the Sages transparent adequate and engaging sufficient so you might see the deep knowledge of their phrases, even if their phrases have been geared toward an viewers even more accustomed to Torah.
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Additional resources for Sages Online
Sages Online by Chaim Willis