Pirke Avot - Sayings of the Jewish Fathers
150 Pages
English
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Pirke Avot - Sayings of the Jewish Fathers

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150 Pages
English

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Pirke Avot, Traditional TextCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: Pirke Avot Sayings of the Jewish FathersAuthor: Traditional TextRelease Date: July, 2005 [EBook #8547] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first postedon July 22, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PIRKE AVOT ***Produced by Dan Dyckman________________________ TRANSCRIBER'S COMMENTSWhere Hebrew letters appeared within the English text, these have been transliterated and included in brackets. In manycases the hebrew has also been spelled out, thus: [tov (tet-vov-bet)].A ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Pirke Avot,Traditional TextCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers!*****Title: Pirke Avot Sayings of the Jewish Fathers
Author: Traditional TextRelease Date: July, 2005 [EBook #8547] [Yes, weare more than one year ahead of schedule] [Thisfile was first posted on July 22, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK PIRKE AVOT ***Produced by Dan Dyckman TRANSCRIBER'S________________________COMMENTSWhere Hebrew letters appeared within the Englishtext, these have been transliterated and included inbrackets. In many cases the hebrew has also beenspelled out, thus: [tov (tet-vov-bet)].A rare additional transcriber's note may be foundwithin brackets [].The source text contained only one comment in abracket, that should not be confused as atranscriber's note. This is the word [Baden] that
appeared in the Bibliography.Each [s] is the special character known as "section.sign"Where the source text referenced a page numberwithin the same book, the transcriber substituted areference in brackets [] that will be useful forreaders of this e-text version.The source book contained the complete PirkeiAvot, in Hebrew, with vowels. This has, ofnecessity, been omitted from the current e-textdocument, which uses only Roman font.Footnotes all appeared at the bottom of the page,separated by a line from the main text, and printedin the same font and size as the main text. Thetranscriber has moved these footnotes to follow theparagraph they supplement, and indented them.At the end of this e-text, readers will find a sectiontitledTRANSCRIPTION NOTES which deals with issuessuch as accent marks.Following this, readers will find a PAGEREFERENCE INDEX. This reference will helpmaintain the stability of references to this bookfrom outside sources.END of TRANSCRIBER'S COMMENTS
 Library of Jewish Classics==========================  I. Leopold Zunz: The Sufferings of the JewsDuring the Middle Ages II. Hyman Hurwitz: Talmudic Tales III. "Pirek Abot": The Sayings of the JewishFathers     LIBRARY OF JEWISH CLASSICS-III. ________________________________________           The Sayings of the             Jewish Fathers             [pirkei avot]              "PIRKE ABOT" ________________________________________           Translated, with an         Introduction and Notes                  BY       JOSEPH I. GORFINKLE, Ph.D.               Author of"The Eight Chapters of Maimonides on Ethics" _______
SECOND EDITION________________________________________              CONTENTS   PREFACE   INTRODUCTION      Name      Purpose      Description      Contents      Language      Development of Abot      Abot in Liturgy      Bibliography   CHAPTER I   CHAPTER II   CHAPTER III   CHAPTER IV   CHAPTER V   CHAPTER VI   HEBREW TEXT (Appendix)
PREFACENotwithstanding the fact that there are manyeditions of the Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, andthat it has been translated innumerable times in allmodern tongues, no apology need be given for theappearance of this little volume in the series ofJewish Classics. The Pirke Abot is indeed aclassical bit of that ancient Jewish classic, theMishnah.The translation in this edition is based largely uponthat of Taylor, in his Sayings of the Jewish Fathers,and upon the excellent version of Singer, in hisAuthorized Daily Prayer Book.This edition is intended mainly for popular reading,but it has been thought wise to amplify the notes,especially with bibliographical references, so that itmay serve the purpose of a teacher's handbook,and also be useful as a text-book for the highergrades of religious schools and for study circles.The references are to books that are generallyaccessible, and, wherever possible, to books inEnglish. The notes are by no means intended to beexhaustive, but rather to be suggestive.It is the humble hope of the editor that this little
book may be the means of further popularizing thepractical and, at the same time, high-mindedwisdom of the "Fathers"; that it may serve as anincentive to a more detailed study of theirphilosophy of life, and that its appearance mayhelp us to lead in a revival of that most ancient andpraiseworthy custom of reading the Pirke Abot inthe house of worship on the Sabbath, during thesummer months. Let him into whose hands thesesayings fall "meditate upon them day and night,"for "he who would be saintly must fulfil the dicta ofthe Fathers."JOSEPH I GORFINKLE.Mt. Vernon, N. Y.   February, 1913.INTRODUCTION
NAMEThe Tractate Abot (Massechet Abot) is the ninthtreatise of The Order or Series on Damages(Seder Nezikin), which is the fourth section of theMishnah (1). It is commonly known in Hebrew asPirke Abot, The Chapters of the Fathers, and hasalso been termed Mishnat ha-Chasidim, Instructionfor the Pious, because of the Rabbinic saying, "Hewho wishes to be pious, let him practise theteachings of Abot" (2). On account of the nature ofits contents, it is generally designated in English asthe Ethics of the Fathers. Taylor entitles his editionDibre Aboth ha-Olam, Sayings of the Fathers ofth_s as thenglish title, Sayings ofe World, and ha Ethe Jewish Fathers. Gustav Gottheil refers to theAbot as the Sayings of the Pharisaic Fathers (3).Its German title is generally Die Spruche der Vater,and in French it is usually rendered Chapitres orMaximes des Peres.(1) See infra, [Chapter V], n. 61.(2) Baba Kamma, 30a. See Taylor,Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, p. 3.Maimonides refers to this saying in theForeword of his Eight Chapters; seeGorfinkle, The Eight Chapters, etc., p. 34.(3) See Sun and Shield, p. 321 et passim.See infra, n. 8, which accounts for the useof "Pharisaic."The use of the word Abot (fathers), in the title, is of
very ancient date. We can only guess at thereason for its being used, and, consequently, thereare various explanations for it. Samuel de Uceda,in his collective commentary, says that as thistractate of the Mishnah contains the advice andgood counsel, which, for the most part, come froma father, the Rabbis mentioned in it adopt the roleof "fathers," and are therefore so designated. Thisexplanation does not, however, deter him fromadvancing another to the effect that this treatise isthe basis of all subsequent ethical and moralteachings and doctrines, and the Rabbis are, inconsequence, the "fathers" or prototypes of allethical teachers and moralists (4). Loeb attributesits use to the fact that the Rabbis of Abot are the"fathers" or "ancestors of Rabbinic Judaism" (5).Hoffman states that the word abot means"teachers of tradition" (Traditionslehrer), and pointsto the expression abot ha-olam (Eduyot, I. 4),which, translated literally, is "fathers of the world,"but is used to designate the most distinguishedteachers, which is a true characterization of theRabbis of Abot (6). Taylor says in regard to thetitle, "It takes its name from the fact that it consiststo a great extent of the maxims of the JewishFathers whose names are mentioned in the pages"(7). Hoffmann's seems the most acceptableexplanation.(4) Midrash Shemuel (ed. Warsaw, 1876),p. 6. The Midrash Shemuel is a collectivecommentary, first published in Venice in1579, and which has since passed throughsix editions. See p. 22, n. 21.
(5) La Chaine, etc., p. 307, n. 1.(6) See Hoffman, Seder Nesikin, Introd., p.xx, and p. 258, n. 36. In this passage ofEduyot, Hillel and Shammai are referred toas abot ha-olam; in Yerushalmi Shekalim,III, 47b, Rabbi and Ishmael and RabbiAkiba, and in Yerushalmi Chagigah, II,77d, all the pairs of Abot I are similarlydesignated.(7) Taylor, loc. cit.