A Fresh Look at Pirkei Avot, The Jewish Center Princeton
January 22, February 5 & 26, 9:30am
Sponsored by The Jewish Center Princeton
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With Joe Rosenstein - In person + virtual
Pirkei Avot is the only tractate of the Mishnah that teaches no laws and tells no stories. Instead, it introduces ethical and judicial principles and advises scholars, wouldbe scholars, and the rest of us how our tradition was transmitted and how to interact with our contemporaries in both intimate and communal settings. Following a lifetime of studying and teaching this text, Joe Rosenstein recently completed a book entitled Reflections on Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers): Not Just What My Rebbe Taught Me, in which he examines each teaching, as is usually done, but in which he also looks at the text from a broader perspective—identifying the primary ethical principles that are contained therein and musing on their continuing relevance.
There will be three sessions. The first session will provide an overview of Pirkei Avot and will review selected teachings. The second session will focus on the major innovations in Judaism that took place in the first two centuries of the common era, as reflected in Pirkei Avot. In the third session, we will read and discuss a selection of the 88 ethical instructions Joe has extracted from Pirkei Avot. You are welcome to attend any or all of these sessions.
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