Pirke Avot: A Gateway to Tradition

MJTI has a unique perspective of Jewish tradition. Though we teach that Scripture, both Tanakh and Besorah (New Testament) are God’s ultimate communication to Israel and the world, we also believe that Jewish traditional texts have much to offer. That is, as a body of material written and assembled over many centuries, they embody and expand upon much divine truth.

Pirke Avot is a short tractate of the Talmud which has a great advantage for us: its teachings are very accessible to modern readers. We can connect very easily with its profound practical lessons and spiritual truths. Many other portions of Jewish traditional texts require a great deal of prior awareness of related materials. Pirke Avot lets us in more easily. So, enjoy these little nuggets of divine truth from this section of the Mishnah, many of which originated in the location and general timeframe of Yeshua our Messiah.

1:12 — Hillel and Shammai received (the Torah) from them. Hillel says:

Be disciples of Aaron

loving peace and pursuing peace,

loving people and drawing them near to the Torah.

This month spend some time thinking about how you can become a peacemaker among the people in your world. Your words of encouragement and kindness and your symbolic gestures of peace can make a difference. Given today’s alienating political climate, don’t people need us to take the advice offered by these two great sages of Israel’s ancient past? And as followers of Yeshua, won’t we be more persuasive to others if we take this advice to heart?

This post was written by MJTI President Rabbi Dr. Rich Nichol.

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