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:

2013-06-06  Pirke Avot, from 2:4 to 2:8.
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(55 minutes)

How do you make your will and God's will coincide?

Jewish wisdom from the second century.

The text under discussion is as follows:

4.

He used to say: Do His will as if it was your will that He may do your will as if it was His will. Make your will of no effect before His will that He may make the will of others of no effect before your will.

5.

Hillel said: Do not separate yourself from the community; and do not trust in yourself until the day of your death. Do not judge your fellow until you are in his place. Do not say something that cannot be understood but will be understood in the end. Say not: When I have time I will study because you may never have the time.

6.

Hillel used to say: A brutish man cannot fear sin; an ignorant man cannot be pious, nor can the shy man learn, or the impatient man teach. He who engages excessively in business cannot become wise. In a place where there are no men strive to be a man.

7.

Moreover he saw a skull floating on the surface of the water and he said unto it: Because you drowned others they drowned you; and those that drowned you will eventually be drowned.

8.

He used to say: The more flesh the more worms; the more possessions the more anxiety; the more women the more witchcraft; the more maidservants the more lewdness, the more manservants the more theft. But the more Torah the more life, the more schooling the more wisdom; the more counsel the more understanding; the more righteousness the more peace. If a man has acquired a good name he has gained something which enriches himself; but if he has acquired words of the Torah he has attained afterlife.