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´╗┐Title: Pirke Avot: The Sayings of the Jewish Fathers
Author: Traditional Text, - To be updated
Language: English
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 Library of Jewish Classics

 I. Leopold Zunz: The Sufferings of the Jews During the Middle Ages
 II. Hyman Hurwitz: Talmudic Tales
 III. "Pirek Abot": The Sayings of the Jewish Fathers


           The Sayings of the
             Jewish Fathers

             [pirkei avot]
              "PIRKE ABOT"

           Translated, with an
         Introduction and Notes


               Author of
 "The Eight Chapters of Maimonides on Ethics"


           _SECOND EDITION_


      Development of Abot
      Abot in Liturgy
   HEBREW TEXT (Appendix)


Notwithstanding the fact that there are many editions of the _Sayings
of the Jewish Fathers_, and that it has been translated innumerable
times in all modern tongues, no apology need be given for the
appearance of this little volume in the series of _Jewish Classics_.
The _Pirke Abot_ is indeed a classical bit of that ancient Jewish
classic, the _Mishnah_.

The translation in this edition is based largely upon that of Taylor,
in his _Sayings of the Jewish Fathers_, and upon the excellent version
of Singer, in his _Authorized 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 it may serve the purpose of a teacher's handbook,
and also be useful as a text-book for the higher grades of religious
schools and for study circles.  The references are to books that are
generally accessible, and, wherever possible, to books in English.
The notes are by no means intended to be exhaustive, but rather to be

It is the humble hope of the editor that this little book may be the
means of further popularizing the practical and, at the same time,
high-minded wisdom of the "Fathers"; that it may serve as an incentive
to a more detailed study of their philosophy of life, and that its
appearance may help us to lead in a revival of that most ancient and
praiseworthy custom of reading the _Pirke Abot_ in the house of
worship on the Sabbath, during the summer months.  Let him into whose
hands these sayings fall "meditate upon them day and night," for "he
who would be saintly must fulfil the dicta of the Fathers."


Mt. Vernon, N. Y.
   February, 1913.



_The Tractate Abot_ (_Massechet Abot_) is the ninth treatise of _The
Order_ or _Series on Damages_ (_Seder Nezikin_), which is the fourth
section of the _Mishnah_ (1).  It is commonly known in Hebrew as
_Pirke Abot_, _The Chapters of the Fathers_, and has also been termed
_Mishnat ha-Chasidim_, _Instruction for the Pious_, because of the
Rabbinic saying, "He who wishes to be pious, let him practise the
teachings of _Abot_" (2).  On account of the nature of its contents,
it is generally designated in English as the _Ethics of the Fathers_.
Taylor entitles his edition _Dibre Aboth ha-Olam_, Sayings of the
Fathers of the World_, and has as the English title, _Sayings of the
Jewish Fathers_.  Gustav Gottheil refers to the _Abot_ 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_
or _Maximes 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 the
      _Foreword_ of his _Eight Chapters_; see Gorfinkle, _The Eight
      Chapters_, etc., p. 34.

      (3) See _Sun and Shield_, p. 321 _et passim_.  See _infra_, n.
      8, which accounts for the use of "_Pharisaic_."

The use of the word _Abot_ (fathers), in the title, is of very ancient
date.  We can only guess at the reason for its being used, and,
consequently, there are various explanations for it.  Samuel de Uceda,
in his collective commentary, says that as this tractate of the
_Mishnah_ contains the advice and good counsel, which, for the most
part, come from a father, the Rabbis mentioned in it adopt the role of
"fathers," and are therefore so designated.  This explanation does
not, however, deter him from advancing another to the effect that this
treatise is the basis of all subsequent ethical and moral teachings
and doctrines, and the Rabbis are, in consequence, the "fathers" or
prototypes of all ethical teachers and moralists (4).  Loeb attributes
its 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 points
to the expression _abot ha-olam_ (_Eduyot_, I. 4), which, translated
literally, is "fathers of the world," but is used to designate the
most distinguished teachers, which is a true characterization of the
Rabbis of _Abot_ (6).  Taylor says in regard to the title, "It takes
its name from the fact that it consists to a great extent of the
maxims of the Jewish Fathers whose names are mentioned in the pages"
(7).  Hoffmann's seems the most acceptable explanation.

      (4) _Midrash Shemuel_ (ed. Warsaw, 1876), p. 6.  The _Midrash
      Shemuel_ is a collective commentary, first published in Venice
      in 1579, and which has since passed through six 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 of _Eduyot_, Hillel and Shammai are
      referred to as _abot ha-olam_; in _Yerushalmi Shekalim_, III,
      47b, Rabbi and Ishmael and Rabbi Akiba, and in _Yerushalmi
      Chagigah_, II, 77d, all the pairs of _Abot_ I are similarly

      (7) Taylor, _loc. cit._


The original aim of _Abot_ was to show the divine source and authority
of the traditional law revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai, and to
demonstrate its continuity from Moses through Joshua, the elders, and
the men of the Great Synagogue, down to those Rabbis who lived during
the period between 200 B.C.E. to 200 C.E.  Loeb maintains that _Abot_
was originally a composition of the Pharisaic Rabbis who wished to
indicate that the traditions held and expounded by them, and which the
Sadducees repudiated, were divine and, in time and sequence,
uninterruptedly authoritative (8).  This line of continuous tradition
is plainly seen in the first two chapters.  A second and probably
later purpose was to present a body of practical maxims and aphorisms
for the daily guidance of the people.

      (8) _La Chaine_, etc.  The Sadducees belonged to the priestly
      and aristocratic families.  They made light of the oral
      traditions, did not believe in the future life, and were
      indifferent to the independence of the Jewish nation.  The
      Pharisees, on the other hand, were constituted largely from
      the common people; they were believers in, and strict
      observers of, the traditional laws, and were ardent
      nationalists.  The bitter attack of Jesus on them, which has
      resulted in making the word "Pharisee" synonymous with
      "hypocrite" and "self-righteous person," was, to say the
      least, unjust, as Herford has so lucidly pointed out in his
      sympathetic study of the Pharisees.  Herford, though not a
      Jew, has taken up the cudgels most ably in defence of this
      sect, with remarkable insight into the life and literature of
      the ancient Jews.  He demonstrates conclusively that though
      there were hypocrites among the Pharisees, as among all
      classes and creeds, yet the average Pharisee was a man of the
      most elevated religious ideals, who misunderstood Jesus, but
      who, in turn was misunderstood by him.  Huxley, in his
      _Evolution of Theology_, says, "of all the strange ironies in
      history, perhaps the strangest is that 'Pharisee' is current
      as a term of reproach among the theological descendants of
      that sect of Nazarenes who, without the martyr spirit of those
      primitive Puritans, would never have come into existence."
      Such great teachers and men of sterling quality and golden
      utterance as Antigonus of Soko (I, 3), Hillel (I, 12-14; II,
      5-8), Jochanan ben Zakkai (II, 9-19), Gamaliel, whose pupil
      was Paul, the apostle (I, 16), and Judah, the Prince (II, 1),
      whose sayings grace the pages of _Abot_, were, as Loeb points
      out, of the Pharisaic school or party.  There is naturally a
      large literature on the Pharisees.  Herford's _Pharisaism_
      deserves careful perusal.  See, also, Josephus (ed.
      Whiston-Margoliouth), _Antiq._, XIII, 10.6, XVIII, 1, 2-4;
      Schurer, _History of the Jews_, etc., II, ii, p. 14 _et seq._;
      _Jewish Encyclopedia_ and literature mentioned there; Geiger,
      _Judaism and Its History_, p. 102 _et seq._, and Friedlander,
      G., _The Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount_, p. 34 _et


The _Sayings of the Jewish Fathers_ is the oldest collection of
ethical dicta of the Rabbis of the _Mishnah_ (9).  It is a Rabbinic
anthology.  It has been happily styled "a compendium of practical
ethics" (10), and, as Mielziner has said, "these Rabbinical sentences,
if properly arranged, present an almost complete code of human duties"
(11).  The _Abot_ is, then, a sort of moral code.

      (9) There was another, and apparently older, recension of
      _Pirke Abot_ on which is based the _Abot de-Rabbi Natan_, an
      _hagadic_ or homiletical exposition of _Abot_.  Two recensions
      of _Abot de-Rabbi Natan_ exist, and have been edited by
      Schechter.  On this work, see Hoffman, _Die erste Mischna_, p.
      26 _et seq._, Mielziner, article _Abot de-Rabbi Natan_, in
      _Jewish Encyclopedia_, Strack, _Einleitung_, p. 69 _et seq.,
      and Pollak, _Rabbi Nathans System_, etc., _Introduction_, pp.
      7-9.  An English translation is found in Rodkinson's edition
      of the _Talmud_, vol. V, p. 1 _et seq._

      (10) Taylor, _loc. cit._  Lazarus, _Ethics of Judaism_, II.
      113, calls it "a compendium of ethics."

      (11) In _Jewish Encyclopedia_, art. _Abot_.


Even a superficial reading of _Abot_ will bring home to one the fact
that it is made up of various strata.  In fact, it falls naturally
into the following strands or divisions:

A. Chapter I, 1-15: Chronologically arranged sayings of the oldest
        authorities, from the men of the Great Synagogue to Hillel
        and Shammai.

B. (1) Chapters I, 16-II, 4: Sayings of the men of the school of
        Hillel to Rabban Gamaliel (about 230 C.E.), the son of Judah

   (2) Chapter II, 5-8: Additional sayings of Hillel.

C. (1) Chapter II, 9-19: The sayings of Jochanan ben Zakkai, the
        pupil of Hillel, and of his disciples.

   (2) Chapter II, 20-21: The sayings of Rabbi Tarfon, a younger
        contemporary of Jochanan ben Zakkai.

D. Chapter III: the maxims of seventeen _Tannaim_ (authorities
        mentioned in the _Mishnah_) to the time of and including
        Rabbi Akiba.  These are not arranged in strictly
        chronological order.

E. Chapter IV: The sayings of twenty-five _Tannaim_ after the time
        of Rabbi Akiba, who were contemporaries of Rabbi Meir and of
        Rabbi Judah Ha-Nasi.  These are not chronologically arranged.

F. (1) Chapter V, 1-18: Anonymous sayings forming a series of groups
        of ten, seven, and four things, dealing with the creation of
        the world, with miracles, and with the varieties of men and

   (2) Chapter V, 19-22: Anonymous sayings touching upon the
        varieties of motives and contrasting the good and evil

   (3) Chapter V, 23: Sayings of Judah ben Tema.

   (4) Chapter V, 24: The ages of man.

   (5) Chapter V, 25, 26: The sayings of Ben Bag Bag and of Ben He

G. Chapter VI: The acquisition of the _Torah;_ praise of the


The language of _Abot_ is easy Mishnaic Hebrew, with portions of four
verses (I, 13; II, 7; V, 25, and V, 26) in Aramaic, which is closely
related to Hebrew.  It is worthy of note that these Aramaic portions
originated with the school of Hillel (12).

      (12) On the language of the _Mishnah_, see Mielziner,
      _Introduction to the Talmud_, pp. 15-16, and Lauterbach in
      _Jewish Encyclopedia_, vol II, p. 614.  On the use of Aramaic
      in the _Mishnah_, see Schurer, _History_, I, ii, p. 8 _et
      seq._, and Bacher, in _Jewish Encyclopedia_, art. _Aramaic
      Language Among the Jews_.  Several centuries before the common
      era, Aramaic was the vernacular of the Jews.  Hebrew, however,
      remained in use as the sacred language ([lashon ha-kodesh]),
      it being the language of the learned, and was employed for
      literary, liturgical, and legal purposes.  This accounts for
      the Mishnah being written almost entirely in Hebrew, though
      Aramaic was spoken on the streets.  It is related of Judah
      ha-Nasi that he disliked the Aramaic jargon to such an extent
      that he forbade its use in his home, where even the servants
      spoke Hebrew with elegance (_Rosh ha-Shanah_, 26b).  When
      scholars used Aramaic in his presence, he chided them for not
      speaking in Hebrew or in Greek (_Baba Kamma_, 82b).


      (13) On the subject-matter of this section, consult Hoffmann,
      _Die erste Mischna_, pp. 26-37; idem, _Mischnaiot Seder
      Nesikin_, _Introd._, pp. XX-XXI; Brull, _Enstehung und
      ursprunglicher Inhalt des Traktates Abot;_ Loeb, _La Chaine_,
      etc.; Ginzburg, _Spruche der Vater, erstes Capitel historisch
      beleuchtet_ (Liepzig, 1889); Strack, _Die Spruche der Vater_,
      _Introd._, pp. 7-8; idem, _Einleitung_, p. 52, and Rawicz,
      _Commentar des Maimonides_, p. 105, n. 3.

It is apparent from the literary construction of _Abot_ that it has
been edited several times, and that, in its earliest form, the
_Abot_ collection was much smaller than we have it to-day.  Originally,
probably shortly after the time of Hillel, it may have been merely a
sort of appendix to the _Tractate Sanhedrin_, with typical sayings of
each of the heads of the _Sanhedrin_.  These dicta are contained in
what is designated as section A.  Later, presumably by Rabbi Akiba,
there were added to this original kernel of _Abot_ the sayings of
Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkai and his most illustrious pupils, which
comprise section C.  This resulted in the grouping together of the
sayings of ten generations of traditional authorities, as follows:
(1) the men of the Great Synagogue, (2) Simon, the Just, (3) Antigonus
of Soko, (4) Jose ben Joezer and Jose ben Jochanan, (5) Joshua ben
Perachiah and Nittai, the Arbelite, (6) Judah ben Tabbai and Simeon
ben Shatach, (7) Shemaiah and Abtalion, (8) Hillel and Shammai, (9)
Jochanan ben Zakkai, and (10) the latter's disciples.  By association
of idea with this number ten, there were added to this collection
numerical sayings of ten, and, then, others of seven and four, found
in chapter V, 1-9 and 10-13.

Into this enlarged kernel of pithy sayings of the oldest authorities,
which may be characterized as the _Abot of Rabbi Akiba_, later
_Tannaim_--Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi, and others--interpolated
additional sayings of the afore-mentioned Rabbis, and also typical
utterances of their disciples, and of other well-known teachers.  This
accounts for the presence in _Abot_ of the body of maxims of the six
generations of the school of Hillel, designated above as section B 1,
and which was very properly introduce after the aphorisms of Hillel
and of his contemporary, Shammai.  The thread of tradition being
interrupted by this interpolation, it was again taken up by the
introduction of another body of Hillel's sayings (B 2), thus providing
for a natural transition from Hillel to Jochanan ben Zakkai.  Proof of
the fact that section B is an addition is that in the _Abot de-Rabbi
Natan_--which, as has been said above, is based on an older version of
_Abot_ (14)--the sayings of Jochanan ben Zakkai follow immediately
upon those of Shammai.  The sayings of Judah ha-Nasi, the redactor of
the _Mishnah_, and of Rabbi Gamaliel, his son, were undoubtedly added
after the time of Judah.

      (14) See _supra_, p. 13, n. 9.

Chapter III contains the sayings of authorities who were the
predecessors of Judah, the first two having lived before the
destruction of the second Temple.  Chapter IV is made up of the dicta
of a number of Rabbis who were contemporaries of Judah.  These two
chapters were, no doubt, inserted by Judah, the redactor of the
_Mishnah_ as we virtually have it to-day.  Evidence that Chapter IV is
an addition to the original _Abot_ is that it has a number of
aphorisms which are repetitions of some found in Chapters I and II.
The greater part of Chapter V, as stated above, was a portion of the
_Abot_ of Rabbi Akiba.

Chapter VI, which is known as _The Chapter on the Acquisition of
Torah_ (_Perek Kinyan Torah_), as _The External Teaching of the Abot_
(_Baraita de-Abot_) (15), as _The Chapter of Rabbi Meir_ (_Perek Rabbi
Meir_) (16), and as _the External Teaching of Rabbi Meir_ (_Baraita
de-Rabbi Meir_), is a supplement of the treatise _Abot_, as is claimed
for it by its superscription, "the sages taught in the language of the
_Mishnah_," a formula generally used in the _Talmud_ to introduce a
_Baraita_.  One of the authorities mentioned in it is Joshua ben Levi,
a Palestinian _amora_ (an authority of the _Gemara_) who lived during
the third century.  This demonstrates the comparatively late date of
the final redaction of this chapter.  By the middle of the ninth
century it formed a part of the treatise _Abot_.  It was added to the
prayer-book to be read on the sixth Sabbath of the period between
Passover and the Festival of Weeks (_Shebuot_) (17).

      (15) A _Baraita_ contains traditions and opinions of
      authorities of the _Mishnah_ which are not embodied in the
      _Mishnah_ or Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi.  See Mielziner,
      _Introduction to the Talmud_, pp. 20-21, Strack, _Einleitung
      in den Talmud_, p. 3, and the _Jewish Encyclopedia_, _s.v._  A
      _gemara_ (Talmudical commentary) to the _Baraita de-Abot_ was
      published from a MS. by Coronel in _Chamishah Kuntresin_
      (Vienna, 1864).  This _baraita_ is found also in the
      seventeenth chapter of _Tanna de-Be Eliyahu Sutta_, but with
      different textual readings.  See Ginzberg, in the _Jewish
      Encyclopedia_, II, pp. 516-517.

      (16) Known thus because Rabbi Meir's name is found in the
      first verse.

      (17) See next section.  The sixth chapter is found in some
      editions of the _Mishnah_.

         ABOT IN THE LITURGY (18)

      (18) On the subject-matter of this section, see the citation
      from the Sar Shalom Gaon, in the _Siddur_ of R. Amram, 30a;
      _Midrash Shemual_, pp. 3-4; Zunz, _Die Ritus_, pp. 85-86;
      Strack, _Die Spruche der Vater_, p. 5, and _Siddur_, ed. Baer,
      p. 271, note.  Other portions of the _Mishnah_ and also of the
      _Talmud_ that are included in the liturgy are, in the morning
      service, _Zebachim_ V (_Siddur_, ed. Singer, p. 11); in the
      evening service for the Sabbath, _Sabbat_, II (pp. 120-122),
      and, from the _Talmud_, end of _Berachot_ (p. 122); in the
      additional service for Sabbath and festivals, from the _Talmud
      Keritot_, 6a, from the _Mishnah_, end of _Tamid_, and from the
      _Talmud_, end of _Berachot_ (pp. 167-168).

As Taylor has said, "Its simplicity and intrinsic excellence have
secured for _Abot_ a widespread and lasting popularity, and have led
to its being excerpted from the _Talmud_ and used liturgically in the
Synagogue, at certain seasons, from an early period" (19).  Thus, the
_Abot_ is found not only in all editions of the _Mishnah_ and the
_Talmud_, but also in the prayer-books of the Ashkenazic rite (20).
The practice of reading a chapter from _Abot_, on Saturday, after the
afternoon prayer (_Minchah_), originated as early as Gaonic times
(seventh to eleventh centuries).  During the middle of the ninth
century, _Abot_ and its _Baraita_ were thus liturgically used.  In
Spanish communities it was recited in the morning of the Sabbath, and
not in the afternoon.  By the eleventh century, this custom was
universally a part of the synagogal service.

      (19) Taylor, _loc. cit._

      (20) German and Polish.

Originally, _Abot_ was probably read only from Passover to _Shebuot;_
and, since this period has generally six Sabbaths, and there are only
five chapters of _Abot_, the chapter _Kinyan Torah_ was appointed to
be read on the sixth Sabbath.  Later, the period of the year in which
_Abot_ was read varied in different communities.  In Germany, there
were _kehillot_ in which it was recited during the winter as well as
during the summer.  In some communities it was read from Passover to
the Feast of Tabernacles (_Sukkot_), in others from the Sabbath of
_Parashah Yitro_ (Ex. XVIII, 1-XX, 26) to the Sabbath of _Parashah
Masse'e_ (Num. XXXIII, 1-XXXVI, 13), that is, from the Sabbath on
which is read an account of the giving of the Law until the Sabbath
preceding the beginning of the reading of the "repetition of the Law,"
_i.e._, Deuteronomy.  In many orthodox congregations to-day this
practice is still adhered to, and _Abot_ is read on Sabbath afternoons
during the summer, or from the Sabbath after Passover to the Sabbath
before the New Year (_Rosh ha-Shanah_).

A number of reasons have been suggested for the custom of reading the
_Abot_ in the synagogue, the most likely being that it was introduced
to occupy the minds of worshippers during the long wait, on a summer's
day, between the afternoon and evening services.  Whatever the reason
for this custom may have been is immaterial and unimportant; but what
is of importance is that, by this excellent practice, a whole body of
moral dicta--each one summing up with remarkable conciseness a life's
experience and philosophy, each one breathing the spirit of piety,
saintliness, justice, and love for humanity--has sunk deeply into the
innermost heart and consciousness of the Jewish people, exerting such
an influence that the principles set forth in the _Abot_ have been
eternally wrought into the moral fibre of the descendants of the
Rabbis.  To the lips of the Jew, these maxims spring spontaneously; to
those who know them they are a safe and secure guide through life;
they are not only heard in the synagogue, but are quoted and applied
at home and abroad.  Such are the fruits of a benign custom, which
Israel will do well to prize and preserve.


Because of its great popularity, the _Pirke Abot_ has appeared in many
editions.  There is no _Gemara_ (Talmudic commentary) on the _Abot_,
which undoubtedly accounts for the numerous commentaries on it (21).
Because of the attractiveness of its contents, and since it forms a
part of the ritual, it has been translated many times into many
tongues (22), and a great deal has been written on it.  The following
bibliography will be helpful to the general reader and to the student
who wish to get a more detailed and intimate knowledge of the _Abot_
than can be imparted in this work.

      (21) There are more than thirty-five.  The best known is that
      of Maimonides (1135-1204), which was written originally in
      Arabic, as part of his commentary on the _Mishnah_.  A
      commentary has been attributed to Rashi.  Other commentaries
      are by (1) Rabbi Jacob ben Shimshon, found in the _Machzor
      Vitry_ (see Taylor, _Introd._, p. 5; _Appendix_, p. 23; (2)
      Rabbi Israel of Toledo, in Arabic (twelfth to thirteenth
      century; see Taylor, _Introd._, p. 5, _Appendix_, p. 46 _et
      seq.__; (3) Simon Duran (1361-1444), _Magen Abot;_ first
      edition, Livorno, 1763; ed. Jellinek, Leipzig, 1855; (4)
      Bertinora (died 1510), in his popular commentary on the
      _Mishnah;_ (5) Isaac ben Judah Abrabanel, _Nachalot Abot;_ ed.
      Constantinople, 1505; (6) Samuel de Uceda, _Midrash Shemual;_
      venice, 1579, 1585, 1597, 1600, Cracow, 1594, Frankfurt a. M.,
      1713, Warsaw, 1876; (7) Yom Tob Lippman Heller (1579-1654), in
      _Tosefot Yom Tob_, on the _Mishnah;_ (8) elijah, Gaon of Wilna
      (1720-1797), in _Siddur Tefillat Yacob_, Berlin, 1864; and (9)
      S. Baer, in _Siddur Abodat Yisroel_, Rodelheim, 1868.  There
      is also  acommentary, by Naphtali Herts Wessely, known as
      _Yayin Lebanon_, Berlin, 1774-1775, which has been translated
      into English, in the _Hebrew Review_ (edited by Morris J.
      Raphall, London, 1835-1837), Vol. I, p. 177, p. 193, and

      (22) Mischoff, in his _Kritische Geschichte der
      Talmud-Uebersetzungen aller Zeigen und Zungen_ (Frankfurt a.
      M., 1899), [s] 56, has a list of 62 translations and of 15
      partial translations.  Others have appeared since this list
      was made.  For English translation, consult this list.

   _Editions_ (23), _Commentaries_, _and Translations_

      (23) A list of editions, mostly earlier than those mentioned
      here, and of the _Abot_ in _Mishnah_ editions may be found in
      Steinschneider, _Catalogue Librorum Hebraeorum in Bibliotheca
      Bodleiana_ (Berlin, 1852-1860), No. 1433-1519, 1982-2034; M.
      Roest, _Catalog der Hebraica und Judaica_ (Amsterdam, 1875),
      pp. 818-821, 824-828; and Strack, _Spruche_, pp. 8-9.

1. Joshua ben Mordecai Falk ha-Kohen, _Abne Yehoshua al Pirke Abot_
(New York, 1860).  Text and commentary (24).

      (24) Falk has been called the "father of American Hebrew

2. Abraham Geiger, _Pirke Aboth_, in _Nachgelassene Schriften_
(Berlin, 1877), vol. IV, pp. 281-344.  A commentary on Chaps. I-III.
Scholarly and valuable.

3. Solomon Schechter, _Abot de-Rabbi Natan_ (Vienna, 1877).  Contains
two versions, A and B, with an introduction and notes in Hebrew.  A
scholarly and valuable work.

4. Joseph Jabetz, _Pirke Abot_, with a commentary (Warsaw, 1880).

5. Charles Taylor, (1) _Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, Comprising
Pirqe Aboth and Perek R. Meir in Hebrew and English, with Notes and
Excurses_.  Second edition (Cambridge, 1897).
       (2) _An Appendix of the Sayings of the Jewish Fathers,
Containing a Catalogue of Manuscripts and Notes on the Text of Aboth_
(Cambridge, 1900).  These works are very comprehensive and full of
valuable material.

6. A. Berliner, _Commentar zu den Spruchen der Vater, aus Machzor
Vitry, mit Beitragen_ (Frankfurt a. M., 1897).

7. David Hoffmann, _Masseket Abot_, in _Mischnaiot Seder Nesikin_
(Berlin, 1899), pp. 327-367.  Fully annotated, with a translation in
German, and constant reference to Rabbinical sources.  Excellent.

8. Hermann L. Strack, _Die Spruche der Vater_, ein ethischer
Mischna-Traktat_, third edition (Leipzig, 1901).  An excellent text
with notes.  Very valuable.

9. Lazarus Goldschmidt, in _Talmud Babli, Der Babylonische Talmud_
(Berline, 1903), vol. VII, p. 1151 _et seq_.  Based on oldest texts of
_Abot_.  Textual variants and German translation with notes.  Very

10. Simeon Singer, _Perke Abot, Ethics of the Fathers_, in _The
Authorized Daily Prayer Book_.  Eighth edition (London, 5668-1908),
pp. 184-209.  Hebrew text, with an excellent English translation, and
a few notes.

11. Kaim Pollak, _Rabbi Nathans System der Ethik un Moral_ (Budapest,
1905).  A translation in German, with notes, of _Abot de Rabbi Natan_
(Schechter's version A).

12. Paul Fiebig, _Pirque 'aboth, Der Mischnahtraktat Spruche der
Vater_ (Tubingen, 1906).  German translation and notes, with especial
reference to the New Testament.  The _Nachwort_, pp. 42-43, consists
of a comparison of _Abot_ with the New Testament, pointing out the
likenesses and differences.

13. Josef ibn Nachmia's, _Perush Pirke Abot, Commentar zu den Pirke
Abot . . . nach der Parmaer Hadschrift De Rossi Nr_. 1402 . . . _mit
Anmerkungen von_ M. L. Bamberger (Berlin, 1907).

14. M. Rawicz, _Der Commentar der Maimonides zu den Spruchen der
Vater, zum ersten Male ins Deutsch ubertragen_ (Offenberg [Baden],
1910).  Contains "The Eight Chapters" (25).

      (25) The _Eight Chapters_ is the introduction of Maimonides to
      his commentary on _Abot_.  Its Hebrew name is _Shemonah
      Perakim_.  It is a remarkable instance of the harmonious
      welding of the ethical principles contained in _Abot_ with
      mediaeval Aristotelian philosophy.

15. _Sefer Musar, Kommentar zum Mischnatraktat Aboth von R. Joseph ben
Jehudah.  Zum ersten Male herausgegeben von_ Dr. Wilhelm Bacher.  In
the _Schriften des Vereins Makize Nirdamim_. 3. Folge, Nr. 6 (Berlin,

16. M. Lehmann, _Pirke Aboth, Spruche der Vater uberzetzt und erklart_
(Frankfurt a. M., 1909).

17. Jehudah Leb Gordon, _Perki Abot_, in _Siddur Bet Yehudah_ (New
York, 5672, 1911-12), pp. 106-165.  Prayer-book according to the
Ashkenazic rite, with Yiddish translation and notes.  Contains
biographical sketches of all the authorities mentioned in _Abot_.

18. Jules Wolff, _Les Huit Chapitres de Maimonide, ou Introduction a
la Mischna d'Aboth, Maximes des Peres_ (_de la Synagogue_).  _Traduits
de l'Arabe_ (Lausanne, Paris, 1912).

19. Joseph I. Gorfinkle, _The Eight Chapters of Maimonides on Ethics,
Edited, Annotated, and Translated with an Introduction_ (New York,
1912).  Columbia University Oriental Studies, vol. VII (26).

      (26) A list of MSS., editions, translations, and commentaries
      of the _Eight Chapters_, some including _Abot_, is found on
      pp.27-33 of this work.

         _Homiletical Works_

1. Lazarus Adler, _Spruche der Vater_ (Furth, 1851).

2. W. Aloys Meisel, _Homilien uber die Spruche der Vater_ (1885).

3. Alexander Kohut, _The Ethics of the Fathers_ (New York, 1885).
Translated from the German by Max Cohen.

         _General Works_

Abelson, J. _The Immanence of God in Rabbinical Literature_ (London,

Bacher, Wilhelm, (1) _Die Agada der Tanaiten_, I, II, (Strassburg,
1884, 1890).
       (2) _Zwei alte Abotkommentare, in Monatschrift fur Geschichte
und Wiss. d. Judenthums_, 1095, pp. 637-666; 1906, pp. 248-248.

Brull, _Enstehung und ursprunglicher Inhalt des Traktates Abot_, in
_Jahrbucher fur Jud. Geschichte und Lit._, VII (1885).

Danziger, _Jewish Forerunners of Christianity_ (New York, 1903).

Dukes, _Rabbinische Blumenlese_ (Leipzig, 1844), pp. 67-84.

Friedlander, M. _The Jewish Religion_ (London, 1902).

Friedlander, G., _The Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount_
(London, 1911).

Geiger, _Judaism and its History_ (New York, 1911).

Graetz, _History of the Jews_.

Herford, _Pharasaism_ (London, 1912).

Hoffmann, _Die erste Mischna und die Contraversen der Tannaim_
(Berlin, 1882).

Isaacs, _Stories from the Rabbis_ (New York, 1893).

_Jewish Encyclopedia_.

Josephus, _Antiquities_.

Jung, _Kritik der samtlichen Bucher Aboth in der althebraischen
Literatur_ (Leipzig, 1888).

Lazarus, _The Ethics of Judaism_ (Philadelphia, 1900).

Loeb, (1) _La Chaine de la Tradition dans le premier Chapitre des
Pirke Abot_, in _Bibliotheque de l'ecole des hautes Etudes, Sciences
religeuses_, vol. I, pp. 307-322 (Paris, 1889).
        (2) _Notes sur le chapitre Ier des Perke Abot_, in _Revue des
Etudes Juives_, Vol. XIX (1889), pp. 188-201.

Mielziner, (1) _Introduction to the Talmud_, second edition (New York,
        (2) Articles _Abot_ and _Abot de-R. Natan_, in _Jewish

Myers, _The Story of the Jewish People_, I (New York and London,

Schechter, _Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology_ (New York, 1909).

Schurer, _Some Aspects of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus
Christ_ (27) (New York, 1891), I, i, p. 124; I, ii, p. 353 _et seq_.;
III, ii, p. 30 _et seq_.

      (27) Contains very full bibliographies and has other excellent
      characteristics, but it is a work that must be used with
      caution.  Its chief fault, according to Schechter, is that it
      is one of a class of works in which "no attempt is made . . .
      to gain acquaintance with the inner life of the Jewish nation"
      (_Studies_, II, pp. 119-120).

Strack, _Einleitung in den Talmud_, fourth edition (Leipzig, 1908).

Zunz, (1) _Die Gottesdienstlichen Vortrage der Juden_ (Berlin, 1832),
p. 101 _et seq_.
       (2) _Die Ritus des Synagogalen Gottesdienstes_ (Berlin, 1859).


_One of the following chapters is read on each Sabbath from the
Sabbath after Passover until the Sabbath before New Year._

All Israel (1) have a portion in the world to come, and it is said,
"And thy people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land
(2) for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I
may be glorified" (3).

      (1) This does not mean that Israel alone, to the exclusion of
      other nations, will have a portion in the future world.  On
      the future world ([olam haba]), see [Chapter II], n. 21.  "The
      pious of all nations have a portion in the world to come"
      (_Tosefta Sanhedrin_, chap. XII; Maimonides, in _Mishneh
      Torah_, I, _Hilchot Teshubah_, iii, 5) sums up the Rabbinic

      (2) _I.e._, the land of everlasting life.

      (3) _Sanhedrin_, X (XI), 1; Isaiah lx, 21.  This passage is
      recited before each chapter.


1. Moses received the _Torah_ (4) from Sinai (5), and handed it down
to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders (6), and the elders to the
prophets, and the prophets delivered it to the men of the Great
Synagogue (7).  They said three things, "Be deliberate in judgment;
raise up many disciples; and make a fence about the _Torah_" (8).

      (4) The word _Torah_ is usually translated by "law," but it
      means rather "teaching," "instruction" of any kind, or
      "doctrine."  This term is generally used to designate the
      _Five Books of Moses_ or the _Pentateuch_, called the "written
      law" ([torah shebichtav]), but it is also employed as a
      designation of the whole of the Old Testament.  Besides the
      "written law," according to tradition, there was also
      communicated to Moses, on Mt. Sinai, the "oral law" ([torah
      she'b'al peh]), supplementing the former and other laws and
      maxims, and explaining it.  This "oral law" was handed down by
      word of mouth from generation to generation, but subsequently,
      after the destruction of the second Temple, it was committed
      to writing, and constitutes the _Mishnah_, the _Talmud_, and
      the _Midrashim_.  The "oral law" develops, illuminates, and
      comments upon the "written law."  Here, _Torah_ means the
      "oral law," which Moses communicated to Joshua, Joshua, in
      turn, to the elders, and so on.  See Taylor, _Sayings of the
      Jewish Fathers_, p. 105 _et seq._, and 134-135; Friedlander,
      _The Jewish Religion_, p. 136 _et seq._; _Jewish
      Encyclopedia_, arts. _Law and Oral Law;_  Schechter, _Some
      Aspects of Rabbinic Theology_, Chapter VIII; Strack,
      _Einleitung_, pp. 9-10, and Herford, _Pharisaism_, chapter on
      "the Theory of Torah," p. 57 _et seq._

      (5) _I.e._, from God.  Compare the expression [halacha l'moshe
      misinai], "the law to Moses from Sinai (God)," _Peah_, II, 6,
      _Eduyot_, VIII, 7, etc.

      (6) The elders were the wise men who were the members of the
      supreme national tribunal.  See Joshua XXIV, 31.

      (7) The Great Synagogue, whose establishment, after the return
      from Babylonian captivity, tradition attributes to Ezra the
      Scribe, consisted of 120 men, who comprised the highest
      judicial tribunal, and who occupied a position in the early
      days of the Temple similar to that of the later _Sanhedrin_.
      The historical foundation of this tradition is Nehemiah
      VIII-X, in which is recounted the solemn acceptance of the Law
      by a great assembly of the people.  The men of the Great
      Synagogue appear here in _Abot_ as the depositaries of the
      tradition of the _Torah_, coming in the chain between the last
      prophets and the earliest scribes.  From this chapter and
      other Rabbinical sources, we gather that the men of the Great
      Synagogue constituted a sort of college of teachers, one of
      the last survivors being Simon, the Just (Chapter I, 2).
      Their work was to interpret, teach, and develop the _Torah_,
      and to them were ascribed all kinds of legal enactments.  They
      instituted the _Shemoneh Esrah_ (the Eighteen Benedictions)
      and other prayers, and cast the entire ritual into definite
      shape.  They admitted _Proverbs_, the _Song of Songs_, and
      _Ecclesiastes_ into the Old Testament canon.  A number of
      modern scholars, notably Kuenen, are of the opinion that this
      body never existed in the form represented by Jewish tradition
      (see Schurer, _History_, I, ii, pp. 354-355).  On the
      controversy regarding the existence of the Great Synagogue see
      Schechter, _Studies_, II, 105-106.  Consult Taylor, _ibid._,
      pp. 110-111; Graetz, _History of the Jews_, vol. I, p. 381,
      394, vol. II, p. 19.  For further bibliography, see Strack,
      _Spruche_, p. 11.  See especially Herford, _Pharisaism_. pp.

      (8) Take measures to prevent the breaking of any of the divine
      precepts.  Thereby, certain things which are in themselves
      lawful are prohibited in order to enforce the observance of
      things the doing of which is unlawful.  Compare Leviticus
      XVIII, 30, "make a _mishmeret_ to my _mishmeret_" (_Yabamot_,
      21a), and _Abot_, III, 17, "the _Massorah_ is a fence to the

2. Simon, the Just (9), was of the last survivors of the Great
Synagogue.  He used to say, "Upon three things the world rests: upon
the _Torah_, upon the Temple service (10), and upon the doing of acts
of kindness" (11).

      (9) Simon, the Just, son of Onias, was high-priest about 300
      B.C.E.  See Josephus, _Antiquities_, XII, ii, 5.  Consult
      Sammter, _Mischnaioth Ordnung Zeraim_ (Berlin, 1887),
      _Introduction_, pp. 10-22; Meilziner, _Introduction to the
      Talmud_, pp. 22-39; the _Jewish Encyclopedia_, and Strack,
      _Einleitung_, p. 82 _et seq._, for the lives of the
      authorities mentioned in _Abot_ and for bibliographies.

      (10) Cf. _Nedarim_, 32b, "Great is the _Torah_, for if it did
      not exist, the heaven and the earth would have no permanence."
       _Abodah_ is the service and sacrifice of the Temple which was
      then standing.  After the destruction of the Temple, this word
      was used to designate the service of prayer.  It is used in
      one of the benedictions after the reading of the _Haftarah_:
      _al ha-torah we-al ha-abodah_, "for the law and for the divine
      service," see _Prayer-book_, ed. Singer, p. 149.  See
      Friedlander, _ibid._, p. 413 _et seq._

      (11) [g'milut chasadim] "benevolence," "the doing of
      kindnesses," consists of practical deeds of personal service,
      as visiting the sick, burying the dead, comforting mourners,
      peacemaking, etc.  It is greater than [tzedakah] "charity" in
      its narrower sense, as benevolence may be shown to the rich as
      well as to the poor.  See Friedlander, _ibid._, pp. 301-305.
      On this verse, see Herford, _ibid._, p. 22 _et seq._

3. Antigonus of Soko (12) received (the tradition) from Simon, the
Just.  He used to say, "Be not like hirelings who work for their
master for the sake of receiving recompense; but be like servants who
minister to their master without any thought of receiving a reward;
and let the fear of Heaven (13) be upon you."

      (12) According to _Abot de-Rabbi Natan_, Chapter V, ed.
      Schechter, p. 26, Antigonus had two disciples, Zadok and
      Boethos, from whom arose the Sadducees and the heretical sect
      of Boethusians, from their misinterpretation of this verse,
      both denying the doctrines of immortality of the soul and
      resurrection.  Se Kohut, _The Ethics of the Fathers_, p. 43;
      Schurer, _History_, II, ii. p. 29 _et seq._; Geiger, _Judaism
      and Its History_, p. 99 _et seq._; and _Jewish Encyclopedia_,
      arts. _Boethusians_ and _Sadducees_.

      (13) "The fear of Heaven" does not mean dread of punishment,
      but rather awe at the greatness and might of God, and is
      identical with love and service (see Deuteronomy, VI, 13 and
      X, 12).  It is produced by following out the practices
      ordained in the _Torah_ (Maimonides, _Guide for the
      Perplexed_, ed. Friedlander, p. 392).  Consult Friedlander,
      _Jewish Religion_, pp. 273-274, the _Jewish Encyclopedia_,
      art. _Fear of God_, and Schechter, _Aspects_, p. 72.

4. Jose, the son of Joezer, of Zeredah, and Jose, the son of Jochanan
(14), of Jerusalem received (the tradition) from them (15).  Jose, the
son of Joezer, of Zeredah said, "Let thy house be a meeting-place for
the wise; cover thyself with the dust of their feet (16), and drink in
their words with thirst."

      (14) In _Chagigah_, II, 2, we are told that when two leading
      teachers are named in the _Mishnah_ as having received the
      _Torah_, they constitute a "pair" ([zug]), the first being the
      president([nasi]), and the second the vice-president ([av beit
      din]) of the _Sanhedrin_.  There were five pairs of such
      teachers, flourishing between 170 and 30 B.C.E., the first
      being Jose b. Joezer and Jose b. Jochanan, and the last being
      Hillel and Shammai.  See Frankel, _Monatschrift_, 1852, pp.
      405-421, Mielziner, _Introduction_, pp. 22-23, and Strack,
      _Spruche_, p. 13.

      (15) Some texts read "from him" ([mimenu]).  "From them" must
      refer to disciples of Antigonus whose sayings have been lost.

      (16) It was the custom of pupils to sit at the feet of their

5. Jose, the son of Jochanan, of Jerusalem said, "Let thy house be
open wide; let the poor be members of thy household, and engage not in
much gossip with woman."  This applies to one's own wife; how much
more (17), then, to the wife of one's neighbor?  Hence the sages say,
"Whoso engages in much gossip with woman brings evil upon himself,
neglects the study of the _Torah_, and will in the end inherit
_gehinnom_" (18).

      (17) On the _kalwa-chomer_, "a conclusion _a minori ad
      majus_," see Meilziner, _Introduction to the Talmud_, p. 130
      _et seq._, and Strack, _Einleitung in den Talmud_, p. 120.
      Cf. Chapter VI, 3.  The equivalent biblical expression is [af

      (18) [gey-hinim (gimil-yud hey-nun-yud-mem(sofit))], [gei
      ben-hinim], a glen south of Jerusalem where Moloch was
      worshipped, whence a place where the wicked were punished in
      the hereafter; "hell, being the opposite of 'the Garden of
      Eden,'" "paradise."  Cf. chapter V, 22 and 23.  See
      Friedlander, _Jewish Religion_, p. 223.

6. Joshua, the son of Perachyah, and Nittai, the Arbelite, received
(the tradition) from them.  Joshua, the son of Perachyah, said,
"Provide thyself with a teacher, and possess thyself of a companion
(19); and judge every man in the scale of merit."

      (19) A fellow-student.

7. Nittai, the Arbelite, said, "Keep aloof from a bad neighbor (20);
associate not with the wicked, and abandon not the belief in
retribution" (21).

      (20) Cf. chapter II, 14.

      (21) This may mean either that one must not imagine that
      punishment for evil deeds will not befall him, or when
      punishment has been meted out, one must not despair of the

8. Judah, the son of Tabbi, and Simeon, the son of Shatach (22),
received (the tradition) from them.  Judah, the son of Tabbi, said,
"(In the judge's office) act not the counsel's part (23); while the
litigants are standing before thee, let them be regarded by thee as
guilty, but when they are departed from thy presence, regard them as
innocent, the verdict having been acquiesced in by them."

      (22) Lived about 104-69 B.C.E.  He was a leader of the
      Pharisees at the time of Alexander Jannaeus.

      (23) A judge should be strictly impartial.

9. Simeon, the son of Shatach, said, "Be very searching in the
examination of witnesses (24), and be guarded in thy words, lest
through them they learn to lie."

      (24) It is related that the son of Simeon b. Shatach was
      innocently condemned to death, because the witnesses were not
      carefully cross-questioned.

10. Shemaiah and Abtalion (25) received (the tradition) from them.
Shemaiah said, "Love work; hate lordship (26); and seek no intimacy
with the ruling power" (27).

      (25) Lived about the middle of the first century B.C.E.

      (26) "Woe to leadership, for it buries those who possess it."
      (_Pesachim_, 87b).

      (27) That is, Rome.  Avoid office seeking.

11. Abtalion said, "Ye sages, be heedful of your words, lest ye incur
the penalty of exile and be exiled to a place of evil waters, and the
disciples who come after you drink thereof and die, and the Heavenly
Name be profaned" (28).

      (28) Scholars must be careful in their teachings, lest their
      disciples misinterpret their words, and thus adopt false
      doctrines, as was the case with the disciples of Antigonus of
      Soko (_Supra_, n. 12).  "Evil waters" may stand for evil
      doctrines or evil people.  When a teacher went into
      banishment, he was usually followed by his disciples.
      Departure from the law is equivalent to death.

12. Hillel and Shammai (29) received (the tradition) from them.
Hillel said, "Be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing
peace (30), loving mankind and drawing them night to the _Torah_"
(31).  13. He used to say, "A name made great is a name destroyed
(32); he who does not increase (his knowledge) decreases (it); and he
who does not study deserves to die; and he who makes a worldly use of
the crown (of the _Torah_) shall waste away."  14. He used to say, "If
I am not for myself, who will be for me?  But if I care for myself
only, what am I? (33).  And if not now, when?"

      (29) Hillel and Shammai, the most renowned of the "pairs"
      ([zugot]), lived about 100 years before the destruction of the
      Temple.  Each was the founder of a school, _Bet Hillel_ and
      _Bet Shammai_, being generally opposed to one another in the
      interpretation of the _Torah_.  Hillel was the embodiment of
      humility, gentleness, and kindness; Shammai was irritable, and
      lacked gentleness and patience.  The former's most celebrated
      saying is, "What is hateful to thee do not do unto thy fellow
      man; this is the whole _Torah_, the rest is mere commentary."
      See Bacher, _Agada der Tanaiten_; Schurer, _History_, I, ii,
      p. 359 _et seq._; Myers, _story of the Jewish People_, I, p.
      136 _et seq._; geiger, _Judaism and its History_, p. 113 _et

      (30) Psalm XXIV, 15: "Seek peace and pursue it."

      (31) Draw men to the _Torah_ by good example, not by
      endeavoring to make converts.

      (32) He who seeks a name loses fame.

      (33) Be self-reliant, but not selfish.

15. Shammai said, "Set a fixed time for thy (study of) _Torah;_ say
little and do much (34); and receive all men with a cheerful

      (34) Or "promise little."  Be like Abraham, who promised only
      bread, but brought a "calf tender and good" (Genesis XVIII, 5
      and 7).

16. Rabban (35) Gamaliel said, "Provide thyself with a teacher; be
quit of doubt (36); and accustom not thyself to give tithes (37) by a
conjectural estimate."

      (35) "Our teacher," "our master," a title given only to the
      presidents of the _Sanhendrin_, Gamaliel being the first to be
      thus known.  Gamaliel was a grandson of Hillel and a teacher
      of Paul.  See Strack, _Einleitung_, p. 85.

      (36) Establish over you the authority of a teacher, to hold
      you from the clutch of doubt (Kohut).

      (37) There were three kinds of tithes (the tenth part of
      anything): (a) "the first tithe" (_maaser rishon), given to
      the Lebites; "the second tithe" (_maaser sheni_), taken to
      Jerusalem and consumed there by the owner and his family; and
      (c) the tithe paid to the poor (_maaser ani_).  See Leviticus
      XXVII, 30 _et seq._, Numbers XVIII, 21-24, and Deuteronomy
      XIV, 22-29; also _Tractates Maasrot_ and _Maaser Sheni_ of the
      _Mishnah_.  Consult Babbs, _The Law of Tithes_.

17. Simeon (38) his son, said, "All my days I have grown up amongst
the wise, and I have found nothing better for man than silence (39);
not learning but doing is the chief thing (40); and whoso multiplies
words causes sin" (41).

      (38) Simeon beg Gamaliel I lived at the time of the war with
      Rome.  See Josephus, _Jewish Wars_, IV, 3, 9.

      (39) Cf. chapter III, 17.

      (40) Where words fail, deeds tell.  _Non scholae sed vitae_.

      (41) Cf. Proverbs X, 19.

18. Rabban Simeon, the son of Gamaliel (42) said, "By three things is
the world preserved (43); by truth, by judgment, and by peace, as it
is said, 'Judge ye the truth and the judgment of peace in your gates'"

      (42) Rabban Simeon II, son of Gamaliel II (80-115 C.E.) and
      grandson of Simeon (verse 17).

      (43) Cf. chapter I, 2.  _Torah_, Temple service, and
      benevolence are the foundations and, at the same time, the
      aims of the world.  Truth, judgment, and peace maintain the
      world's permanency.

      (44) Zechariah VIII, 16.

Rabbi Chanania (45), the son of Akashia, said, "The Holy One, blessed
be He, was pleased to make Israel worthy; wherefore He gave them a
copious _Torah_ and many commandments, as it is said, 'It pleased the
Lord, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify the _Torah_ and make it
honorable'" (46).

      (45) This saying did not belong originally to _Abot_, but was
      taken from _Makkot_, III, 16.  According to Goldschmidt, it
      was introduced into the _Mishnah_ from the separate editions,
      and then found its way into the Talmudical texts of _Abot_.
      This verse is recited at the end of each chapter.  See Rawicz,
      _Commentor des Maimonides_, p. 114, n. 1.

      (46) Isaiah, xlii, 21.


All Israel have a portion in the world to come, and it is said, "And
thy people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for
ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be

1. Rabbi (1) said, "which is the right course that a man should choose
for himself? (2)  That which is a pride to him who pursues it and
which also brings him honor from mankind.  Be as scrupulous about a
light precept as about a grave one, for thou knowest not the grant of
reward for each precept.  Reckon the loss incurred by the fulfilment
of a precept against the reward secured by its observance (3), and the
gain gotten by a transgression against the loss it involves.  Consider
three things, that thou mayest not come within the power of sin (4).
Know what is above thee--a seeing eye, and a hearing ear, and all thy
deeds written in a book" (5).

      (1) Rabbi Judah (135-220 C.E.), son of Simeon (chapter I, 18),
      was known as "Rabbi," as a mark of distinction, owing to the
      fact that he was the chief reviser and compiler of the
      _Mishnah_.  Earlier compilers of the _Mishnah_ had been
      Hillel, Akiba, and R. Meir.  Rabbi Judah was also known as
      _Rabbenu_ (our Master), _ha-Nasi_ (the Prince), and
      _ha-Kodesh_ (the Holy).  He is said to have died[*] on the day
      that Akiba met his death at the hands of the Romans.  See
      Danziger, _Jewish Forerunners of Christianity_, pp. 242-274,
      Myers, _Story of the Jewish People_, I, 210-222, and Strack,
      _Einleitung in den Talmud_, p. 96.  [* a prior owner of the
      source text annotated it by crossing out "died" and writing in
      "been born".]

      (2) Maimonides interprets this verse as meaning to pursue a
      medium course between two equally bad extremes, the _too much_
      and the _too little_.  On this subject, see his celebrated
      fourth chapter of the _Shemonah Perakim_ (_The Eight
      Chapters_) on the "mean"; ed. Gorfinkle, p. 54, _et seq._

      (3) _I.e._, the loss in this world as against the reward in
      the future world.  On the Rabbinic idea of reward and
      punishment, see Schechter, _Aspects_, pp. 162-163, and
      Herford, _Pharisaism_, p. 267 _et seq._

      (4) Cf. chapter III, 1.  No deeds, great or small, are lost
      sight of by God.

      (5) On the divine books or book, see Exodus XXXII, 35.
      Malachi III, 16, and Daniel VII, 10, etc.  The heavenly "Book
      of Life" is prominently mentioned in the ritual of the New
      Year and the Day of Atonement, especially in the celebrated
      prayer, _U-netanneh Tokef_ of Rabbi Amnon of Mayence.  The New
      Year's greeting, "May you be inscribed for a happy year!" is
      evidence of the popularity of the idea of a divine book in
      which the fate of a man is written.  See the _Jewish
      Encyclopedia_, art. _Book of Life_.

2. Rabban Gamaliel, the son of Rabbi Judah, the Prince, said,
"Excellent is the study of _Torah_ combined with some worldly pursuit
(6), for the effort demanded by them both makes sin to be forgotten.
All study of _Torah_ without work must at length be futile, and leads
to sin (7).  Let all who are employed with the congregation act with
them for Heaven's sake, for then the merit of their fathers sustains
them, and their righteousness endures for ever (8).  And as for you
(God will then say), 'I account you worthy of great reward, as if you
had wrought it all yourselves.'  3. Be on your guard against the
ruling power (9); for they who exercise it draw no man near to them
except for their own interests; appearing as friends when it is to
their own advantage, they stand not by a man in the hour of his need."
 4. He used to say, "Do His will as if it were thy will.  Nullify thy
will before His will, that He may nullify the will of others before
thy will."

      (6) The expression _Talmud Torah_ (lit., "study of the Law")
      means the study of all sacred learning.  The word _Torah_,
      here, is to be construed in its broadest sense.  See chapter
      I, n. 4.  Such study was one of the duties to which no limit
      was fixed (_Peah_ I, 1).  The expression [derech eretz] means
      "good manners" (chapter III, 21), or "worldly business," or
      "care" (chapter III, 6), according to the context.  Study
      combined with some trade or profession is, according to R.
      Gamaliel, the proper thing.  See chapter IV, n. 24.

      (7) Cf. _Kiddushin_, 29a, "He who does not teach his son a
      trade teaches him to be a thief."

      (8) In every community, the work and goodness of past
      generations live in the present, and the good that the
      community does in the present will live on in the future.  On
      the "merit of the fathers" ([z'chut avot]), see Schechter,
      _Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology_, chapter XII, especially
      pp. 175-177, where this passage is quoted.

      (9) This verse is directed toward the leaders of the
      community.  Cf. above, chapter I, 10.

5. Hillel (10) said, "Separate not thyself from the congregation (11);
trust not in thyself until the day of thy death (12); judge not thy
neighbor until thou art come into his place; and say not anything
which cannot be understood at once, in the hope that it will be
understood in the end (13); neither say, 'When I have leisure I will
study'; perchance thou wilt have no leisure."  6. He used to say, "An
empty-headed man cannot be a sin-fearing man, nor can an ignorant
person (14) be pious, nor can a shamefaced man (15) learn, nor a
passionate man (16) teach, nor can one who is engaged overmuch in
business grow wise (17).  In a place where there are no men, strive to
be a man" (18).  7. Moreover, he once saw a skull floating on the
surface of the water.  He said to it, "Because thou didst drown
(others) they have drowned thee, and at the last they that drowned
thee shall themselves be drowned" (19).  8. He used to say, "The more
flesh, the more works; the more property, the more anxiety; the more
women, the more witchcraft; the more maid-servants, the more lewdness;
the more men-servants, the more robbery; the more _Torah_, the more
life (20); the more schooling, the more wisdom; the more counsel, the
more understanding; the more charity, the more peace.  He who has
acquired a good name has acquired it for himself; he who has acquired
for himself words of _Torah_ has acquired for himself life in the
world to come" (21).

      (10) The chain of traditional sayings is continued here from
      chapter I, 14, with other maxims of Hillel.  See
      _Introduction_, p. 17.

      (11) _I.e._, share its weal and woe.  Cf. _Taanit_, 11a, "He
      who does not join the community in times of danger and trouble
      will never enjoy the divine blessing."

      (12) One should constantly be on guard against oneself.  The
      _Talmud_ (_Berachot_, 29a) illustrates this saying by
      referring to a certain Jochanan, who, after having been
      high-priest for eighty years, became a heretic.

      (13) This verse may be variously translated and interpreted.
      Its translation here is in accordance with the interpretation
      of Maimonides.  Do not express yourself in such a way that
      your words may be understood only after careful study and deep
      thought, but let them be clear and intelligible.

      (14) The word [bur (bet-vov-resh)] means "uncultivated"
      ([sadeh bur] "an uncultivated field").  It is used of an
      ignorant, uncultured, mannerless person, possessing no moral
      or spiritual virtues.  Taylor translates it by "boor."  [am
      ha'aretz], literally "people of the land," "country people,"
      is applied to an individual who may possess good manners, and
      may be literate, but who has no religious knowledge, nor
      training, nor does not observe religious customs.  Taylor
      renders it "vulgar."  Mayer Sulzberger maintains that this
      term was applied to an assembly of representatives of the
      people constituting a body similar to the modern Parliament,
      and divided into a lower and upper house.  See his "_The Am
      Ha-aretz, The Ancient Hebrew Parliament._"  On the _Am
      ha-aretz_ and his opposite the _chaber_, see Schurer,
      _History_, II, ii, pp. 8, 9 and pp. 22 _et seq._, also
      Herford, _ibid._ pp. 46-47.

      (15) _I.e._, he who is ashamed to ask questions for fear of
      exposing his ignorance.

      (16) He who has no patience to answer all the questions of his

      (17) Cf. chapter IV, 12.  One of the qualifications necessary
      for the acquirement of the _Torah_ is moderation in business.

      (18) Do not boldly push yourself forward; but where there is
      no one to fill the position of teacher or leader, or to be the
      head of the community, and you have the qualifications, do not
      shrink from being the man.

      (19) Retribution is sure.  Cf. _Sanhedrin_, 100a and _Sotah_,
      9b, "with what measure a man measures, is it measured unto

      (20) Cf. Prov. III, 1 and 2.

      (21) The expression "the world to come" may mean the Messianic
      days, the time after the Messianic era, the days after the
      resurrection or the spiritual hereafter.  Maimonides discusses
      at length the various theories, in _Perek Chelek_ (Commentary
      on _Sanhedrin_, X, 1), which has been translated into English
      by J. Abelson, in the _Jewish Quarterly Review_ (London), vol.
      XXIX, p. 28 _et seq._  See also _The Hebrew Review_ (London,
      1840), p. 254 _et seq._  Consult Schurer, _History_, II, ii,

9. Rabban Jochanan, the son of Zakkai (22) received (the tradition)
from Hillel and Shammai.  He used to say, "If thou hast learnt much
_Torah_, ascribe not any merit to thyself, for thereunto wast thou

      (22) Rabban Jochanan ben Zakkai was known as the least of the
      disciples of Hillel.  He was a contemporary of the historian
      Josephus.  Escaping in a coffin from Jerusalem, when it was
      besieged by the Roman general Vespasian, and predicting the
      latter's elevation to the imperial dignity, Jochanan was
      allowed by Vespasian to go to Jabneh (Jamnia), where he
      founded the celebrated academy which became the centre of
      learning in Palestine, as Jerusalem had previously been.  He
      was the most important scribe in the first decade after the
      destruction of the Temple (70 C.E.).  See Strack, _Einleitung
      in den Talmud_, p. 86 _et seq._, Bacher, _Agada der Tanaiten_,
      pp. 25-46, Myers, _Story of the Jewish People_, I, pp.
      151-160, and Danziger, _Jewish Forerunners of Christianity_,
      pp. 55-72.

10. Rabban Jochanan, the son of Zakkai, had five disciples (23), and
these are they: Rabbi Eliezer, the son of Hyrcanus; Rabbi Joshua, the
son of Hananiah (24); Rabbi Jose, the Priest; Rabbi Simeon, the son of
Nataniel; and Rabbi Eleazar, the son of Arach.  11. He used thus to
recount their praise: "Eliezer, the son of Hyrcanus, is a cemented
cistern, which loses not a drop (25); Joshua, the son of Hananiah,
happy is she that bare him (26); Jose, the Priest, is a pious man
(27); Simeon, the son of Nataniel, is a fearer of sin; Eleazar, the
son of Arach, is like a spring flowing with ever-sustained vigor"
(28).  12. He used to say, "If all the sages of Israel were in one
scale of the balance, and Eliezer, the son of Hyrcanus, in the other,
he would outweigh them all."  Abba Saul (29) said in his name, "If all
the sages of Israel were in one scale of the balance, and Eliezer, the
son of Hyrcanus, also with them, and Eleazar, the son of Arach, in the
other scale, he would outweigh them all."  13. He said to them, "Go
forth and see which is the good way to which a man should cleave."  R.
Eliezer said, "A good eye" (30); R. Joshua said, "A good friend"; R.
Jose said, "A good neighbor" (31); R. Simeon said, "One who foresees
the fruit of an action" (32); R. Eleazar said, "A good heart."
Thereupon he said to them, "I approve of the words of Eleazar, the son
of Arach, rather than your words, for in his words yours are included"
(33).  14. He said to them, "Go forth and see which is the evil way
that a man should shun."  R. Eliezer said, "An evil eye" (34); R.
Joshua said, "A bad friend"; R. Jose said, "A bad neighbor"; R. Simeon
said, "One who borrows and does not repay--it is the same whether one
borrows from man or the Omnipresent (35); as it is said, 'The wicked
borroweth and payeth not again, but the righteous dealeth graciously
and giveth'" (36); R. Eleazar said, "A bad heart."  Thereupon he said
to them, "I approve of the words of Eleazar, the son of Arach, rather
then your words, for in his words yours are included."

      (23) Of special excellence.

      (24) On the life of R. Joshua (40-130 C.E.), see Bacher,
      _ibid._, 129-194, Myers, _ibid._, 161-170, Danziger, _ibid._,

      (25) He forgets nothing he has learned.  On R. Eliezer, see
      Danziger, _ibid._, 91-121.

      (26) When yet a child in the cradle, his mother took him into
      the synagogue that he might thus early hear the words of the

      (27) A _chasid_ ([chasid]), "saint," is one who does more than
      the strict letter of the law requires.  See Schechter,
      _Studies_, II, pp. 148-181, _idem_, _Aspects_, p. 209, Rawicz,
      _Commentar des Maimonides_, pp. 95-96, and Gorfinkle, _The
      Eight Chapters_, pp. 60-62.

      (28) "A welling spring" (Taylor).

      (29) He lived in the first half of the second century, C.E.

      (30) _I.e._, an eye that looks upon people with benevolence
      and kind feelings, free from envy and ill-will.

      (31) A good friend is one who induces his associate to study
      _Torah_, and who reproves him when he sees him doing wrong.
      The passage means not so much to gain a good friend as to _be_
      a good friend.

      (32) One who balances the present against the future.

      (33) The heart was considered the seat of all moral and
      spiritual functions.  See Schechter, _Aspects_, p. 255 _et

      (34) Denotes niggardliness, envy, or jealousy.

      (35) _I.e._, one who lacks foresight and incurs
      responsibilities he is unable to meet borrows from God, as all
      wealth belongs to Him, and men are merely His stewards.  The
      word [makom], literally "place," "space," was used to
      designate Jerusalem, or the Temple, as being _the_ place where
      God's spirit dwells; or it may also refer to the divine court
      of the _Sanhedrin_.  It then came to be used as an appellative
      for God.  As Schechter remarks, "The term is mainly indicative
      of God's ubiquity in the world and can best be translated by
      'Omnipresent.'"  See Hoffmann, _Sanhedrin_ VI, note 56,
      Taylor, _Sayings_, p. 53, note 42, and Schechter, _Aspects_,
      pp. 26-27, where the literature on this subject is given.  See
      also Friedlander, _The Jewish Religion_, p. 287, and the
      Jewish Encyclopedia_, art. _Names of God_.

      (36) Psalm XXXVII, 21.

15. They each said three things.  R. Eliezer said, "Let thy friend's
honor be as dear to thee as thine own (37); be not easily excited to
anger; and repent one day before thy death" (38).  And (he further
said), "Warm thyself by the fire of the wise, but beware of their
glowing coals, lest thou be burnt, for their bite is the bite of the
fox, and their sting is the scorpion's sting, and their hiss is the
serpent's hiss, and all their words are like coals of fire" (39).  16.
R. Joshua said, "The evil eye, the evil inclination (40), and hatred
of his fellow-creatures (41), put a man out of the world."  17. R.
Jose said, "Let the property of thy friend be as dear to thee as thine
own; prepare thyself for the study of _Torah_, since the knowledge of
it is not an inheritance of thine, and let all thy deeds be done in
the name of God" (42).  18. R. Simeon said, "Be careful in reading the
_Shema_ (43) and the _Amidah_ (44); and when thou prayest, consider
not thy prayer as a fixed (mechanical) task, but as (an appeal for)
mercy and grace before the All-present, as it is said, 'For he is
gracious and full of mercy, slow to anger, and abounding in
loving-kindness, and repenteth him of the evil' (45); and be not
wicked in thine own esteem" (46).  19. R. Eleazar said, "Be diligent
in studying _Torah_, and know what answer to give to the unbeliever
(47); know also before whom thou toilest, and who thy Employer is, who
will pay thee the reward of thy labor."

      (37) Cf. chapter IV, 15.

      (38) Man should repent every day of his life, for he knows not
      on what day he may die (_Shabbat_, 153a).

      (39) One who wishes to warm himself remains a certain distance
      away from the fire; if he approaches too near, he is burned;
      so, do not endeavor to become too intimate with the wise, as
      their opinion of you may change to your detriment.  The
      "bite," the "sting," and the "hiss" represent the terribleness
      of the looks of the wise who have been angered.

      (40) Passion, evil nature, or evil inclination.

      (41) Misanthropy.

      (42) In making man's highest ideal the comprehension of God,
      Maimonides, in the _Shemonah Perakim_, supports his view by
      referring to the latter part of this verse.  He says, "The
      sages of blessed memory, too, have summed up this idea in so
      few words and so concisely, at the same time elucidating the
      whole matter with such complete thoroughness, that when one
      considers the brevity with which they express this great and
      mighty thought in its entirety, about which others have
      written whole books and yet without adequately explaining it,
      one truly recognizes that the Rabbis undoubtedly spoke through
      divine inspiration.  This saying is found among their
      precepts, and is, 'Let all thy deeds be done in the name of
      God.'"  See Gorfinkle, _The Eight Chapters_, p. 73.

      (43) This prayer consists of three portions of the Pentateuch
      (Deut. VI, 4-9; XI, 13-21; Num. XV, 37-41), and gets its name
      from the initial word of the first portion.  It is appointed
      to be read twice daily, in the morning and in the evening.  On
      the time when the _Shema_ is to be read, see _Berachot_ I, 1.
      See Schurer, _History_, II, ii, 77, 83, _et seq._;
      Friedlander, _Jewish Religion_, pp. 430, 435; _Jewish
      Encyclopedia_, art. _Shema_, and Adler, in the _Jewish Review_
      (London, 1910), vol. I, number 2, p. 159.

      (44) An important part of the ritual said at the daily
      morning, afternoon, and evening service, and also at the
      additional service on Sabbaths and holy days, is  known as (1)
      _Tefillah_ (prayer)_, or (2) _Shemoneh Esreh_ (eighteen), or
      (3) _Amidah_ (standing).  It is known as _Tefillah_ because it
      is considered the prayer _par excellence;_ as _Shemoneh Esreh_
      because originally it consisted of eighteen prayers (now
      nineteen); and as _Amidah_ (by Sephardic Jews) because it must
      be said standing.  The _Shema_ and the _Shemoneh Esreh_ have
      been appropriately styled the "two pillars of the fabric of
      the liturgy."  See Schurer, _ibid._; Friedlander, _ibid._, pp.
      430, 437; in the _Jewish Encyclopedia, art. _Shemoneh Esreh_;
      Schechter, _Studies_, II, pp. 67068; Adler, _ibid._, p. 159;
      and Herford, _ibid._, pp. 298-299.

      (45) Joel II, 13.

      (46) Do not do what your conscience tells you is wrong, even
      though it does not appear to others as such; or, do not sin in
      secret, thinking that you will escape punishment because
      others do not see you.

      (47) _Apikuros_ is a term originally used to designate a
      follower of the philosopher Epicurus, whose axiom was that
      "happiness or enjoyment is the _summum bonum_ of life."
      Later, this word was used by the Rabbis to designate a
      free-thinker, a heretic, an unbeliever, or a despiser of the
      Law, Jewish or non-Jewish.  Josephus (_Antiquities_, X, 11, 7,
      ed. Whiston-Margoliouth, p. 300) describes the Epicureans as
      those "who cast providence out of human life, and do not
      believe that God takes care of the affairs of the world, nor
      that the universe is governed and continued in being by that
      blessed and immortal nature, but say that the world is carried
      along of its own accord without a ruler and a curator."
      Maimonides, in his commentary on _Sanhedrin_, X, 1, derives
      the word from the Hebrew, [hefkeir (hey-fey-kuf-resh)],
      "freedom," and defines it as one who refuses obedience to the
      Law.  Schechter (_Studies in Judaism_, I, p. 158) says, "It
      implies rather a frivolous treatment of the words of Scripture
      and tradition."  See the _Jewish Encyclopedia_ art.
      _Apikuros_, and Barton, _Ecclesiastes_, p. 41.  This verse may
      also be rendered, "Study _Torah_, and also know ([v'da
      (vov-daled-ayin)]) how to answer an unbeliever," meaning that
      first one should study _Torah_ and _Talmud_, and then give his
      time to learning other knowledge, so as to be able to refute
      those who stray from the truth.

20. Rabbi Tafron (48) said, "The day is short, the task is great (49),
the laborers are sluggish, the reward is much, and the Master of the
house (50) is urgent."  21. He also used to say, "It is not thy duty
to complete the work, but neither art thou free to desist from it; if
thou hast studied much _Torah_, much reward will be given thee; and
faithful is thy Employer to pay thee the reward of thy labor; and know
that the grant of reward unto the righteous will be in the time to
come" (51).

Rabbi Chanania, the son of Akashia, said, "The Holy One, blessed be
He, was pleased to make Israel worthy; wherefore He gave them a
copious _Torah_ and many commandments, as it is said, 'It pleased the
Lord, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify the _Torah_ and make it

      (48) A contemporary of Jochanan ben Zakkai's five disciples
      and of Akiba.  See Bacher, _ibid._, pp. 348-358, and Meyer,
      _ibid._, p. 179.

      (49) The day, _i.e._, the life of man, is brief.  Art is long,
      but life is short.

      (50) _I.e._, God.

      (51) A man cannot finish the work of the world, yet he must
      not yield to idleness and despair, but must do his share to
      the best of his ability.  His reward will come in the future.


All Israel have a portion in the world to come, and it is said, "And
thy people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for
ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be

1. Akabia (1), the son of Mahalalel, said, "Consider three things, and
thou wilt not come within the power of sin (2): know whence thou
camest, and whither thou art going, and before whom thou wilt in the
future have to give an account and reckoning (3).  Whence thou camest:
from a fetid drop; whether thou art going: to a place of dust, worms,
and maggots (4); and before whom thou wilt in the future have to give
an account and reckoning: before the Supreme King of kings, the Holy
One, blessed be He."

      (1) He lived about the middle of the first century.

      (2) Cf. chapter II, 1.

      (3) Compare with this saying the exposition by Akiba of Eccl.
      XII, 1: [uzechor et bor'ech (bor'ech is:
      bet-vov-resh-alef-yud-chof(sofit)] "but remember thy creator."
       Playing upon the word [bor'ech], he says, "Remember thy
      source ([bet-alef-resh-chof(sofit)]), thy grave
      ([bet-vov-resh-chof(sofit)]), and thy creator
      ([bet-resh-alef-chof(sofit)])," _Kohelet Rabbah, ad. loc._  If
      man thinks of whence he comes, he is rendered humble; if he
      reflects upon whither he is going, he prizes worldly things
      lightly; and if he considers HIm before whom he must give an
      account, he obeys God's laws.

      (4) Cf. Job XXV, 6: "How much less the mortal, the mere worm
      ([rimah])? and the son of the earth, the mere maggot
      ([toleah])?" can be pure in God's eyes.

2. R. Chanina, the Vice-High-Priest (5), said, "Pray for the welfare
of the government, since but for the fear thereof men would swallow
each other alive" (6).

      (5) Chief of the priests, adjutant high-priest.  The _segan_
      was next in rank to the high-priest.  None could be appointed
      high-priest unless he had occupied the office of the _segan_
      (Palestinian _Talmud_, _Yoma_, III, 41a, top).  According to
      Schurer, he was "the captain of the Temple," whose duty it was
      to superintend arrangements for keeping order in and around
      the Temple.  He was also present at all important functions in
      which the high-priest took part, such as the drawing of lots
      in the case of the two goats on _Yom Kippur_ (_Yoma III, 9,
      IV, 1); when reading from the _Torah_ (_Yoma_, VII, 1; _Sotah_
      VII, 7, 8), and when offering the daily sacrifice (_Tamid_
      VII, 3).  Rabbi Chanina was the last to bear this title, his
      son being known as Simeon ben ha-Segan.  See Bacher, _Agada
      der Tanaiten_, pp. 55-58, Schurer, _History_, II, i, 257-259.

      (6) Cf. Jer. XXXIX, 7, "And seek the peace of the city whither
      I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto
      the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have
      peace," and _Abodah Zarah_, 3b.

3. R. Chananiah, the son of Teradion (7), said, "If two sit together
and interchange no words of _Torah_, they are a meeting of scorners,
concerning whom it is said, 'The godly man sitteth not in the seat of
the scorners' (8); but if two sit together and interchange words of
_Torah_, the Divine Presence (9) abides among them; as it is said,
'Then they that feared the Lord spake one with the other; and the Lord
hearkened and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before Him,
for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name,' (10).
Now the Scripture enables me to draw this inference in respect to two
persons; whence can it be deduced that if even one person sedulously
occupies himself with the _Torah_, the Holy One, blessed be He,
appoints unto him a reward?  Because it is said, 'though he sit alone,
and meditate in stillness, yet he taketh it (the reward) upon him'"

      (7) He lived about 120 C.E.  He was the father of Beruriah,
      the wife of Rabbi Meir.

      (8) Ps. I, 1.  Verse 2 of this psalm continues, "But his
      delight is in the Law of the Lord."

      (9) [shechinah] literally "dwelling," is a name applied to God
      when He is spoken of as dwelling among men.  See Schechter,
      _Aspects, en passim_; Abelson, _Immanence of God_, p. 77 _et

      (10) Mal. III, 16.

      (11) Lam. III, 27.

4. R. Simeon (12) said, "If three have eaten at a table and have
spoken there no words of _Torah_, it is as if they had eaten of
sacrifices to dead idols, of whom it is said, 'For all their tables
are full of vomit and filthiness; the All-present is not (in their
thoughts)' (13).  But if three have eaten at a table and have spoken
there words of _Torah_, it is as if they had eaten at the table of the
All-present, for Scripture says, 'And he said unto me, This is the
table that is before the Lord'" (14).

      (12) Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai lived about the middle of the
      second century C.E., and was a pupil of Akiba.  See Danziger,
      _ibid._, pp. 211-241.  He was long thought to be the author of
      the well-known kabbalistic work _Zohar_, which was, however,
      probably written in the thirteenth century by Moses Shem Tob
      de Leon.  See the _Jewish Encyclopedia_, art. _Zohar;_ Graetz,
      _History_, IV, p. 11 _et seq.;_ Schechter, _Studies_, I, pp.
      18, 19, 133; and H. Sperling, in _Aspects of the Hebrew
      Genius_, p. 165 _et seq._

      (13) Isa. XXVIII, 8.  The literal interpretation of [bli
      makom] is, there is "no place" clean of defilement; but the
      word [makom] being used to designate God (see above, chapter
      II, n. 35), suggests the interpretation, "without mention of
      the name of God."

      (14) Ezek. XLI, 22.

5. R. Chanina, the son of Hakinai (15), said, "He who keeps awake at
night, and goes on his way alone, while turning his heart to vanity,
such a one forfeits his own life" (16).

      (15) He lived about 120 C.E., and was a pupil of Akiba.  See
      Bacher, _ibid._, 436 _et seq._

      (16) Even the sleepless man and the solitary traveller must
      turn their thoughts to the _Torah_.

6. R. Nechunya, son of ha-Kanah (17), said, "Whoso receives upon
himself the yoke of the _Torah_, from the yoke of the kingdom and the
yoke of worldly care will be removed (18), but whoso breaks off from
him the yoke of the _Torah_, upon him will be laid the yoke of the
kingdom and the yoke of worldly care."

      (17) He lived about 80 C.E.  See Bacher, _ibid._, pp. 58-61.

      (18) The "yoke of the kingdom" refers to the taxes and burdens
      exacted by the government; the "yoke of worldly care" is
      anxiety of the struggle for existence.

7. R. Chalafta, the son of Dosa (19), of the village of Chanania said,
"When ten people sit together and occupy themselves with the _Torah_,
the _Shechinah_ (20) abides among them, as it is said, 'God standeth
in the congregation (21) of the godly' (22).  And whence can it be
shown that the same applies to five?  Because it is said, 'He hath
found his band (23) upon the earth' (24).  And whence can it be shown
that the same applies to three?  Because it is said, 'He judgeth among
the judges' (25).  And whence can it be shown that the same applies to
two?  Because it is said, 'Then they that feared the Lord spake one
with the other; and the Lord hearkened, and heard' (26).  And whence
can it be shown that the same applies even to one?  Because it is
said, 'In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will
come unto thee and I will bless thee'" (27).

      (19) He was probably a disciple of R. Meir.  See below, n. 32.

      (20) See above, n. 9.

      (21) An _edah_, "assembly," "congregation," "prayer-meeting,"
      consists of at least ten persons (_Megillah_, 23b).  See
      Sulzburger, _The Ancient Hebrew Parliament_, chapter I.

      (22) Ps. LXXXII, 1.

      (23) An _agudah_ (lit., "bundle," "bunch"), "bond," "union,"
      is constituted of at least five, though some authorities
      maintain that it stands for three.  See Taylor, _Sayings_, p.
      46, n. 15.  This word is used in the name of a number of
      Jewish societies whose members bind themselves to brotherly
      love and mutual assistance. as _Agudat Achim_, "United
      Brethren," etc.

      (24) Amos, IX, 6.

      (25) Ps. LXXXII, 1.  Every _bet din_, "judicial tribunal,"
      consisted of at least three members (_Sanhedrin_, 3b).

      (26) Mal. III, 16.

      (27) Ex. XX, 24.

8. R. Eleazar of Bertota (28) said, "Give unto Him of what is His, for
thou and thine are His: this is also found expressed by David, who
said, 'For all things come of Thee, and of Thine own we have given
Thee'" (29).

      (28) He lived during the second century C.E.  See Bacher,
      _ibid._, pp. 442-445.

      (29) I Chron. XXIX, 14.

9. R. Jacob said, "He who is walking by the way and studying, and
breaks off his study and says, 'How fine is that tree, how fine is
that fallow,' him the Scripture regards as if he had forfeited his
life" (30).

      (30) One must not interrupt his studies even to admire the
      beauties of nature.

10. R. Dostai (31), the son of Jannai, said in the name of R. Meir
(32), "Whoso forgets one word of his study, him the Scripture regards
as if he had forfeited his life, for it is said, 'Only take heed to
thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things
which thine eyes have seen' (33).  Now, one might suppose (that the
same result follows) even if a man's study has been too hard for him.
(To guard against such an inference), it is said, 'And lest they
depart from thy heart all the days of thy life' (34).  Thus a person's
guilt is not established until he deliberately and of set purpose
removes those lessons from his heart."

      (31) He lived about 160 C.E.

      (32) Rabbi Meir was the celebrated pupil of Akiba.  His wife
      was the well-known Bruriah.  On his interesting career, see
      Blumenthal, _Rabbi Meir_, Myers, _The Story of the Jewish
      People_, I, pp. 189-204, and Danziger, _Jewish Forerunners of
      Christianity_, pp. 185-210.

      (33) Deut. IV, 9.

      (34) Deut. IV, 9.

11. R. Chanina, the son of Dosa (35), said, "He in whom the fear of
sin precedes wisdom, his wisdom shall endure; but he in whom wisdom
comes before the fear of sin, his wisdom will not endure" (36).  12.
He used to say, "He whose works exceed his wisdom, his wisdom shall
endure; but he whose wisdom exceeds his works, his wisdom will not
endure" (37).  13. He used to say, "He in whom the spirit of his
fellow-creatures takes not delight, in him the Spirit of the
All-present takes not delight."

      (35) A contemporary of Jochanan ben Zakkai (10 B.C.E.-90
      C.E.).  See Friedlander, _Ben Dosa und seine Zeit_ (Prag,
      1872), and Bacher, _ibid._, 283 _et seq._

      (36) Cf. Ps. CXI, 10: "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of
      the Lord."  "A man's fear of sin should be instinctive, rather
      than a result of calculation, . . . a man should build upon
      the foundation of religious feeling, rather than upon
      philosophy" (Taylor).

      (37) Cf. above, chapter I, 17, "Not learning but doing is the
      chief thing."

14. R. Dosa, the son of Horkinas (38), said, "Morning sleep, midday
wine, childish babbling, and attending the houses of assembly of the
ignorant waste a man's life" (39).

      (38) A contemporary of Jochanan ben Zakkai.

      (39) Idleness, etc., indispose one for the study of the
      _Torah_ and for business.

15. R. Eleazar ha-Mudai said, "He who profanes things sacred, and
despises the festivals, and puts his fellow-man to shame in public,
and makes void the covenant of Abraham, our father (40), and makes the
_Torah_ bear a meaning other than the right (41); (such a one) even
though knowledge of the _Torah_ and good deeds be his, has no share in
the world to come" (42).

      (40) _I.e._ circumcision.

      (41) Or "acts barefacedly against the _Torah_."

      (42) Knowledge and moral excellence alone are not sufficient.

16. R. Ishmael (43) said, "Be submissive to a superior (44), affable
to the young (45), and receive all men with cheerfulness" (46).

      (43) Lived about 120 C.E.  See Bacher, _ibid._, pp. 240-271.

      (44) Or "be pliant of disposition."

      (45) [l'tishchoret] is variously rendered as the "young"
      (Maimonides, Bartenora, Geiger, Jastrow), "impressment"
      (Rashbam, Taylor), "sovereign authority" (Levy, Chald.
      Worterbuch, _sub_ [shachar (shin-chet-resh)], Fiebig), and "a
      suppliant" (Singer).

      (46) Cf. chapter I, 15.

17. R. Akiba (47) said, "Jesting and levity lead a man on to lewdness.
 The _Massorah_ (48) is a rampart around the _Torah_; tithes are a
safeguard to riches (49); good resolves are a fence to abstinence
(50); a hedge around wisdom is silence" (51).  18. He used to say,
"Beloved is man, for he was created in the image (of God); but it was
by a special love that it was made known to him that he was created in
the image of God, as it is said, 'For in the image of God made he man'
(52).  Beloved are Israel, or they were called children of the
All-present, but it was by a special love that it was made known to
them that they were called children of the All-present, as it is said,
'Ye are children unto the Lord your God' (53).  Beloved are Israel,
for unto them was given the desirable instrument (54); but it was by a
special love that it was made known to them that that desirable
instrument was theirs, through which the world was created, as it is
said, 'For I give you good doctrine; forsake ye not my _Torah_' (55).
19. Everything is foreseen, yet free will is given (56); and the world
is judged by grace, yet all is according to the amount of the work"
(57).  20. He used to say, "Everything is given on pledge (58), and a
net is spread for all living (59); the shop is open (60); the dealer
gives credit; the ledger lies open; the hand writes; and whosoever
wishes to borrow may come and borrow; but the collectors regularly
make their daily round, and exact payment from man whether he be
content or not (61); and they have that whereon they can rely in their
demand; and the judgment is a judgment of truth (62); and everything
is prepared for the feast" (63).

      (47) Akiba ben Joseph (born about 50 C.E., died about 132) was
      the greatest of the _Tannaim_ (teachers mentioned in the
      _Mishnah_).  He was a "proselyte of righteousness" (_ger
      tzedek_).  Until middle age, he remained illiterate and averse
      to study, but was spurred on to become learned in the _Torah_
      by the daughter of the rich Kalba Shabua, whom he subsequently
      married.  He was the pupil of R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanos, R.
      Jochanan ben Chanania, and Nahum of Gimzo.  He espoused the
      cause of Bar Kochba, acknowledging him as the Messiah, and is
      said to have travelled throughout the land stirring up
      opposition to Rome.  At the fall of Betar, he was captured by
      the Romans, and most cruelly put to death, expiring with the
      _Shema_ upon his lips.  R. Akiba definitely fixed the canon of
      the Old Testament.  He compiled and systematized the
      traditional law, in this respect being the forerunner of R.
      Judah ha-Nasi (see chapter II, n. 1), whose _Mishnah_ may be
      considered as being derived from that of the school of Akiba.
      His importance may be gauged by the following statement from
      the _Talmud_, "Our _Mishnah_ comes directly from R. Meir (a
      disciple of Akiba), the _Tosefta_ from R. Nehemiah, the
      _Sifra_ from R. Judah, and the _Sifre_ from R. Simon; but they
      all took Akiba for a model in their works and followed him"
      (_Sanhedrin_, 86a).  Akiba introduced a new method of
      interpreting Scripture, in which not a word, syllable, or
      letter was considered superfluous, finding thereby a basis for
      many oral laws.  His hermeneutical and exegetical activities
      were remarkable.  Many interesting legends have clustered
      around his name.  See Bacher, _ibid._, 271-348; Meilziner,
      _Introduction to the Talmud_, pp. 29, 125-126; Isaacs,
      _Stories from the Rabbis_, p. 61 _et seq.;_  Danziger,
      _ibid._, pp. 152-184; the _Jewish Encyclopedia_, arts. _Akiba
      ben Joseph_ and _Akiba ben Joseph in Legend;_ Myers, _Story of
      the Jewish People_, pp. 171-188; and Geiger, _Judaism and its
      History_, p. 226 _et seq._, 230 _et seq._

      (48) _Massorah_, from root _masar_, "to deliver," "hand over,"
      "transmit," means a "chain of tradition."  It is used to
      designate tradition in general, and is thus correlative with
      _kabbalah_.  The _Massorah_ contains information for the
      correct transcription of the Scripture.  As used here, it
      means the traditional interpretation of the _Torah_.  Cf.
      chapter I, 1, "Moses received the _Torah_ on Sinai, and handed
      it down (_umsarah_) to Joshua," and "make a fence around the
      _Torah_."  Consult Driver, _Notes on Samuel_, _Intro._, p. 37
      _et seq._; Schurer, _ibid._, II, i, 328; Taylor, _Sayings_, p.
      55, n. 33; Friedlander _ibid._, p. 55, 203, 266; _Jewish
      Encyclopedia s.v.;_ and _The Companion Bible_ (London, Oxford
      University Press), Pt. I, _Appendix_, 30.

      (49) On tithes, see chapter I, n. 37.  Cf. _Shabbat_, 119a,
      and _Taanit_, 9a (play on [ayin-shin-resh tof-ayin-shin resh],
      Deut. XXIV, 22),* [ayin-sh-resh bet-shin-bet-yud-lamed
      shin-tof-tof-ayin-shin-resh] "give tithes in order that thou
      mayest become rich."

      [* transcriber's note: this text does not appear to be
      Deuteronomy XXIV, 22.]

      (50) Lit., "separation," _i.e._ from defilement, hence
      "sanctity" (Taylor).

      (51) Cf. chapter I, 17.

      (52) Gen. IX, 6.

      (53) Deut. XIV, 1.

      (54) _I.e._, the _Torah_.

      (55) Prov. IV, 2.

      (56) The omniscience and prescience of God do not deprive men
      of free will.  Maimonides explains this in the last chapter of
      the _Shemonah Perakim_ (ed. Gorfinkle, p. 85 _et seq._).

      (57) Maimonides interprets the last phrase as meaning to do
      many small deeds of charity rather than one great deed of
      goodness.  For instance, it is better to distribute one
      hundred coins among one hundred people than to give them all
      to one person.

      (58) The world is compared to the office of a merchant.

      (59) Ecc. IX, 12: "for man also knoweth not his time, like the
      fishes that are caught in an evil net."

      (60) The shop stands for the world and its enjoyments.

      (61) Man has free will, and is therefore responsible for all
      his acts.

      (62) For everything is recorded.

      (63) This world is merely a preparation for the next.  The
      enjoyment of the world to come is likened by the Rabbis to a
      banquet, which is shared in by the good and the bad, after
      they have paid off their moral debts.

21. R. Eleazar, the son of Azariah (64), said, "Where there is no
_Torah_, there are no manners; where there are no manners, there is no
_Torah_: where there is no wisdom, there is no fear of God; where
there is no fear of God, there is no wisdom: where there is no
knowledge, there no understanding; where there is no understanding,
there is no knowledge (65): where there is no meal, there is no
_Torah;_ where there is no _Torah_, there is no meal" (66).  22. He
used to say, "He whose wisdom exceeds his works, to what is he like?
To a tree whose branches are many, but whose roots are few; and the
wind comes and plucks it up, and overturns it upon its face, as it is
said, 'And he shall be like a lonely juniper tree in the desert, and
shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places
in the wilderness, a salt land and not inhabited' (67).  But he whose
works exceed his wisdom, to what is he like?  To a tree whose branches
are few, but whose roots are many, so that though all the winds in the
world come and blow upon it, they cannot stir it from its place, as it
is said, 'And he shall be as a tree planted by the waters; and that
spreadeth out its roots by the river and shall not perceive when heat
cometh, but his leaf shall be green; and shall not be troubled in the
year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit'" (68).

      (64) R. Eleazar ben Azariah, a Mishnaic scholar of the first
      century, was of a rich and influential family, and was a
      descendent of Ezra the Scribe.  At seventeen or eighteen, upon
      the deposition of Gamaliel II, Eleazar, because of his
      popularity and erudition, was chosen to fill the position of
      the president of the academy at Jabneh.  Upon Gamaliel's
      restoration, he was made vice-president (_Ab bet din_).  See
      Bacher, _ibid._, 219-240.

      (65) Cf. Prov. IX, 10: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning
      of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."

      (66) Where there is a want of the means of sustenance there is
      no studying of _Torah_, and without spiritual nourishment,
      physical nourishment has no value.

      (67) Jer. XVII, 6.

      (68) Jer. XVII, 8.  Cf. verse 12, above.

23. R. Eleazar Chisma (69) said, "The laws concerning the sacrifices
of birds and the purification of women are essential ordinances (70);
astronomy and geometry are the after-courses of wisdom" (71).

Rabbi Chanania, the son of Akashia, said, "The Holy One, blessed be
He, was pleased to make Israel worthy; wherefore He gave them a
copious _Torah_ and many commandments, as it is said, 'It pleased the
Lord, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify the _Torah_ and make it

      (69) A contemporary of AKiba.

      (70) _Kinnim_, "nests," is the name of a tract in _Seder
      Kodashim_ of the _Mishnah_, and tells of the young birds,
      which men and women were at times required to offer as
      sacrifice.  _Niddah_ is a tract of _Seder Teharot_ of the
      _Mishnah_, and relates of the uncleannesses of woman.

      (71) _I.e._, the mathematical sciences, in which R. Eleazar
      was very proficient, are only to be considered as helps to the
      study of the essentials of _Torah_.


All Israel have a portion in the world to come, and it is said, "And
thy people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for
ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be

1. Ben Zoma (1) said, "Who is wise?  He who learns from all men, as it
is said, 'from all my teachers have I gotten understanding' (2).  Who
is mighty?  He who controls his passions, as it is said, 'He that is
slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth over his
spirit than he that taketh a city' (3).  Who is rich?  He who rejoices
in his portion, as it is said, 'When thou eatest the labor of thine
hands, happy art thou, and it shall be well with thee' (4); happy art
thou in this world, and it shall be well with thee in the world to
come.  Who is honored?  He who honors others, as it is said, 'For them
that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be held in
contempt'" (5).

      (1) Simon ben Zoma and Simon ben Azzai, _Tannaim_ of the
      second century, were generally known as ben Zoma and ben
      Azzai, as they never received the title of Rabbi, according to
      one view.  According to another opinion, they were called by
      their fathers' names, because they both died young.  Together
      with Akiba and Elisha ben Abuyah (_Acher_), they entered,
      legend says, into the paradise of esoteric knowledge.  "Four
      (sages)," we are told, "entered paradise, ben Azzai, ben Zoma,
      Acher, and Akiba.  Ben Azzai looked and died; ben Zoma went
      mad; Acher destroyed the plants; Akiba alone came out unhurt"
      (_Chagigah_, 14b).  The interpretation of this passage is that
      ben Azzai died prematurely, worn out by his activities in
      mystical and theosophic speculation; ben Zoma became demented
      thereby; Elisha, contemptuously referred to as Acher (the
      other), became an apostate; but Akiba was unaffected.  Ben
      Zoma was famous for his wisdom, it being said of him, "Whoever
      sees ben Zoma in his dream is assured of scholarship"
      (_Berachot_, 57b).  With him, it was said, the last of the
      interpreters of the Law (_darshanim_) died (_Sotah_, 49b).
      His interpretation of the biblical passage "that thou mayest
      remember when thou camest forth out of Egypt" is found in the
      _Haggadah_ of Passover eve.  See Bacher, _Agada der Tanaiten_,
      pp. 425-532; Schechter, _Studies_, I, pp. 129-130; H.
      Sperling, in _Aspects of the Hebrew Genius_, p. 150.

      (2) Ps. CXIX, 9.

      (3) Prov. XVI, 32.

      (4) Ps. CXXVIII, 2.  The discontented rich man, even, is poor.

      (5) I Sam. II, 30.

2. Ben Azzai (6) said, "Hasten to do even a slight precept (7), and
flee from transgression; for one virtue leads to another, and
transgression draws transgression in its train; for the recompense of
a virtue is a virtue, and the recompense of a transgression is a
transgression" (8).  3. He used to say, "Despise not any man, and carp
not at any thing (9); for there is not a man that has not his hour,
and there is not a thing that has not its place."

      (6) Simon ben Azzai (see n. 1) was a very assiduous student
      and a man of great piety.  He was betrothed to the daughter of
      Akiba, but separated from his prospective wife in order to
      devote all of his time to study.  It was said of him, "At the
      death of ben Azzai, the last industrious man passed away"
      (_Sotah_ IX, 15), and "He who sees ben Azzai in a dream might
      hope for saintliness."  He declared that the greatest
      principle of Judaism is the belief in the common brotherhood
      of all mankind, which he derived from the passage, Genesis VI,
      1, "This is the generation of Adam (man)."  See Bacher,
      _ibid._, 409-424.

      (7) Cf. chapter II, 1.

      (8) Well-doing is the fruit of well-doing, and evil-doing the
      fruit of evil-doing.

      (9) Or "do not consider anything as being impossible."

4. R. Levitas of Jabneh said, "Be exceedingly lowly of spirit (10),
since the hope of man is but the worm."

      (10) R. Levitas lived probably about 120 C.E.  Maimonides
      declares that the medium way between the extremes of the _too
      little_ and the _too much_ is the path of virtue, but he makes
      an exception in the case of humility, and, in accordance with
      this passage, considers the extreme of being very humble the
      virtue.  See Gorfinkle, _The Eight Chapters_, p. 60, n. 2.

5. R. Jochanan, the son of Berokah (11), said, "Whosoever profanes the
Name of Heaven (12) in secret will suffer the penalty for it in
public; and this, whether the Heavenly Name be profaned in ignorance
or in wilfulness."

      (11) A contemporary of Akiba.

      (12) "Name of Heaven" is a common substitute for the "name of

6. R. Ishmael (13), his son, said, "He who learns in order to teach
(14), to him the means will be granted both to learn and to teach; but
he who learns in order to practise, to him the means will be granted
to learn, and to teach, to observe, and to practise."

      (13) He lived about 150 C.E.

      (14) To one who learns _Torah_ and does not teach it are
      applied the words in Num. XV, 31: "he hath despised the word
      of the Lord" (_Sanhedrin_, 99a).

7. R. Zadok said, "Separate not thyself from the congregation; (in the
judge's office) act not the counsel's part (15); make not of the
_Torah_ a crown wherewith to aggrandize thyself, nor a spade wherewith
to dig" (16).  So also used Hillel to say, "He who makes a worldly use
of the crown (of the _Torah_) shall waste away" (17).  Hence thou
mayest infer that whosoever derives a profit for himself from the
words of the _Torah_ is helping on his own destruction.

      (15) Cf. chapter I, 8.

      (16) _I.e._, for material and selfish ends.

      (17) Cf. chapter I, 13.

8. R. Jose (18) said, "Whoso honors the _Torah_ will himself be
honored by mankind, but whoso dishonors the _Torah_ will himself be
dishonored by mankind."

      (18) R. Jose ben Chalafta was a contemporary of R. Meir.

9. R. Ishmael (19), his son, said, "He who shuns the judicial office
rids himself of hatred, robbery, and vain swearing (20); but he who
presumptuously lays down decisions is foolish, wicked, and of an
arrogant spirit."  10. He used to say, "Judge not alone, for none may
judge alone save One; neither say (to thy judicial colleagues),
'Accept my view,' for the choice is theirs (to concur); and it is not
for thee (to compel concurrence)."

      (19) He lived about 160-220 C.E.

      (20) The judge brings upon himself the hatred of the one who
      is disappointed by his judgment.  An erroneous judgment is
      equivalent to robbery.  When the judge exacts an unnecessary
      oath, perjury may result.

11. R. Jonathan (21) said, "Whoso fulfils the _Torah_ in the midst of
poverty shall in the end fulfil it in the midst of wealth; and whoso
neglects the _Torah_ in the midst of wealth shall in the end neglect
it in the midst of poverty."

      (21) He lived about the middle of the second century C.E.  He
      was a pupil of R. Ishmael (verse 9).

12. R. Meir (22) said, "Lessen thy toil for worldly goods, and be busy
in the _Torah_; be humble of spirit before all men; if thou neglectest
the _Torah_, many causes for neglecting it will be present themselves
to thee, but if thou laborest in the _Torah_, He has abundant
recompense to give thee."

      (22) See chapter III, n. 32.

13. R. Elieser (23), the son of Jacob, said, "He who does one precept
has gotten himself one advocate; and he who commits one transgression
has gotten himself one accuser.  Repentance and good deeds are as a
shield against punishment."

      (23) He lived about 140 C.E.

14. R. Jochanan, the sandal-maker (24), said, "Every assembly which is
in the Name of Heaven will in the end be established, but that which
is not in the Name of Heaven will not in the end be established."

      (24) Most of the Rabbis believed with Rabban Gamaliel that the
      study of the _Torah_ without employment brings transgression
      (chapter II, 2).  Consequently, each invariably followed some
      vocation.  Hillel, the senior, gained his livelihood as a
      wood-chopper; Shammai was a builder; R. Joshua, a blacksmith;
      R. Chanina, a shoemaker; R. Huna, a water-carrier; R. Abba, a
      tailor; R. Pappa, a brewer, etc.  Other Rabbis whose names
      indicate their trades, as R. Jochanan ha-Sandalar (lived about
      150 C.E.), were Isaac Nappacha (the smith) and R. Abin Naggara
      (the carpenter).  Many were merchants and others
      agriculturists.  Generally, the Rabbi studied during
      two-thirds of the day, and worked at his trade during the
      remainder.  Those engaged in agriculture would study in the
      winter and till the soil in the summer.  Consult Franz
      Delitzch, _Jewish Artisan Life in the Time of Christ_; and S.
      Meyer, _Arbeit und Handwerk im Talmud_, Berlin, 1878.

15. R. Eleazer, the son of Shammua (25), said, "Let the honor of thy
disciple be as dear to thee as thine own, and the honor of thine
associate be like the fear of thy master, and the fear of thy master
like the fear of Heaven."

      (25) He lived about 150 C.E.

16. R. Judah (26) said, "Be cautious in study, for an error in study
may amount to presumptuous sin" (27).

      (26) R. Judah ben Ilai lived about 140 C.E.

      (27) Cf. Chapter III, 10.

17. R. Simeon (28) said, "There are three crowns: the crown of
_Torah_, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of royalty; but the
crown of a good name excels them all."

      (28) On R. Simeon ben Yochai, see chapter III, n. 12.

18. R. Nehorai (29) said, "Betake thyself to a home of the _Torah_
(30), and say not that the _Torah_ will come after thee; for there thy
associates will establish thee in the possession of it; and lean not
upon thine own understanding" (31).

      (29) He lived about 130 C.E.

      (30) If there is no teacher where you live.

      (31) Prov. III, 5.

19. R. Jannia said, "It is not in our power (to explain) either the
prosperity of the wicked or the afflictions of the righteous."

20. R. Mattithiah, the son of Heresh (32), said, "Be beforehand in the
salutation of peace to all men; and be rather a tail to lions than a
head to foxes" (33).

      (32) He lived about 120 C.E. in Rome.

      (33) It is better to be a pupil of great teachers than to be a
      teacher of worthless pupils (Maimonides).  It is better to
      follow those who are greater than to lead those who are

21. R. Jacob (34) said, "This world is like a vestibule before the
world to come (35); prepare thyself in the vestibule, that thou mayest
enter into the hall."  22. He used to say, "Better is one hour of
repentance and good deeds in this world than the whole life of the
world to come; and better is one hour of blissfulness of spirit in the
world to come than the whole life of this world."

      (34) He lived about 160-220 C.E.

      (35) This world is a bridge that leads to the future world

23. R. Simeon, the son of Eleazer (36), said, "Do not appease thy
fellow in the hour of his anger, and comfort him not in the hour when
his dead lies before him, and question him not in the hour of his vow,
and rush not to see him in the hour of his disgrace."

      (36) A pupil of R. Meir.  He lived about 160-220 C.E.

24. Samuel (37), the younger, used to say, "Rejoice not when thine
enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: lest
the Lord see it and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from
him" (38).

      (37) Samuel (about 120 C.E.) is said to have composed, at the
      request of R. Gamaliel II, the prayer against heretics, added
      to the "Eighteen Benedictions" (_Shemoneh Esreh_).  See the
      _Jewish Encyclopedia_, vol. XI, p. 281.

      (38) Prov. XXIV, 17, 18.

25. Elisha, the son of Abuyah (39), said, "If one learns as a child,
what is it like?  Like ink written in clean paper.  If one learns as
an old man, what is it like?  Like ink written on used paper" (40).

      (39) See n. 1, above.  Elisha ben Abuyah, otherwise known as
      Acher, lived at the end of the first and the beginning of the
      second century.  He is charged by the Rabbis with having aided
      the Romans in their attempts to suppress the Jewish religion,
      with having endeavored to estrange the young from Judaism and
      from the study of its literature, with having intentionally
      and openly broken the ceremonial laws, and with having
      desecrated the Sabbath.  R. Meir, his pupil, maintained a
      close intimacy with him, in spite of his apostacy, having high
      regard for Elisha's intellectual worth.  When reproached for
      this, R. Meir said, "I eat the kernel, and throw away the
      husks."  Elisha is often referred to as the "Faust of the
      _Talmud_."  On his identification with the Apostle Paul, see
      I. M. Wise, _The Origin of Christianity_, p. 311, and
      Danziger, _ibid._, pp. 304-306.  Some have even identified him
      with Jesus.  In _Abot de-Rabbi Natan_, a parable that is very
      similar to that of Jesus, in Luke VI 47-49, is attributed to
      Elisha.  "A man who does good deeds and diligently studies the
      Law, to whom is he likened?  He is like a man building a house
      with a stone foundation and with tiles (on the roof); and when
      a flood arises, and breaks against the walls, that house
      cannot be moved from its place.  But the man who lives an evil
      life, in spite of having deeply studied the Law, to whom is he
      like?  He is like a man building a house with tiles for a
      foundation and with heavy stones (on the roof); and when a
      little rain comes, straightway the house falls in" (G.
      Friedlander's translation, in _The Jewish Sources of the
      SErmon on the Mount_, pp. 259-260).  On the career of Acher,
      see Bacher, _ibid._, pp. 432-436; Graetz, _History_, II,
      _passim_; Myers, _ibid._, pp. 200-202; and Strack, _Einleitung
      in den Talmud_, p. 91.

      (40) What one learns in youth, one retains, while the opposite
      is true of learning in old age.  The Rabbis, elsewhere, liken
      learning in youth to engraving upon a stone, and learning in
      old age to writing on the sand.

26. R. Jose, the son of Judah (41), of Chefar Babli said, "He who
learns from the young, to what is he like?  To one who eats unripe
grapes, and drinks wine from his vat (42).  And he who learns from the
old, to what is he like?  To one who eats ripe grapes, and drinks old

      (41) A contemporary of Judah ha-Nasi.

      (42) _I.e._, wine that is not forty days old, and not yet

27. Rabbi Meir said (43), "Look not at the flask, but at what it
contains: there may be a new flask full of old wine, and an old flask
that has not even new wine in it" (44).

      (43) Some texts read "Rabbi," _i.e._, Judah ha-Nasi (see
      chapter II, n. 1).

      (44) This verse expresses an opinion contrary to that of the
      preceding one.  The mind of a young man may be more mature
      than that of an old man.

28. R. Eleazar ha-Kappar (45) said, "Envy, cupidity, and ambition take
a man from the world" (46).

      (45) A contemporary of Judah ha-Nasi.

      (46) Cf. chapter II, 16.

29. He used to say, "They that are born are doomed to die; and the
dead to be brought to life again; and the living to be judged, to
know, to make known, and to be made conscious that He is God, He the
Maker, He the Creator, He the Discerner (47), He the Judge, He the
Witness (48), He the Accuser; He it is that will in future judge,
blessed be He, with Whom there is no unrighteousness, nor
forgetfulness, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes (49); and
know also that everything is according to the reckoning (50); and let
not thy imagination give thee hope that the grave will be a place of
refuge for thee; for perforce thou wast formed, and perforce thou wast
born, and thou livest perforce, and perforce thou wilt die, and
perforce thou wilt in the future have to give account and reckoning
before the Supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He."

      (47) Cf. Ps. XXXIII, 15: "He fashioneth their hearts
      altogether; he hath regard to all their works."

      (48) Cf. Mal. III, 5.

      (49) Cf. II Chron. XIX, 7: "Take heed and act; for with the
      Lord our God there is no injustice, nor respect for persons,
      nor taking of bribes."  Maimonides interprets this verse of
      _Abot_ as meaning that one cannot bribe God with good deeds in
      order to have bad deeds forgiven.  The one bad deed is not
      forgiven even by the doing of one hundred good ones, but
      punishment is meted out for the bad deed and reward in full
      for the hundred good ones.  That is, each action is judged
      entirely on its own merits.  Neither is God a respecter of
      persons.  On the one hand, He punished Moses for his anger at
      the waters of Meribah, and, on the other, He rewarded Esau for
      honoring his parents, and Nebuchadnezzar for honoring God.

      (50) Maimonides interprets as follows, "Think of the physical
      things in which man has no choice, as our sages said, 'All is
      in the power of God, except the fear of God.'  It is not said
      that one must perforce, and against one's will, sin, or that
      one is constrained to journey, walk, stand, etc., for these
      are in the power of man, and are dependent upon his own free
      will, and not upon any (external) compelling force, as we have
      explained in chapter eight."  See Rawicz, _Commentar des
      Maimonides_, p. 89, n. 4, and Garfinkle, _ibid._, p. 88 _et

Rabbi Chanania, the son of Akashia, said, "The Holy One, blessed be
He, was pleased to make Israel worthy; wherefore He gave them a
copious _Torah_ and many commandments, as it is said, 'It pleased the
Lord, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify the _Torah_ and make it


All Israel have a portion in the world to come, and it is said, "And
thy people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for
ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be

1. With ten sayings the world was created.  What does this teach us?
Could it not have been created with one saying?  It is to make known
the punishment that will befall the wicked who destroy the world that
was created with ten sayings, as well as the goodly reward that will
be bestowed upon the just who preserve the world that was created with
ten sayings (1).  2. There were ten generations from Adam to Noah, to
make known how long-suffering God is, seeing that all those
generations continued provoking him, until he brought upon them the
waters of the flood (2).  3. There were ten generations from Noah to
Abraham, to make known how long-suffering God is, seeing that all
those generations continued provoking him, until Abraham, our father,
came, and received the reward they should all have earned (3).  4.
With ten trials our father Abraham was tried (4), and he stood firm in
them all, to make known how great was the love of our father Abraham
(5).  5. Ten miracles were wrought for our fathers in Egypt (6), and
ten at the Sea (7).  6. Ten plagues did the Holy One, blessed be He,
bring upon the Egyptians in Egypt, and ten at the Sea (8).  7. With
ten temptations did our fathers tempt the Holy One, blessed be He, in
the wilderness, as it is said, "And they tempted me these ten times,
and have not hearkened to my voice" (9).  8. Ten miracles were wrought
for our fathers in the Temple; no woman miscarried from the scent of
the holy flesh; the holy flesh never became putrid; no fly (10) was
seen in the slaughter-house; no unclean accident ever befell the
high-priest on the Day of Atonement; the rain never quenched the fire
of the wood-pile on the altar (11); neither did the wind overcome the
column of smoke that arose therefrom (12); nor was there ever found
any disqualifying defect in the omer (of new barley, offered on the
second day of Passover) or in the two loaves (the first fruits of the
wheat-harvest, offered on Pentecost) (13), or in the shewbread (14);
though the people stood closely pressed together, they found ample
space to prostrate themselves; never did serpent or scorpion injure
any one in Jerusalem; nor did any man ever say to his fellow, "the
place is too strait for me (15) to lodge over night in Jerusalem."  9.
Ten things were created on the eve of Sabbath in the twilight (16):
the mouth of the earth (17); the mouth of the well (18); the mouth of
the ass (19); the rainbow (20); the manna (21); the rod (22); the
shamir (23); the shape of written characters; the writing, and the
tables of stone: some say, the destroying spirits also, and the
sepulchre of Moses (24), and the ram of Abraham our father (25); and
others say, tongs, also, made with tongs (26).

      (1) The expression "and God said" occurs ten times in Genesis
      I (verses 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26 28, and 29).  Many
      commentators count the opening phrase of this chapter, "In the
      beginning God created the heavens and the earth," as one of
      the sayings, maintaining that the idea of saying is implied in
      it.  Cf. Ps. XXXIII, 16.  According to the Rabbis, the wicked
      destroy and the righteous preserve the world, and, since it
      required ten sayings to create the world, the guilt of the
      sinner and the righteousness of the just are emphasized more
      than if it had been created merely by one word.

      (2) The ten generations are Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan,
      Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methusaleh, Lamech, and Noah.  The
      period from Adam to Noah is known as the "generation of the
      flood" (_dor ha-mabbul_).

      (3) These are Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu,
      Serug, Nahor, Terah, and Abraham.  Noah's good deeds were
      sufficient only to save himself and family, while Abraham's
      were sufficient to sustain the whole world.

      (4) These trials may be reckoned as follows: (1) his
      migration, Gen. XII, 12; (2) the famine in Canaan, XII, 10;
      (3) the seizing of Sarah by Pharaoh, XII, 15; (4) the battle
      with the four kings, XIV; (5) his marriage with Hagar because
      of Sarah's sterility, XVI, 2; (6) the circumcision, XVII, 10;
      (7) the seizing of Sarah by Abimelech, king of Gerar, XX, 2;
      (8) the banishment of Hagar, XXI, 10; (9) the banishment of
      Ishmael, XXI, 10; and (10) God's command to sacrifice Isaac,
      XXII, 2.  See _Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer_, chapter 24, and
      Friedlander, G., _Rabbinic philosophy and Ethics_ (London,
      1912), p. 75, n. 4.

      (5) For God.  Some interpreters explain this, however, as "the
      love of God for Abraham."

      (6) That they escaped the ten plagues with which the Egyptians
      were afflicted.

      (7) Legend says that at the passage of the Red Sea the ten
      miracles wrought were as follows: (1) the waters divided; (2)
      the waters were like a tent, or a vault; (3) the sea-bed was
      dry and hard; (4) but when the Egyptians trod upon it, it
      became muddy and slimy; (5) the sea was divided into twelve
      parts, one for each tribe; (6) the waters became as hard as
      stone; (7) the congealed waters appeared like blocks of
      building-stone; (8) the water was transparent so that the
      tribes could see one another; (9) fresh drinking water flowed
      from the congealed water; (10) after Israel had partaken of
      the drinking water, it became congealed, and did not wet the
      ground under foot.  See Ginzberg, _Legends of the Jews_, III,
      p. 21 _et seq._

      (8) This verse is not found in the Talmudic versions of
      _Abot_.  The plagues at the sea are alluded to in the "Song of
      Moses," Ex. XV.  See the commentary of Bartenora.

      (9) Num. XIV, 22.  The ten are enumerated by Maimonides,
      Bartenora, Hoffmann, and others.

      (10) The fly is a symbol of impurity.

      (11) The altar stood in the midst of the roofless Temple-hall.

      (12) The straight column of smoke denoted the acceptance of
      prayer and sacrifice.

      (13) See Lev. XXIII, 15-17.

      (14) Every Sabbath, twelve loaves of bread were placed on a
      table in the Sanctuary "before the Lord" (Lev. XXIV, 5-9) to
      serve as a constant reminder to the twelve tribes that their
      place was before the altar of God.

      (15) Isa. XLIX, 20.

      (16) Since all things were said to have been created during
      the first six days of creation, and since "there is nothing
      new under the sun" (Eccles. I, 9), everything miraculous or
      supernatural that existed or occurred after creation was
      explained by the Rabbis as having been made or preordained in
      the twilight at the moment of transition between the end of
      the work of creation and the beginning of the Sabbath.  See
      Gorfinkle, _ibid._, pp. 90-91 and n. 1.

      (17) To swallow Korah and his followers.  See Num. XVI, 30.

      (18) Which supplied the Israelites with water during their
      wandering in the wilderness.  See Num. XXI, 16, and _Shabbat_,

      (19) Balaam's ass.  See Num. XXII, 28.

      (20) Ge. IX, 19.

      (21) Ex. XV, 16.

      (22) Of Moses.  See _ibid._, IV, 17.

      (23) A miraculous worm that split stones by its look.  It was
      used, according to legend, to engrave the names of the tribes
      on the jewels of the ephod of the high-priest, and was also
      employed by Solomon in the construction of the Temple, in
      which no tools of iron were used.  See _Gittin_, 68a, and
      _Sotah_, 48b.  Consult P. Cassel, _Shamir, ein archaol.
      Beitrag zur Natur und Sagenkunde_, Erfurt, 1856, and art.
      _Shamir_, in _Jewish Encyclopedia_.

      (24) Deut. XXXIV, 6.

      (25) Gen. XXII, 13.

      (26) An allusion to a saying found in _Tosefta Erubin_, "Tongs
      are made with tongs; but how was the first pair made?  It
      could only have been a creation of God."  One instrument
      presupposes another; one thing is the cause of another, but
      the original cause is God.  Cf. _Pesachim_, 54a.

10. There are seven marks of an uncultured, and seven of a wise man.
The wise man does not speak before him who is greater than he in
wisdom; and does not interrupt the speech of his companion; he is not
hasty to answer; he questions according to the subject-matter; and
answers to the point; he speaks upon the first thing first, and upon
the last, last; regarding that which he has not understood he says, "I
do not understand it;" and he acknowledges the truth.  The reverse of
all this is to be found in an uncultured man.  11. Seven kinds of
punishment come into the world for seven important transgressions.  If
some give their tithes (27) and others do not, a dearth ensues from
drought and some suffer hunger while others are full.  If they all
determine to give no tithes, a dearth ensures from tumult (28) and
drought.  If they further resolve not to give the dough-cake (29), an
exterminating dearth ensures.  Pestilence comes into the world to
fulfil those death penalties threatened in the _Torah_, the execution
of which, however, is within the function of a human tribunal (30),
and for the violation of the law regarding the fruits of the seventh
year (31).  The sword (32) comes into the world for the delay of
justice, and for the perversion of justice, and on account of the
offence of those who interpret the _Torah_, not according to its true
sense (33).  Noxious beasts come into the world for vain swearing
(34), and for the profanation of the Divine Name (35).  Captivity
comes into the world on account of idolatry, immortality, bloodshed,
and the neglect of the year of rest for the soil (31).  12. At four
periods pestilence grows apace: in the fourth year, in the seventh, at
the conclusion of the seventh year, and at the conclusion of the Feast
of Tabernacles in each year: in the fourth year, for default of giving
the tithe to the poor in the third year (36); in the seventh year, for
default of giving the title to the poor in the sixth year (37); at the
conclusion of the seventh year, for the violation of the law regarding
the fruits of the seventh year (31), and at the conclusion of the
Feast of Tabernacles in each year, for robbing the poor of the grants
legally assigned to them (38).

      (27) See chapter I, n. 37.

      (28) Of war, when agriculture is neglected, and crops are
      destroyed, etc.

      (29) Num. XV, 20: "Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of
      your dough for a heave offering."  This commandment is
      observed in spirit to-day by the Jewish housewife, who takes a
      part of bread which is kneaded, and burns it, after reciting
      the blessing, "Blessed art Thou, O Lord, our God, King of the
      universe, Who has sanctified us by Thy commandments, and
      commanded us to separate the _challah_."  The ninth treatise
      of the _Order Zeraim_ of the _Mishnah_ is called _Challah._
      See Friedlander, _Jewish Religion_, p. 357.

      (30) The execution of which is in the hands of God.

      (31) That is, the Sabbatical year or the year of release
      (_ha-shemittah_).  See Ex. XXIII, 10 _et seq._, and Lev. XXV,
      1-7.  It is commanded that the land be allowed to lie fallow
      during that year, that there be no sowing, nor reaping, nor
      pruning of the vineyards, and that the servants, strangers,
      and animals, as well as the owner, shall share in the
      spontaneous growth of the fields and the vineyards.  See also
      Deut. XV, 1-11, and _Tractate Shebiit_ of the _Mishnah_.

      (32) _I.e._, war.

      (33) By prohibiting the permissible and permitting the

      (34) Cf. chapter IV, 9.

      (35) Cf. chapter IV, 5.

      (36) See Deut. XIV, 28, 29; XXVI, 12, and also above, chapter
      I, n. 37.

      (37) Of the septennial cycle.  The tithe was to be brought at
      the end of _every_ three years.

      (38) _I.e._, the gleanings and the forgotten sheaves of the
      harvest, the single bunches of grapes of the vineyard, and the
      unreaped corners of the fields which were assigned to the
      stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

13. There are four characters among men: he who says, "What is mine is
mine and what is thine is thine," his is a neutral character; some
say, "This is a character like that of Sodom" (39); he who says, "What
is mine is thine and what is thine is mine," is a boor (40); he who
says, "What is mine is thine and what is thine is thine," is a saint;
he who says, "What is thine is mine and what is mine is mine," is a
wicked man.  14. There are four kinds of tempers: he whom it is easy
to provoke and easy to pacify, his loss disappears in his gain; he
whom it is hard to provoke and hard to pacify, his gain disappears in
his loss; he whom it is hard to provoke and easy to pacify is a saint;
he whom it is easy to provoke and hard to pacify is a wicked man.  15.
There are four qualities in disciples: he who quickly understands and
quickly forgets, his gain disappears in his loss; he who understands
with difficulty and forgets with difficulty, his loss disappears in
his gain; he who understands quickly and forgets with difficulty, his
is a good portion; he who understands with difficulty and forgets
quickly, his is an evil portion.  16. As to almsgiving there are four
dispositions: he who desires to give, but that others should not give,
his eye is evil toward what appertains to others (41); he who desires
that others should give, but will not give himself, his eye is evil
against what is his own; he who gives and wishes others to give is a
saint; he who will not give and does not wish others to give is a
wicked man.  17. There are four characters among those who attend the
house of study: he who goes and does not practise (42) secures the
reward for going; he who practises (43) but does not go secures the
reward for practising; he who goes and practises is a saint; he who
neither goes nor practises is a wicked man.  18. There are four
qualities among those that sit before the wise: they are like a
sponge, a funnel, a strainer, or a sieve: a sponge, which sucks up
everything (44); a funnel, which lets in at one end and out at the
other; a strainer, which lets the wine pass out and retains the dregs;
a sieve, which lets out the bran and retains the fine flour.

      (39) One who neither gives nor takes.  One who does no labor
      of love.  Cf. Ezek. XVI, 49.

      (40) He does not know the sacredness of the rights of

      (41) He does not want his neighbors to be blessed because of
      their liberality.

      (42) The duties of which he has learned.

      (43) The commands of the _Torah_.

      (44) The true and the untrue.

19. Whenever love depends upon some material cause, with the passing
away of that cause, the love, too, passes away (45); but if it be not
depending upon such a cause, it will not pass away for ever.  Which
love was that which depended upon a material cause?  Such was the love
of Ammon and Tamar (46).  And that which depended upon no such cause?
Such was the love of David and Jonathan (47).

      (45) Lasting love is disinterested love.

      (46) See II Sam. XII.

      (47) See I Sam. XVIII, 1.

20. Every controversy that is in the Name of Heaven (48) shall in the
end lead to a permanent result, but every controversy that is not in
the Name of Heaven shall not lead to a permanent result.  Which
controversy was that which was in the Name of Heaven?  Such was the
controversy of Hillel and Shammai (49).  And that which was not in the
Name of Heaven?  Such was the controversy of Korah and all his company

      (48) _I.e._, a controversy to arrive at the truth.

      (49) See chapter I, n. 29.

      (50) See Num. XV, 1 _et seq._

21. Whosoever causes the multitude to be righteous, over him sin
prevails not; but he who causes the multitude to sin shall not have
the means to repent (51).  Moses was righteous and made the multitude
righteous; the righteousness of the multitude was laid upon him, as it
is said, "He executed the justice of the Lord and his judgments with
Israel" (52).  Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, sinned and caused the
multitude to sin; the sin of the multitude was laid upon him, as it is
said, "For the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned and which he made
Israel to sin" (53).

      (51) He who leads the people astray is punished by being
      prevented from repenting.  This does not mean, however, that
      man, in general, does not act in accordance with his own free
      will.  Maimonides, in discussing this problem, says, in the
      eighth chapter of the _Shemonah Perakim_, "Just as some of
      man's undertakings, which are ordinarily subject to his own
      free will, are frustrated by way of punishment, as, for
      instance, a man's hand being prevented from working so that he
      can do nothing with it, as was the case of Jeroboam, the son
      of Nebat, or a man's eyes from seeing, as happened to the
      Sodomites, who had assembled about Lot, likewise how does God
      withhold man's ability to use his own free will in regard to
      repentance, so that it never occurs to him to repent, and he
      thus finally perishes in his own wickedness."  See ed.
      Gorfinkle, p. 94 _et seq._

      (52) Deut. XXXIII, 21.

      (53) I Kings XV, 30.  Cf. _Sanhedrin_ X, 2: "Three kings have
      no portion in the world to come . . . Jeroboam, Ahab, and

22. Whosoever has these three attributes is of the disciples of
Abraham, our father, but whosoever has three other attributes is of
the disciples of Balaam, the wicked (54).  A good eye (55), a humble
mind, and a lowly spirit (are the tokens) of the disciples of Abraham,
our father; an evil eye, a haughty mind, and a proud spirit (are the
signs) of the disciples of Balaam, the wicked.  What is the difference
between the disciples of Abraham, our father, and those of Balaam, the
wicked?  The disciples of Abraham, our father, enjoy this world and
inherit the world to come, as it is said, "That I may cause those that
love me to inherit substance, and may fill all their treasuries" (56);
but the disciples of Balaam, the wicked, inherit _Gehinnom_ (57), and
descend into the pit of destruction, as it is said, "But thou, O God,
wilt bring them down into the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and
deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in
thee" (58).

      (54) See Num. XXII-XXIV.

      (55) See chapter II, note 30.

      (56) Prov. VIII, 21: "Substance," _i.e._, in the future world;
      "treasures," _i.e._, in this world.

      (57) See chapter I, n. 18.

      (58) Ps. LIV, 24.

23. Judah, the son of Tema, said, "Be bold as a leopard, swift as an
eagle, fleet as a hart, and strong as a lion, to do the will of thy
Father who is in Heaven" (59).  24. He used to say (60), "At five
years (the age is reached for the study of the) Scripture, at ten for
(the study of) the _Mishnah_ (61), at thirteen for (the fulfilment of)
the commandments (62), at fifteen for (the study of) the _Talmud_
(63), at eighteen for marriage, at twenty for seeking (a livelihood)
(64), at thirty for (entering into one's full) strength, at forty for
understanding, at fifty for counsel, at sixty (a man attains) old age,
at seventy the hoary head, at eighty (the gift of special) strength
(65), at ninety, (he bends beneath) the weight of years, at a hundred
he is as if he were already dead and had passed away from the world."

      (59) Cf. "Our Father which is in Heaven" of the "Lord's
      Prayer" (Matt. VI, 9).  The conception of God as a "Father"
      goes back to earliest times.  See Gen. XLIX, 19, 20; Ex. IV,
      22; Deut. XXXII, 6; II Sam. V, 44; Ps. LXXXIX, 27, 28; Isa.
      LXIII, 16, LXIV, 8, and Mal. II, 10.  Deut. XXXII, 6, reads,
      "Is He not thy Father?" and Isa. LXIII, 18, "Doubtless Thou
      art our Father."  In the _Mishnah_ we find, "Who purifies you?
       Your Father which is in Heaven" (_Yoma_ VII, 8); "On whom
      have we to lean?  On our Father which is in Heaven" (_Sotah_,
      IX, 15), and similar passages.  The Rabbis constantly referred
      to God as "Father" (see Schechter, _Aspects_, pp. 46, 49,
      50-51).  They took issue, of course, with the New Testament
      conception of God, in not admitting and in denouncing the idea
      of a mediator.  To them all mankind were the sons of God.
      That the Rabbis borrowed this God-idea and the expression "Our
      Father which is in Heaven" from Christianity is untenable,
      for, as Herford (_Pharisaism_, 120 _et seq._) points out, such
      borrowing would have been abhorrent to them.  This expression
      was undoubtedly current long before and during the time of
      Jesus, and it represented a conception of the divine
      acceptable to both the Rabbis and Jesus.  The Rabbis had no
      quarrel with Christianity on this score, but did not admit the
      "sonship" of God in the Christian sense.  The expressions "Our
      Father" and "Our Father which is in Heaven" are found
      frequently in the Jewish Prayer-book.  On this subject,
      consult Taylor, _Sayings_, pp. 124, 176, and G. Friedlander,
      _The Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount_, chapter X.
      For a comparison of other parts of _Abot_ with the New
      Testament see Feibig, _Pirque 'aboth_, especially the
      _Nachwort_, pp. 42-43, and G. Friedlander, _ibid._, _passim_.
            It seems that originally _Abot_ ended here, as in the
      _Machzor Vitry_.  The verses which follow were added from
      other sources.  See Bacher, _Agada der Tanaiten_, I, 378;
      Taylor, _ibid._, p. 95, n. 46, p. 96, n. 47; Hoffmann, _Die
      erste Mischna_, p. 30; _idem_, _Abot_, p. 358, notes 106 and
      108; and Strack, _Spruche_, p. 46, notes _t_ and _u_.

      (60) Taylor makes this verse an _addendum_ to chapter V, and
      calls it "The Ages of Man."  Cf. Shakespeare's "Seven Ages of
      Man."  See in the _Jewish Encyclopedia_, art. _Ages of Man in
      Jewish Literature_, _The Seven_, and Schechter, _Studies_, I,
      pp. 299-300.

      (61) The _Mishnah_ is the oral or unwritten law based on the
      written law contained in the Pentateuch (see chapter I, n. 1).
       The _Mishnah_, _par excellence_, is the codification made by
      Judah ha-Nasi (see chapter II, n. 1).  It is divided into six
      orders or sections known as _sedarim_.  They are (1) _Zeraim_,
      "seeds," which contains the laws regarding the cultivation of
      the land and its products, introduced by a treatise concerning
      prayer and benedictions (_Berachot_); (2) _Mode_, "festivals,"
      treating of the laws of the Sabbath and the festivals; (3)
      _Nashim_, "women," regulations concerning marriage and
      divorce; (4) _Nezikin_, "injuries" or "damages," civil and
      criminal law; (5) _Kodashim_, "holy things," the laws of
      sacrifice and of the service of the Temple; and (6) _Tohorot_,
      "purifications," dealing with the clean and the unclean.  Each
      order is subdivided into treatises (_massektot_), there being
      in all 63 such subdivisions.  The _Mishnah_ is known as the
      _shas_ ([shin''samech]), which word is formed from the first
      letters of the words _shishah sedarim_ (six orders).  The
      _Talmud_ is also similarly termed.  For a discussion of the
      name, origin, contents, compilation, etc., of the _Mishnah_,
      see Mielziner, _Introduction to the Talmud_, p. 4 _et seq._;
      art. _Mishnah_, in the _Jewish Encyclopedia_ and the
      authorities cited there; Strack, _Einleitung_, p. 2, 15 _et
      seq._, 22 _et seq._, and Geiger, _Judaism and its History_, p.
      239 _et seq._

      (62) At thirteen, the Jewish boy becomes _bar mitzwah_,
      _i.e._, "a son of commandment."  The rites and ceremonies
      connected with the _bar mitzwah_ of to-day cannot "be clearly
      traced earlier than the fourteenth century" (Abrahams, _Jewish
      Life in the Middle Ages_, p. 32).  See Schurer, _History_, II,
      ii, p. 53 and n. 38; Schechter, _Studies_, I, p. 306 _et
      seq._, and art. _Bar Mitzwah_, in _Jewish Encyclopedia_.

      (63) Lit., "teaching," "learning," "study."  Here, it
      signifies study for the purpose of elucidating the _Mishnah_.
      Some texts read, "for the study of the _Gemara_."  The
      _Gemara_ (from the Aramaic, meaning "learning," "completion")
      is a collection of explanations and discussions on the
      _Mishnah_.  The word _Talmud_ was afterwards applied to the
      _Mishnah_ plus the _Gemara_.  There is a translation of the
      _Talmud_ in English by Rodkinson, but it is free and
      incomplete in parts.  See Meilziner, _Introduction to the
      Talmud_; Bacher, art. _Talmud_, in _Jewish Encyclopedia_;
      _idem_, art. _Gemara_, in the _Hebrew Union College Annual_
      (Cincinnati, 1904); E. Deutsch, _What is the Talmud?_;
      Darmsteter, _The Talmud_; Strack, _Einleitung in den Talmud_,
      pp. 4-5, 6 _et seq._, 99 _et seq._, 113 _et seq._, 132 _et
      seq._; Schechter, _On the Study of the Talmud_ in _Studies_,
      II, p. 102 _et seq._; Herford, _Pharisaism_, pp. 53-54.

      (64) Lit., "at twenty, to pursue."  This has been variously
      interpreted as follows: (1) for seeking a livelihood
      (Bartenora, Hoffmann, Strack, Singer); (2) for the pursuit of
      military service (cf. Num. I, 3, and Deut. XXIV, 5; _Machzor
      Vitri_, p. 551.  Shakespeare's "Then a soldier"); (3) the age
      "to pursue him for his deeds," for the celestial _bet din_
      (tribunal) does not punish at an age less than twenty
      (Bartenora's second explanation; cf. Rashi on Num. XVI, 27);
      (4) for the pursuit of ideals (Taylor); (5) to pursue the
      commandments (_Siddur Korban Minchah_).

      (65) Cf. Ps. XC, 10.

25. Ben Bag Bag said, "Turn it (66), and turn it over again, for
everything is in it, and contemplate it, and wax grey and old over it,
and stir not from it, for thou canst have no better rule than this."

      (66) The _Torah_.

26. Ben He He said, "According to the labor is the reward" (67).

      (67) The last two verses are ascribed by _Abot de-Rabbi Natan_
      to Hillel (chapter XII, ed. Schechter, p. 55).  Ben Bag Bag
      and Ben He He were probably proselytes and disciples of
      Hillel.  See Bacher, _ibid._, pp. 10-12, Taylor and Hoffmann,
      _ad loc._, and _Jewish Encyclopedia_, art. _Ben Bag Bag_.

Rabbi Chanania, the son of Akashia, said, "The Holy One, blessed be
He, was pleased to make Israel worthy; wherefore He gave them a
copious _Torah_ and many commandments, as it is said, 'It pleased the
Lord, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify the _Torah_ and make it



      (1) See Introduction pp. 18-19. [refers to the end of the
      section titled DEVELOPMENT OF ABOT]

All Israel have a portion in the world to come, and it is said, "And
thy people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for
ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be

The sages taught (the following) in the language of the
_Mishnah_--blessed be He that made choice of them and their _Mishnah_.
 1. R. Meir (2) said, "Whosoever labors in the _Torah_ for its own
sake merits many things; and not only so, but the whole world is
indebted to him: he is called friend, beloved, a lover of the
All-present, a lover of mankind: it clothes him with meekness and
reverence; it fits him to become just, pious, upright, and faithful;
it keeps him far from sin, and brings him near to virtue; through him
are enjoyed counsel and sound knowledge, understanding and strength,
as it is said, 'Counsel is mind, and sound knowledge; I am
understanding; I have strength' (3).  It gives him sovereignty and
dominion and discerning judgment; to him the secrets of the _Torah_
are revealed; he is made like a never-failing spring and like a river
that flows on with ever-increasing vigor; he becomes modest,
long-suffering, and forgiving of insults; and it magnifies and exalts
him above all things."

      (2) Chapter III, n. 32.

      (3) Prov. VIII, 14.  Wisdom, representing the _Torah_, utters
      these words.

2. R. Joshua, the son of Levi (4), said, "Every day a _bat-kol_ (5)
goes forth from Mount Horeb, proclaiming and saying, 'Woe to mankind
for contempt of the _Torah_, for whoever does not occupy himself in
the _Torah_ is said to be under the divine censure, as it is said, 'As
a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman who turneth
aside from discretion' (6); and it says, 'And the tables were the work
of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the
tables' (7).  Read not _charut_ (8), but _cherut_ (9), for no man is
free but he who occupies himself in the learning of _Torah_.  But
whosoever labors in the _torah_, behold he shall be exalted, as it is
said, 'And from _Mattanah_ to _Nachaliel_, and from _Nachaliel_ to
_Bamot_'" (10).

      (4) R. Joshua lived about the middle of the third century.

      (5) _Bat kol_ (lit., "daughter of a voice" or
      "daughter-voice"), "a small voice," "sound," "resonance," not
      "echo," as it is often translated.  The expression _bat kol_
      was used in place of the longer one _bat kol min ha-shamayim_,
      which is "a heavenly or divine voice which proclaims God's
      will or judgment, His deeds, and His commandments to
      individuals or to number of persons, to rulers, countries, and
      even to whole nations."  This celestial voice was a means of
      divine revelation lower than that of prophecy.  According to
      Schechter, it has two peculiar features: first, its messages
      are reproductions of verses or sentences from the Old
      Testament or from the Apocrypha, and secondly, "it is audible
      only to those who are prepared to hear it."  See Weber,
      _Altsynag. Theol._, pp. 187-189; Low, _Gesammelte Schriften_,
      II, p. 58, n. 1; Kitto's _Cyclopedia of Biblical Lit._, art.
      _Bath Kil_, and _Ludwig Blau_, art. _Bat Kol_, in _Jewish

      (6) Proberbs XI, 22.  The word [nazaf (nun-zayin-fey)]
      "censured," "placed under ban," by a form of Rabbinical
      interpretation known as _notarikon_ (stenographer's method,
      abbreviation), is connected with the words of this verse in
      Proverbs: [Nezem Zahav b'aF (NUN-zayin-mem(sofit)
      ZAYIN-hey-bet bet-alef-FEY(sofit), capitals indicating larger
      case Hebrew letters)].  Another instance of this kind of
      interpretation is in connecting the word [anochi] "I," the
      first word of the Decalogue, with the phrase: [Ana Nafshi
      Catvit Yehavit (ALEF-nun-alef NUN-pey-shin-yud
      CHOF-tof-bet-yud-tet YUD-hey-bet-yud-tet)] "I (God) myself
      have written (the Torah), and delivered it," or with the words
      [Amirah N'imah K'tivah Y'hivah (ALEF-mem-yud-resh-hey
      NUN-ayin-yud-mem-hey CHOF-tof-yud-bet-hey
      YUD-hey-yud-bet-hey)] "a pleasant saying, written and
      delivered" (_Shabbat_, 105a).  See art. _Notarikon_, in the
      _Jewish Encyclopedia_, and Strack, _Einleitung_, p. 130.

      (7) Ex. XXXII, 16.

      (8) Graven.  The phrase [al tikri . . . ele] "do not read . .
      . but" followed by a suggested reading different from the
      original, does not mean that the Rabbis offered an emendation
      of the biblical text.  It was merely a change of the text for
      homiletical purposes.  See Bacher, _Die alteste Terminologie
      der judischen Schriftauslegung_, p. 175 _et seq._;
      Friedlander, _Jewish Religion_, p. 204, and Talmudical
      dictionaries, _s.v._

      (9) Freedom.

      (10) Num. XXI, 19 _Mattanah_, "gift"; _Nachaliel_, "the
      heritage of God"; _Bamot_, "high places."  The names of these
      three encampments of the Israelites in the wilderness are
      interpreted according to their literal meanings.

3. He who learns from his companion a single chapter, a single rule, a
single verse, a single expression, or even a single letter, ought to
pay him honor, for so we find with David, King of Israel, who learned
only two things from Ahitophel (11), and yet regarded him as his
master, his guide, and familiar friend, as it is said, "But it was
thou, a man, mine equal, my guide, and my familiar friend" (12).  Now,
is it not an argument from minor to major (13), that if David, the
King of Israel, who learned only two things from Ahitophel, regarded
him as his master, guide, and familiar friend, he who learns from his
fellow a chapter, rule, verse, expression, or even a single letter, is
bound to pay him honor.  And "honor" is nothing but _Torah_, as it is
said, "The wise shall inherit honor (14) and the perfect shall inherit
good" (15).  And "good" is nothing but _Torah_, as it is said, "For I
give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my _Torah_" (16).

      (11) Ahitophel deserted David to take up the cause of his
      rebellious son, Absalom.  See II Sam. XVI, 15; XVII, 1 _et

      (12) See Ps. LV, 14.  The two things David learned are hinted
      at in Ps. LV, 15.

      (13) See chapter I, n. 17.

      (14) Prov. III, 35.

      (15) _Ibid._, XXVIII, 10.

      (16) _Ibid._, IV, 2.

4. This is the way that is becoming for the study of the _Torah_: a
morsel of bread with salt thou must eat (17), "and water by measure
thou must drink" (18), thou must sleep upon the ground, and live a
life of trouble the while thou toilest in the _Torah_.  If thou doest
thus, "Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee" (19),
"happy shalt thou be" in this world, and "it shall be well with thee"
in the world to come (20).

      (17) Even he who has only bread and salt to eat must busy
      himself with the study of the _Torah_.

      (18) Ezek. IV, 11.

      (19) Ps. CXXVIII, 2.

      (20) Cf. chapter IV, 1.

5. Seek not greatness for thyself, and court not honor; let thy works
exceed thy learning; and crave not after the table of kings; for thy
table is greater than theirs, and thy crown is greater than theirs,
and thy Employer is faithful to pay thee the reward of thy work.

6. The _Torah_ is greater than the priesthood and than royalty, for
royalty demands thirty qualifications (21), the priesthood twenty-four
(22), while the _Torah_ is acquired by forty-eight.  And these are
they: by audible study; by a listening ear (23); by distinct
pronunciation; by understanding (24) and discernment of the heart; by
awe, reverence, meekness, cheerfulness (25); by ministering to the
sages, by attaching one's self to colleagues, by discussion with
disciples; by sedateness; by knowledge of the Scripture and of the
_Mishnah;_ by moderation in business, in intercourse with the world,
in pleasure, in sleep, in conversation, in laughter; by long
suffering; by a good heart; by faith in the wise; by resignation under
chastisement; by recognizing one's place, rejoicing in one's portion,
putting a fence to one's words, claiming no merit for one's self, by
being beloved, loving the All-present, loving mankind, loving just
courses, rectitude, and reproof; by keeping one's self far from honor,
not boasting of one's learning, nor delighting in giving decisions; by
bearing the yoke with one's fellow, judging him favorably, and leading
him to truth and peace; by being composed in one's study; by asking
and answering, hearing and adding thereto; by learning with the object
of teaching, and by learning with the object of practising; by making
one's master wise, fixing attention upon his discourse, and reporting
a thing in the name of who said it.  So thou hast learned, "Whosoever
reports a thing in the name of him that said it brings deliverance
into the world," as it is said, "And Esther told the king in the name
of Mordecai" (26).

      (21) See _Sanhedrin_ II, 2-5.

      (22) See _Baba Kamma_, 110b, etc.

      (23) Singer, combining the first two, reads "by audible

      (24) Taylor omits "understanding and."

      (25) Taylor and Hoffmann add "by purity" ([b'taharah]).

      (26) Esth. II, 22.

7. Great is the _Torah_, which gives life to those that practise it in
this world and in the world to come, as it is said, "For they are life
unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh" (27); and it
says, "It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones" (28);
and it says, "It is a tree of life to them that grasp it, and of them
that uphold it every one is rendered happy" (29); and it says, "For
they shall be a chaplet of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy
neck" (30); and it says, "It shall give to thine head a chaplet of
grace, a crown of glory it shall deliver to thee" (31); and it says,
"For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life
shall be increased" (32); and it says, "Length of days is in its right
hand; in its left hand are riches and honor" (33); and it says, "For
length of days, and years of life, and peace shall they add to thee"

      (27) Prov. IV, 22.

      (28) _Ibid._, III, 8.

      (29) Prov. III, 18.

      (30) _Ibid._, I, 9.

      (31) _Ibid_, IV, 9.

      (32) Prov. IX, 11.

      (33) _Ibid._, III, 16.

      (34) _Ibid._, III, 2.

8. R. Simeon, the son of Judah, in the name of R. Simeon, the son of
Yohai, said, "Beauty, strength, riches, honor, wisdom, old age, a
hoary head, and children are comely to the righteous and comely to the
world, as it is said, 'The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be
found in the way of righteousness' (35); and it says, 'The glory of
young men is their strength, and the adornment of old men is the hoary
head' (36); and it says, 'A crown unto the wise is their riches' (37);
and it says, 'Children's children are the crown of old men, and the
adornment of children are their fathers' (38); and it is said, 'Then
the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed; for the Lord of
hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his
elders shall be glory'" (39).  R. Simeon, the son of Menasya, said,
"These seven qualifications which the sages enumerated as becoming to
the righteous were all realized in Rabbi Judah, the Prince (40), and
in his sons."

      (35) _Ibid._, XVI, 31.

      (36) _Ibid._, XX, 29.

      (37) Prov. XIV, 24.

      (38) _Ibid._, XVII, 6.

      (39) Isa. XXIV, 23.

      (40) See chapter II, n. 1.

9. R. Jose, the son of Kisma (41), said, "I was once walking by the
way, when a man met me and saluted me, and I returned the salutation.
He said to me, 'Rabbi, from what place art thou?'  I said to him, 'I
come from a great city of sages and scribes.'  He said to me, 'If thou
art willing to dwell with us in our place, I will give thee a thousand
thousand golden dinars and precious stones and pearls.'  I said to
him, 'Wert thou to give me all the silver and gold and precious stones
and pearls in the world, I would not dwell anywhere but in a home of
the _Torah';_ and thus it is written in the book of Psalms by the
hands of David, King of Israel, 'The law of thy mouth is better unto
me than thousands of gold and silver' (42); and not only so, but in
the hour of man's departure neither silver nor gold nor precious
stones nor pearls accompany him, but only _Torah_ and good works, as
it is said, 'When thou walkest it shall lead thee; when thou liest
down it shall watch over thee; and when thou awakest it shall talk
with thee' (43); 'when thou walkest it shall lead thee'--in this
world; and 'when thou awakest it shall talk with thee'--in the world
to come.  And it says, 'The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,
saith the Lord of hosts'" (44).

      (41) He lived about 120 C.E.

      (42) Ps. XCIX, 72.

      (43) Prov. VI, 22.

      (44) Hag. II, 8.

10. Five possessions the Holy One, blessed be He, made especially His
own in His world, and these are they, the _Torah_, heaven and earth,
Abraham, Israel, and the house of the sanctuary.  Whence know we this
of the _Torah?_  Because it is written, "The Lord possessed me as the
beginning of his way, before his works, from of old" (45).  Whence of
heaven and earth?  Because it is written, "Thus saith the Lord, the
heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what manner of
house will ye build unto me? and what manner of place for my rest?"
(46); and it says, "How manifold are thy works, O Lord!  In wisdom
hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy possessions" (47).
Whence of Abraham?  Because it is written, "And he blessed him, and
said, 'Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and
earth" (48).  Whence of Israel?  Because it is written, "Till thy
people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over which thou hast
acquired" (49); and it says, "As for the saints that are in the earth,
they are the noble ones in whom is all my delight" (50).  Whence of
the house of the sanctuary?  Because it is written, "The place, O
Lord, which thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, the sanctuary, O
Lord, which Thy hands have prepared" (51); and it says, "And he
brought them to the border of his sanctuary, to this mountain which
his right hand had acquired" (52).  11. Whatsoever the Holy One,
blessed be He, created in His world He created but for His glory, as
it is said, "Everything that is called by my name, it is for my glory
I have created it, I have formed it, yea, I have made it" (53); and it
says, "The Lord shall reign for ever and ever" (54).

      (45) Prov. VIII, 22.

      (46) Isa. LXVI, 1.

      (47) Ps. CIV, 24.

      (48) Gen. XIV, 16.

      (49) Ex. XV, 16.

      (50) Ps. XVI, 3.

      (51) Ex. XV, 17.

      (52) Ps. LXXVIII, 54.

      (53) Isa. XLIII, 7.

      (54) Ex. XV, 18.

Rabbi Chanania, the son of Akashia, said, "The Holy One, blessed be
He, was pleased to make Israel worthy; wherefore He gave them a
copious _Torah_ and many commandments, as it is said, 'It pleased the
Lord, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify the _Torah_ and make it


For any accent marks noted in the following, assume that the same
accent appears with all subsequent occurrances of the word.


_Die Spruche der Vater_
     umlaut over the u and the a

_Maximes des Peres_
     grave over the last e

     circumflex over the o

footnote 9
     _Jewish Encyclopedia_:
     in the source, the word Jewish was not italicized


     the document contained a special character known as "section
     sign", resembling two lower-case s's one above the other.

     umlaut over tue u in

     umlaut over the a

     umlaut over the a

     umlaut over the a

     umlaut over the u

     umlaut over the u

     umlaut over the u

     umlaut over the a

     umlaut over the i (in this French title)

Introduction a la ...
     umlaut over the first a

     grave accent over the first e

     umlaut over the u

     umlaut over the u

fur Geschichte
     umlaut over the u

     umlaut over the u

     umlaut over the second u

Jahrbucher fur Jud
     umlauts over all three u's

Friedlander, M.
     umlaut over the a.  Same in Chapter I, notes 4, 10, 11, 13, 18
     etc.  There is no umlaut in the next entry, "Friedlander, G."

samtlichen Bucher
     umlauts over the a and u

     circumflex over the i, and wherever this word appears elsewhere
     in the book (e.g. Introduction, notes 5 and 8).

Loeb ... Pirke Abot
     acute accent over the e in Pirke, for both entries

     acute accent over the first e

     acute accent over the first e

le chapitre Ier
     final er is superscript (premier)

     umlaut over the u

     umlaut over the a


The source text included the following two lines:
          "All Israel," etc., p. 29
          "Rabbi Chanania," etc., p. 38.
 as the first and last line of each chapter, the page numbers
referring to the beginning and ending of Chapter I.  Rather than
reference these two sentences as the source text did, this text
version copies the two sentences to their intended locations.  The
transcriber believes this better captures the flavor of the text.

Chapter III:

R. Meir
     umlaut over the i, wherever this name appears

footnote 23
     mutual assistance. as _Agudat Achim_
     period and lower-case 'as' are as found in the source text

footnote 45
     Chald. Worterbuch: umlaut over the o


happy art thou in this world, and
     in the source text, the comma was a period.


tables of stone
     are as written in the source text as a translation of the Hebrew
     "luchot"; modern readers may better recognize the phrase 'tablets
     of stone'.

footnote 23
     archaol.: umlaut over the second a.


footnote 5
     to individuals or to number of persons: is as written in the
     source text

footnote 8
     alteste: umlaut over the a
     judischen: umlaut over the u


This index is included strictly on the off-chance that an outside
source would reference this text by page number.  It lists some page
numbers, and the first line that appears on that page.  With the use
of this index, readers will better be able to find the referenced

In the edition used as a source text, the Table of Contents appears as
page iv on the back of the Title Page; there were no pages i through
iii!  The PREFACE started on page 7.  There were are no pages 1-6!

   PREFACE   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    7
      Name        .    .    .    .    .    .    9
      Purpose     .    .    .    .    .    .   11
      Description .    .    .    .    .    .   13
      Contents    .    .    .    .    .    .   13
      Language    .    .    .    .    .    .   15
      Development of Abot   .    .    .    .   16
      Abot in Liturgy  .    .    .    .    .   19
      Bibliography     .    .    .    .    .   21
   CHAPTER   I    .    .    .    .    .    .   29
   CHAPTER  II    .    .    .    .    .    .   39
   CHAPTER III    .    .    .    .    .    .   51
   CHAPTER  IV    .    .    .    .    .    .   64
   CHAPTER   V    .    .    .    .    .    .   75
   CHAPTER  VI    .    .    .    .    .    .   91
   HEBREW TEXT (Appendix)   .    .    .    . 3-30

	page - first line of that page

  8   wisdom of the "Father"; that it may serve as an
 10   and in French it is usually rendered _Chaptres_ or
 12   line of continuous tradition is plainly seen in the
 14   B. (1) Chapters I, 16-II, 4: Sayings of the men of
 16          DEVELOPMENT OF ABOT (13)
 18   having lived before the destruction of the second
 20   all editions of the _Mishnah_ and the _Talmud_, but
 22   _Gemara_ (Talmudical commentary) on the _Abot_,
 24      (2) _An appendix to the Sayings of the
 26    17. Jehudah Leb gordon, _Pirke Abot_, in _Siddur Bet
 28      Chapitre des Pirke Abot_, in _Bibliotheque de
 30   (6), and the elders to the prophets, and the proph-
 32   of the Great Synagogue.  He used to say, "Upon
 34   bers of thy household, and engage not in much
 36    12. Hillel and Shammai (29) received (the tradi-
 38    18. Rabban Simeon, the son of Gamaliel (42),
 40   against the loss it involves.  Consider three things,
 42   the day of thy death (12); judge not thy neighbor
 44   for himself words of _Torah_ has acquired for him-
 46   which is the good way to which a man should
 48   the evil inclination (40), and hatred of his fellow-
 50   also before whom thou toilest, and who thy Em-
 52    2. R. Chanina, the Vice-High-Priest (5), said,
 54   a table and have spoken there words of _Torah_, it is
 56    8. R. Eleazar of Bertota (28) said, "Give unto
 58   fanes things sacred, and despises the festivals, and
 60   rampart around the _Torah;_ tithes are a safeguard
 62   "Where there is no _Torah_, there are no manners;
 64           CHAPTER IV
 66   virtue is a virtue, and the recompense of a trans-
 68   not alone, for none may judge alone save One;
 70   home of the _Torah_ (30), and say not that the _Torah_
 72   learns as a child, what is it like?  Like ink written
 74   not thy imagination give thee hope that the grave
 76   ten generations from Noah to Abraham, to make
 78   nor was there ever found any disqualifying defect
 80   and upon the last, last; regarding that which he
 82   the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles in each
 84   love, too, passes away (45); but if it be not depend-
 86   disciples of Abraham, our father, enjoy this world
 88   at thirteen for (the fulfilment of) the command-
 90    26. Ben He He said, "According to the labor is
 92   becomes modest, long-suffering, and forgiving of
 94   friend, as it is said, "But it was thou, a man, mine
 96   courses, rectitude, and reproof; by keeping one's self
 98   once walking by the way, when a man met me and
 100   for His glory, as it is said, "Everything that is

Next appears page 30, the end of the Hebrew text.  The Hebrew text is
numbered from 3 to 30, in right-to-left format.

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