Pirkei Avot Lesson 10
Sandy Kress


Ethics of the Fathers – Lesson Plan – Session Ten – WHPC

I. Introduction

II. Verses to Consider

A. Rabbi Yose says: Let your fellow’s belongings be as dear to you as your own; apply yourself to the study of Torah, for it is not yours by inheritance; and let all your deeds be for the sake of Heaven. 2:17


1. These ethical precepts were developed near the time of the formation of the Gospels. How can you tell?

2. Give some examples about the sorts of property concerns Yose might have had in mind.

3. How do you think this wisdom might impact the giving of charity?

4. What is the meaning of being taught that the Bible is not ours by way of inheritance?

5. Why do we see the continued repetition that our deeds are for the sake of Heaven?

B. Rabbi Shimon says: Be careful with the reading of the Shema and in prayer; when you pray, do not make your prayer something automatic, but a plea for compassion before God…; And be not wicked in your own esteem.2:18


1. Why do you think Shimon – from an ethical point of view - places so much of an emphasis on prayer and the proper means and methods of it?

2. Why does Shimon caution against (incorrectly) deeming ourselves wicked in our own esteem? And what does this advice have to do with praying?

C. Rabbi Elazar says: (K)now before Whom you work and know that your Employer can be relied upon to pay you the wage of your labor. 2:19

Rabbi Tarfon says: The day is short, the task is abundant, the laborers are lazy, the reward is great, and the Master of the house is insistent. 2:20


1. Why do you think this wisdom comes in the form of terms of labor and work?

2. There is talk of rewards here. We’ve seen this before. What’s the appropriate (and inappropriate) way of seeing rewards in our service to God?

3. How do you break down each component of this wisdom about serving God?

III. Conclusions – takeaways from our studies today

Pirkei Avot Lesson 10

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