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Jewish Geography


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Jul 9, 2018

What Makes this Podcast Different from the Others in This Feed?

I am very proud to announce here that I've started a video series exploring 'Pirkei Avot' ('The Chapters of the Fathers'). You can find the videos HERE. But for those of you who, like me, prefer audio-only I will be releasing the episodes in this feed as well. This podcast episode includes the audio from the first three videos strung together one after the other.

Production Notes

Thanks to the positive feedback I've received for including my production notes with podcast episodes I'm going to make that a regular feature. Here you go. Enjoy!

Chapter 1, Mishnah 1

The tradition handed down, Judaism based on tradition, not 'mystery.'
'Be Measured in Judgment': RAMBAM take your time making decisions until you can really understand them deeply.
'Keep many students': meaning obvious
'Make a fence for the Torah': RAMBAM the rulings and laws that will keep a person far from transgression, as it says in the Torah 'and you shall guard my guarding' (u'shmartem mishmarti).

Chapter 1, Mishnah 2

"Shimon the Righteous was from the remnants of the Great Assembly. He would say, 'On three things the world stands: on the Torah, on the [divine] service and on acts of lovingkindness.'"
 
Shimon Hatzadik was the last survivor of the first temple period, lived into the period of the Second Temple.
'World stands on Torah': RAMBAM this is wisdom
'Avodah': RAMBAM The sacrifices in the Temple which fix the world and maintain it's existence
'Acts of loving kindness': RAMBAM good character traits

Chapter 1, Mishnah 3

 https://www.sefaria.org/Pirkei_Avot.1.3?lang=bi
 
"Antigonos, man of Sokho, received from Shimon the Righteous. He would say, 'Do not be as servants who are serving the master in order to receive a reward, rather be as servants who are serving the master not in order to receive a reward; and may the fear of Heaven be upon you.'"
Antigonus is a Greek name, shows us we have entered the Greek period.
EITAN NOTE: As opposed to Greek way of seeing gods as functional. Put in a coin, get a result.
RAMBAM: do it in the way of kindness, in the way a father may ask a small child or his wife, etc., to do him a favor and he gives him a few coins. He gets a reward, but he did the act out of love. BUT don't forget awe/fear entirely, thus the last line, because this is also necessary as the Torah commands it specifically "the lord your G-d you shall 'fear/hold in awe.'" Out of love we will do what requested, but only awe/fear will prevent us from performing a transgression/sin.