Anthology of the classics: Rashi,
Rambam, Bartenura, Maharal and
hundreds of other commentaries
Insights from the Chasidic Masters
Biographies of the Tannaim
Stories and Parables
The Talmud states "One who wishes to be a chasid, should practice the words of Avot (Ethics of the Fathers)."
Now, with the release of Pirkei Avot: With a New Commentary, Anthologized from the works of the Classic Commentators and the Chasidic Masters, that daunting task has become that much easier.
Compiled by well-known author and translator Rabbi Yosef Marcus, and published by the Lubavitch publishing house, Kehot Publication Society, the volume gives the reader a comprehensive and fundamental understanding of Pirkie Avot. Anthologized from hundreds of commentators, classic to obscure, the commentary is crowned with the insights culled from the voluminous works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and his predecessors.
Printed in elegant two-color with original artwork, and issued in a deluxe gift edition as the "Rabbi Gavriel and Rivky Holtzberg Memorial Edition" it was dedicated by Howard and Claire Glowinsky of Toronto, Canada, in honor of the Bar Mitzvah on their son Benji.
The publishers hope that this volume will contribute to the appreciation of the wisdom of Ethics of the Fathers and its application to modern, daily life.
The Pirkei Avot with Commentary elegantly produced by Kehot Publication Society is an invaluable addition to the library of Jewish scholarship. This volume has succeeded in presenting some of the deepest profundities of Torah thought, judiciously selected from a broad range of commentaries, in a succinct and accessible manner. The biographical sketches of the Sages featured in Avot, in addition to the unique insights gleaned from the teachings of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, will immeasurably enhance the reader`s appreciation of this timeless tractate.
--Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks
Featuring a new commentary anthologized from the works of the classic commentators and chasidic masters, Pirkei Avot - Ethics Of The Fathers is crafted especially to guide the layperson to understanding the classic Judaic text. The original Hebrew text and a modern vernacular English translation appear on every two-page spread; to further the reader`s understanding of the tractate, select phrases from the English translation appear at the bottom of the page with a synopsis of scholarly insights from assorted sources. Designed to make obscure concepts and complex philosophic and spiritual principles as accessible as possible, Pirkei Avot - Ethics Of The Fathers is a "must" for novice readers seeking improved comprehension of this tractate.
--Midwest Book Review
... a tribute to the publishers of this excellent volume. Its publication in a large and handsome format is enhanced by the commentary, especially by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.font>
--Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, Chancellor Yeshiva University
"I have taught from probably dozens of Pirkei Avot editions in Hebrew and in English since the 1970s and yours is absolutely one of the best in terms of breadth, value, precision and richness of the perushim, and superb layout and graphics. Yasher koach to everyone who helped to produce it. It is truly a tribute to the beloved and deeply missed rabbinic couple to whom it is dedicated."
-- Jonathan Wolf
I just received my Pirkei Avot. It is one of the most elegant looking books I`ve seen, and the commentary is superb: informative and sophisticated.
I will definitely recommend it to my reading group.
--Posted By Evelyn , Washington, DC on Feb 21, 2009
I want to compliment you on this amazing book! Great quality layout vechulu vechulu! Hope you do many more like this!!
--Rabbi Berel Levertov, Chabad of Sante Fe, NM
Quite simply, the new edition of Pirke Avot published by the Kehot Publication Society has the most comprehensive and spiritually rich commentary in English that I have ever run across. Drawing on a wide variety of classic and Chasidic sources, it illuminates and reveals the deeper meanings of the timeless verses in an accessible yet profound fashion.
--Dr. Mark I. Rosen
Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership
The Lubavitch publishing house, recently announced the publication of Pirkei Avot: A Ethics of the Fathers With a New Commentary, Anthologized from the works of the Classic Commentators and the Chasidic Masters, translated and compiled by Rabbi Yossi Marcus.
The Talmud refers to Ethics of the Fathers as a guide for the individual who wishes to become a Chasid. The Talmudic understanding of a Chasid is one who excels beyond the letter of the law in his self-refinement and character development. Ethics of the Fathers is a collection of valuable advice from the sages of antiquity concerning basic life-skills such as exercising leadership, dealing with others, and personal character refinement.
This edition of Pirkei Avot takes a practical and relevant approach in understanding the text so that it applies to the life of the reader. In addition to classical commentary, the anthology culls from modern Chasidic thought and the works of ancient Kabbalists to provide a profound and esoteric understanding illuminating the deeper implications of the life-lessons to be learned from Pirkei Avot, and formulating a practical guide of directives on how to become a Chasid.
Many of the commentaries in the digest are insights from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. The Rebbe`s deep appreciation for Torah and the human psyche is evident in the way he finds current application for the timeless wisdom of the ancients. Other sources featured prominently in the book include Rabbi Yehuda Loewe--the Maharal of Prague (1520-1609), and Chida--Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai (1724-1807), both noted for their esoteric approach in understanding rabbinic texts. Hundreds of different interesting and informative commentaries from Jewish thinkers spanning two millennia, handpicked by the compiler, formulate this rich composition.
Generally, anthologies of this sort tend to strip commentaries of their original style, borrowing only the direct noteworthy points. In this version, however, the compiler retained a lot of the feel and flavor of the original commentary in his translation.
The book is aesthetically pleasing as well. Its large binding, silver gilded pages and ornately embossed lettering will look great on the coffee table or bookshelf.
Subtle, thematic Illustrations and artwork of the column headings helpfully guide the reader through the various styles of commentary in order to personalize his learning experience. Shades of blue add color to the elegant antique style of the layout and design. The writing engages the reader, addressing him in the first person so that the life-lessons appear to be more personally applicable.
The commentary`s text includes historical background, brief biographies, and insights into the lives of the Mishnaic sages whose sayings make up the Ethics of the Fathers.
Pirkei Avot is a collection of teachings from leading Jewish sages spanning a period of more than five-hundred years--from the time following the compilation of the Bible at the beginning of the second temple period (circa 360 BCE) until well into the second century. During these years, great challenges faced the Jewish people; new opposing factions arose within the Jewish community that threatened to undermine the foundations and future of Judaism; the world was shaken by radical changes due to an unsettled civilization in the transformation from Greek to Roman rule.
Many of the teachings in Pirkei Avot reflect the attitude of the sages during those oppressive times and the historic insights in this edition provide the reader with a thorough appreciation of the context and personage behind every teaching. These historic and biographic columns are not the compiler`s personal understanding of history. Rather, they are anthologized from accounts found in the Talmud and other classic sources.
Illustrative anecdotes are another outstanding feature of this edition. They appear in italics and in shaded artistic scroll-shaped boxes that include a diverse range of short stories and messages from the Talmud and Chasidic literature and folklore. These illustrate the value and application of the lessons of Pirkei Avot and make for easy and truly enjoyable reading.
Insights into the etymology and linguistic nuances of the Mishnah are easily discernable from the Kabbalistic perspectives thanks to intricate artistic designs that distinguish between the different headings that neatly departmentalize and clearly mark the various sections of the commentary. This allows the reader to choose his preferred style of commentary.
The book caters to a diverse audience. While scholars will find profound and novel perspectives that go far beyond the classic sources, amateurs will be drawn to the book by the simplicity of the text, the practicality of its messages, and their elucidating explanations. Even children will find interest in the many short stories that appear throughout the book. The new Pirkei Avot is a must-have timeless classic addition to the home and institutional library.
"Absolutely love this version of Pirke Avot, can`t not stop reading it, chazak u` baruch!!".