The Maharal of Prague’s stature grows and grows. His seminal ideas have been a springboard for many of the major currents of mussar, chassidus, and Torah thought. In recent years there have been major new annotated editions of his major works. In this significant new work, Rabbi Tuviah Basser introduces us to Maharal’s classic commentary to Pirkei Avos/Ethics of the Fathers.
Avos and Maharal -- a unique and thought provoking combination. This slim tractate is the primer whose very name proclaims that ethics and conduct are an integral part of the Torah and the tradition handed down from generation to generation. Maharal’s depth and brilliance provides the philosophical underpinnings of these ethical demands. Jews know that there can be no division between “ritual” and personal conduct. With his incredible breadth and profundity, Maharal shows how all parts of the Torah are a seamless whole.
Rabbi Basser uses Derech Chaim, Maharal’s commentary to Avos, as his basic text. Combing the commentary and extracting its basic themes, he gives us a beautifully written work that clarifies complex ideas and opens a window into the thought-world of one of Judaism’s greatest figures of the last five hundred years.
This is a book that can be read on many levels. It is an exceptional commentary to Pirkei Avos, it is an introduction to Maharal, and it is a stimulating excursion into the Torah’s demands on the ethical individual. However the reader sees it, it is an important and enlightening work that should not be missed.