Insights into Pirkei Avos adapted from the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
Pirkei Avos ("The Ethics of our Fathers") has long been regarded as a rare treasure store of our Torah tradition. The Torah in its entirety is living truth, guidelines to refine and cultivate our conduct. But in many areas of Torah, this spiritual truth becomes submerged to allow focus to be given to the detailed rules for proper business conduct, marital and family relations, charity for the needy, and other matters where values have been instituded as a code of law. Pirkei Avos, by contrast, centers our attention directly on the task of improving our relationships with G-d and with our fellow man. Even within a treasure store, light is necessary. You may know that it contains great wealth, but until a light is kindeled, you may not appreciate the full extent of its riches. This collection of the insights of the Lubavitcher Rebbe sheds light on many different dimensions of the treasurestores of Pirkei Avos, analyzing its homilies, showing a connection to points of Jewish law, and revealing its influence of mystical teachings. And the emphasis is that the awareness of these truths should not remain theoretical, but instead should be applied in our conduct, enabling us to grow as individuals, relate to others with greater sensitivity, and reach out to G-d with heightened spiritual feeling.
by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger