CHAPTER ONE
All of Israel have a share in the World to Come, as it says, Your people are ail
righteous; they will inherit the Land forever; they are the branchnf~y planting,
the work of My hands in which I take pride.’ (Sanhedrin 1 1 : 1)
1. Moshe received the Torah from Sinai and passed it on to Yehoshua;
Yehoshua to the Elders; the Elders to the Prophets; and the
Prophets passed it on to the Men of the Great Assembly. They
said three things: Be patient in judgment; raise many disciples;
and make a fence around the Torah.

1. Moshe received. Avot contains
the principles by which the Torah
can be received and passed on
throughout the generations. It therefore
begins with a history of the
transmission of Torah (see Midrash
Shmuel).
Additionally, this
preface indicates that
the teachings of Avot
are not just the personal
reflections of the Sages-they
are part of a
tradition that harks
back to the Divine revelation
at Sinai (Bartenura;
see Sfat Emet) .
transcribed by R. Yehudah the Prince
(2nd century) and more so in the Talmud
(5th century) (see R. Yonah).
The Torah. This refers to Scriprure
and its interpretation. The latter was
passed down orally from generation
to generation until it was partially
From Sinai. From the One who revealed
Himself at Sinai (Bartenura).
G-d is not referred to directly, since
it would be inappropriate
to include
the Creator in the list
of human beings mentioned
in the Mishnah
(Maharal).
Yehoshua. Although
Moshe taught Torah to
the entire nation (Eiruvin
54b), Yehoshua was the one individual
of his generation chosen to be
the recipient and transmitter of Torah,
especially the Oral Torah, to the next
generation (Mefarshim).
* Prophew continued to exist-even
after ;he istablishment of the Great
Assembly-until 313 B.C.E. (or 307
according to others). see Kaplan,
Handbook of Jewish Thought, vol. 1,
p. 111.
1. Isaiah 60:21.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s