Study Pirkei Avot with Jacob Neusner
Torah from Our Sages: A New Translation & Commentary
How did the Jewish national religion survive the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the failure of armed rebellion against Rome? A cultural reset was needed–a way of life tied to the past had to be flexible enough to adapt to virtually any time and place. The sages of the scholar class spoke of a word-of-mouth “chain of tradition” stretching back to Moses at Mount Sinai with the potential to stretch forward indefinitely. In their hands, the Torah went from being only a book recorded on a scroll to including teachings transmitted orally from one generation to the next–in proverbs, in case law, in propositions, and in debates.
Now the foremost interpreter, historian, and representative of this massive rabbinic tradition, Dr. Jacob Neusner, offers a new translation, a fresh commentary, and a succinct explanation of the most studied Jewish volume outside the Bible and prayer book. Dr. Neusner explains how and why Pirkei Avot (“The Sayings of the Ancestors”) stands at the head of the Mishnah–the “torah” compiled by the sages for the future.
There is so much more than just commentary in Dr. Neusner’s masterwork, Torah from Our Sages: Pirkei Avot, but I will not give it all away in the description. You will want to discover it for yourself. And you will want to know why this little book of wisdom has the mysterious power to speak to you directly even as it spoke to each and every one of your ancestors.