(22F4) Rewards & Punishments in Pirkei Avot

December 8th, 2022 - December 15th, 2022, 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) introduces ethical and judicial principles and advises scholars, would-be scholars, and the rest of us how to interact with our contemporaries and, more generally, the characteristics of an ethical way of life.  Following a lifetime of studying and teaching this text, Joe Rosenstein recently completed a book entitled Reflections on Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers):  Not Just What My Rebbe Taught Me, in which he examines each teaching individually, as is usually done, but in which he also discusses the historical context in which the sages lived and the relevance of their teachings for our time, and looks at the text from a number of broader perspectives, including the topic of this course.

Many of the teachings in Pirkei Avot deal with issues of reward and punishment.  In this two-session course, we will review these teachings and discuss how the sages tried to deal with these issues.  Who will be rewarded and who will be punished, and how will this happen?  The perennial questions of why the righteous suffer and evildoers flourish become more urgent in a period when the Romans are inflicting great suffering on the Jewish people.  When and how will these inequities be resolved, and will that take place in this world, or will that take place in a world to come?

Reflections on Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers):  Not Just What My Rebbe Taught Me also has an organized list of 88 ethical imperatives that the author has extracted from the teachings in Pirkei Avot.

Copies of the book are available at joerosenstein.com — with a 20% discount during November and December.

 

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Joe Rosenstein was a professor of Mathematics at Rutgers for 48 years.  He’s published two prayer books as well as mathematics textbooks and research articles.  Over 100 congregations use his prayer books, and he has taught many courses on Judaism.