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JST 548 - Pirkei Avot: Ethics and Theology

This course is an intensive study of selections from Mishnah Avot (also called Pirkei Avot). Pirkei Avot is the only tractate of the Mishnah which deals exclusively with issues of Jewish ethics and theology. It is an ancient work created by early Rabbinic sages, yet it is a timeless classic with enduring significance for Jews in the modern age. Selected commentaries to Avot will also be studied, including the earliest commentary to Avot, known as Avot de Rabbi Nathan; later medieval commentaries; and modern interpretations.