Pirkei Avos was collected and written down by Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi in Eretz Yisrael as a statement of the principles of the Jewish religion. Pirkei Avos details the Torah’s views on ethics and interpersonal relationships. Unlike all the other books of the Mishnah, Pirkei Avos has no law in it. It is made up of wise sayings or lessons.

Many of us are familiar with Pirkei Avos, or at least some of its most famous aphorisms. For example: “Al sh’loshah d’varim – The world stands on three things: Torah, worship, and acts of loving-kindness.” Even though things change and the world progresses, these principles are eternal; they stand forever and the world depends upon them:

“al haTorah” – on the Torah. We must develop many students. The more students there are, the more Torah there is in the world. Torah = knowledge, wisdom, and insight.

“al ha’avodah” – on the service – sacrificial service in the Temple or the observance of the commandments. The making of a fence for the Torah safeguards the commandments between man and God from being violated.

Torah and avodah alone are insufficient in sustaining the world. There is no world without action; there is no purpose to learning and praying if it doesn’t ultimately lead to acts of goodness in the universe.

“v’al g’milus chasadim” – on acts of kindness. Be deliberate in judgment – fair laws, carefully administered, create a safe society free of strife. The greatest kindness between man and man include: 1. brings joy to bride and bridegroom 2. comforts the mourner 3. visits the sick, and lends money free of interest 4. buries the dead, and passes no judgment on another person 5. promotes good will.

Our sages taught us that Avraham stands for kindness and hospitality. Yitzchak stands for service of God – he permitted himself to be a sacrifice. Yaakov represents Torah study – he spent 14 years studying in the Yeshivah of Sheim V’Eiver. Let us all strive to emulate our forefathers and fill out lives with Torah that is inclusive and expansive, prayers that are serious, and everyday behaviors that are generous and open-hearted.

List of People Who Need
a R’fuah Sh’leimah

(a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Boris Baruch ben Frecha Frida

Alter Shmuel ben Chavah Leah

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Chaim ben Malkah

Yehudah Yudel ben Miriam Gittel

David ben Rachel

Yisrael Zundel ben Miriam

Steven David ben Violette

Baruch Avraham ben Helen

Shimon ben Sarah

Yaakov Dov ben Priva

David Yosef Elimelech ben Elisheva Hinda

Yisachar David ben Chayah Brachah

Matisyahu Yeshayahu ben Chanah Chinka

Ariel Shmuel ben Leah

Yonah Gedaliah ben Pesha

Nasan ben Naamah

Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Chayah Shoshanah Tovah bas Esther

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Malkah bas Allegre

Gittel bas Sarah

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Perel bas Nechamah

Mechelina Simchah bas Rinah

Rachel Leah bas Sarah

Tehillah Hadassah bas Elanah

Rachel Leah bas Sarah

Hadas bas Ora

Yael bas Ruth

Esther bas Nacha

Orana bas Suzan

Chavah Leah bas Esther

Mazal bas Malkah

Shirah bas Devorah Leah

Miriam bas Rachel

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.