GATEWAYS TO TORAT HAYIM

 
CONNECTING TO JEWISH LIVING WISDOM RESOURCES

 

Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot) 1:1

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by Ginsburgh, Rabbi Yitzchak

“The Ethics of Our Fathers [Pirkei Avot] begins with the phrase ‘Moshe received the Torah from Sinai.’ It doesn’t say… ‘the Mountain of Sinai’, it says ‘Sinai.’ Sinai can mean two things…either the ‘Mountain of Sinai’ or the ‘Desert of Sinai’.

 

The place where the Torah was given was [on the ‘Mountain of Sinai’] in the ‘Desert of Sinai’. Spiritually these two Sinai’s represent two levels of humility:

 

1. A person is very humble but in order to get up, to do, and to take initiative, he needs to have a little uplift in his soul. That is the ‘Mountain of Sinai’…

 

2. When a person accomplishes the good deed, the general state of consciousness is that I did not do this, G-d acted through me, this is the consciousness of the ‘Desert of Sinai’.”