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Pirkei Avot: Pursuing Peace
Video 5 of 13
Hi everybody, welcome back. So, at the end of the first chapter of 'Pirkai Avot [00:00:14.29]', we have this 'Mishnah [00:00:16.26]'. It's the very last Mishnah in the chapter. And it says this: "'Hebrew [00:00:21.16]'" - this very same phraseology: "The world stands on three things." Except the three are different - 'Ala Deem [00:00:30.25]', justice; 'Ala Emet [00:00:33.01]', on truth; 'Ala Shalom [00:00:34.28]', and on peace." Justice, truth and peace; and then, interestingly, here is the phrase which is cited as a proof text. The Mishnah takes a verse from 'Zakharia [00:00:44.25]' as a source for this, and it's kind of interesting if you look at the source.
The source is a verse which states: 'Hebrew [00:00:52.07]'", which I will translate in a moment. But let's just keep in mind what is this source for. The idea that there are three things that the world stands upon and those three things are justice, truth and peace. Over here, it's Law but 'Deem [00:01:09.09]' really going to be justice here instead. So we are going to be speaking of it as 'justice'. So, justice, truth and peace.
So anyway, here's the proof text over here in the 'Hebrew [00:01:16.22]'. And what's interesting about it is that if you read it carefully, it seems to be a little different than this idea; doesn't really seem to support this idea that there are three things that the world stands on. Let's read it carefully: 'Hebrew [00:01:29.28]'. How do we translate that? Well, 'Emet's [00:01:33.26]' easy - that's truth; and that indeed is the same word which is used over here as one of the three things that the world stands on.
But what about the other things? The other two things are going to be 'Deen [00:01:44.08]' and 'Shalom [00:01:44.08]', justice and peace. So it says in the verse 'Emet [00:01:47.01]', 'Hebrew [00:01:48.23]'. But the funny thing over here is that it doesn't say 'Hebrew [00:01:54.13]', which would mean 'truth' and 'justice', and 'peace'. You should judge in your tense. But instead, it says 'Hebrew [00:02:05.02]' which actually makes 'Hebrew [00:02:07.14]' something which modifies Shalom. It was an adjective that modifies the noun 'Shalom', so it actually means - as you could just see it over here - truth and judgemence of peace.
You should administer your city gates - now, that may seem like a technicality. But the reason why it's not a technicality is because; Hebrew [00:02:26.14]' said, "'Hebrew [00:02:27.27]'; the world stands on three things." And what's fascinating about the verse that's cited is, that is actually only two things in the verse. Those two things are 'Emes [00:02:37.14]', truth; and then this thing called 'Hebrew [00:02:39.24]', which is 'judgemence of peace'.
So, which is it? It is two things that the world stands on, or is it three things that the world stands on? So that's a little bit of a problem. We'll come back to that - how we understand that. But, leaving out the prude text for now. We just have this idea that there are three things that the world stands on - on truth, justice and peace. And the question that I want you to think about is, does the same basic structure hold? In another way, this is kind of interesting because as we talked about before, there is the same basic idea where the same exact words - 'the world stands on three things' - that we have at the very beginning of the first chapter of 'Pirkai Avot [00:03:16.15]'. And over there, we found that there's this abstract idea; we called it Torah. And there were two expressions of that idea; and we called those 'Acts of Kindness' and 'Avoda [00:03:26.06]', service of God'. And this idea over here gives structure to these two expressions of the idea in the real world.
And the thing is this that, when we get to the next time we have the world standing on three things, an intriguing question is: does the same basic structure hold? Or, are we again talking about an abstract idea, which manifests itself with two concrete expressions? And if so, if we think about the new three things, namely 'justice', 'peace' and 'truth - not necessarily in that order, but these are the three things - would these fit easily into this kind of structure over here? Is there an abstract idea? Are there two concrete expressions with that idea? And if so, how would you create this triangle? What would the triangle look like here? How do you plug this in? Where would everything go?
So, think about that. I will see what you come up with and I'll show you my thoughts. I'll see you next video.
2. Pillars of the World
3. The Triangle
4. From Abstract to Concrete
5. A Tale of Two Triangles
7. The Puzzle of Aaron's Methodology
8. Truth, Balance and Integrity
9. Past-Focused Integrity; Future-Focused Integrity
10. Two Kinds of "Why"
11. A Closer Look at Aaron's Methodology
12. Of Everything, Ask What it is in its Essence
13. Judgments of Peace
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