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How The Jews Find The Truth: Pirkei Avos- 48 Things To Realize The Truth

Updated on April 11, 2013

There are a multitude of books to guide and help people to realize the truth of their self-nature. All of them have value, some more, some less. In the Eastern religions there is the idea of sudden enlightenment and gradual enlightenment. They are mutually complimentary and develop together. The Jews also have this idea and it can be found in the books of Pirkei Avos, or The Ethics or Teaching of Our Fathers. It is an ancient work, but is as important today as in the past.

The authors over time, compiled a list of forty-eight things a person must do and practice in order to cultivate and transform their self-nature. It does not guarantee you will become fully enlightened. However, they believed unless you embraced these ideas and practices, it was pretty much impossible for you to ever become enlightened.

What really impresses me is that they have taken what could be volumes of directions and were able to put it into a single chapter. That in itself is wisdom. Regardless of your religion, anyone reading these teachings will benefit greatly. (To read further for the application of these teachings, see my previous article.)

Pirkei Avos, Chapter VI, Part VI, The Truth

According to Pirkei Avos, Chapter VI, Part VI, the Truth (Tao) is realized by forty-eight things. And they are the following; study, attentive listening, ordered speech, understanding of the heart, awe, reverence, humility, cheerfulness, purity, attending upon (Torah) Tao scholars, close association with peers, sharp discussion of students, composure, knowledge of the Scriptures and its commentaries; by limiting business, worldly matters, pleasure, sleep, chatter, and laughter; by long-suffering patience, a good heart, faith in (Torah) Tao scholars, acceptance of suffering; by being a person who recognizes his place, is happy with his lot, makes a fence around his words, does not claim merit for himself; loves reproof, keeps far from honor, does not fill his heart with pride over his learning, does not take delight in giving decisions, bears the yoke with his fellow, judges him favorably, leads him to truth, leads him to peace, becomes composed in his study, asks and answers, listens and adds to his learning, learns in order to teach, learns in order to do, makes his teacher wiser, learns his lesson with precision, and quotes a thing in the name of the one who said it. So can you learn that whoever quotes something in the name of the one who said it brings redemption to the world; for it is stated, “and Esther told the king in the name of Mordechai” (Esther 2:22).


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