Sunday, June 13, 2010

Maharal On Avot 2:2,3

I always stumbled over the fact that the third mishnah in the second chapter of Avot is unique in that it is just a statement; it doesn't begin with the name of a person, and it doesn't link to the previous mishnah with the words, "He used to say."

Did you ever not get something but not articulate it even as a question until presented with an answer? That's what happened to me in this case, until Shavuot night I was blessed to get the explanation. In the Maharal's edition it's all in one mishnah - the second mishnah of the perek -that Raban Gamliel first speaks about being involved in the community for the sake of Heaven and then speaks about not trusting politicians. The Maharal explains that Raban Gamliel first says that one should sincerely be involved in community matters. He continues his thought by saying to be wary of political people who are not be be confused with the kind of genuine community workers he he spoke of in the fist part of his statement.


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