Those who read these two sets of comparisons may nod their heads knowingly. After all, these assessments are not particularly novel, but rather appear as common sense. The fifth chapter of Pirkei Avot provides much insight about how to live one’s own life and how to view the lives of others. While those who read the above passages may chuckle at how accurately these descriptions fit certain friends and acquaintances, they are intended to increase one’s compassion for others.
A second reading of the passages, however, inspires a person to look deeper at one’s own life. One may be inspired to pay more attention to detail or to work harder on anger management. The deeper wisdom of these passages in Pirkei Avot is evidenced by learning that by reflecting on others, one is better able to reflect on oneself.
Copyright © 2016 NJOP. All rights reserved