פרקי אבות is the only משניות in all of the ששה סדרי משנה that does not contain any הלכות. However, it is said that anyone who internalizes the teachings of אבות is a true חסיד. פרקי אבות is a collection of the philosophies that theתנאים lived with every day of their lives. The תנאים were trying to impart to all Jews in every generation how to keep the spirit of the law. For example, we all know about the fundamental מצוה of כיבוד אב ואם of חסד and giving to others. ר’ ישמעא-ל in פרקי אבות gives us practical advice on how to accomplish those מצות.
הוי מקבל את כל האדם בשמחה ” ”
A primary focus in learning פרקי אבות is for the girls to gain awareness that as fundamental as following the “letter of the law” is, it is not enough. פרקי אבות is a דרך החיים, a way of life, which polishes our characters into spiritual gems. The girls should develop into “students” of these great אבות, by א”ה internalizing the wisdom, and refinement of character that our אבותhave imparted to us.
To be able to fluently read and understand the משנות in פרקי אבות.
To learn פרקי אבות creatively and incorporate it within themselves through art, drama, dance and music.
To work cooperatively with respect for one another.
Content and השקפות
פרקי אבות is taught in a thematic manner with an emphasis on the challenges that 9th grade girls encounter in their everyday lives. We will select varying משנות from the 6 פרקים of פרקי אבות that pertain to the themes they are learning.
Major topics this year will include (but will not be limited to):
א. יראת שמים
ב. אהבת וכבוד הבריות
The girls will prepare משנות on their own at home. In class they will continue to learn a combination of מפרשים, stories, משלים, דברי ח”זל, examples, and articles that will enhance the discussion and in-depth understanding of the topic.
During the course of the year, many hands on activities will be assigned both in and out of class which include projects, group work and creative presentations by the students.
The girls will be keeping personal journals to track their מדות and help them to think of practical ways to internalize the teachings of פרקי אבות. They are also encouraged to give feedback and examples on personal growth.
The main emphasis in this class is incorporating the timeless teachings of our אבות into our daily lives to refine our characters and serve Hashem to our utmost. The research, group work and presentations are also practical in helping the girls internalize the lessons. It is both a זכותand pleasure to teach and assist in the growth of your precious daughters. I am looking forward to a year of הצלחה and נחת in many areas.