Our little fellowship finally finished our study of Pirke Avot yesterday (Saying of the Fathers).

We didn’t do it in the most traditional manner, studying as many sayings as we could on a Shabbat afternoon instead of going through a full chapter each Shabbat. And we probably won’t start it up again to run the study through Rosh Hashanah. But we did it and are glad we did. I think it has set the standard for future summer Shabbat afternoon studies.

We used the Artscroll interlinear as our base text, with the other leader using the Pirke Avos Treasury for a source of commentary and me using the Yad Avraham Mishnah Series commentary.

We found several of the sayings dovetailing with many of Yeshua’s sayings and teachings, and some that contradicted what He taught.

Our next goal is to study individual sayings in depth of our own Master, the Messiah. I am trying to decide whether to produce a separate document of them or just go through the Bible and find them as we study. The latter would be a lot easier!

Perhaps the biggest takeaway for me is the dominance that Torah and the rest of Scripture, especially the Gospels, should have in the lives of believers. Saying after saying, especially in the final chapter, emphasized the need to study Torah, sit under good teachers, and value the Word of God more highly than anything else–except living it out.

Have you studied Pirke Avot in a group setting? What were your experiences?