Channel: Chapters of the Fathers - Pirkei Avot

Teacher: Rabbi Elan Adler


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Rabbi Adler continues his commentary on Pirkei Avot 1:5 on the topic of women.

He teaches that we must be careful in how we interact with thosse of the opposite gender, because is is a 'highly charged' relationship. He talks about the implications of when 'one thing leads to another'.

 

Bob's Application:  This lesson simply put is saying to me that when it comes to relationships between man and woman outside of marriage, to (a) be VERY careful, and (b) don't even start down a path of something that might lead to sin.

This makes me think of three scriptures.  First, in Proverbs we see a warning about how an immoral relationship with a woman will lead a man into Sheol (Prov. 7:37).  Second, Paul admonishes those in the Corinthian church in 1 Cor 7:1 as follows,  "It is good for a man not to touch a woman."  This fits perfectly with Rabbi Adlers admonisment about the dangers of body language being misunderstood.  Third, this lesson actually reminds me of the teaching by Christ on the Sermon on the Mount, when he says "If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than having your two feet, to be cast into hell (literally Gehenna)." (Mark 9:45.)  We see here that sometimes refraining from what is 'normal' to most onlookers, or even more specifically, the removal of that which is normal, is the way to keep from stumbling in life.

In summary, Yosi Ben Yochanan teaching is somewhat difficult in light of modern culture, yet it does not conflict with, and is even less radical than a foundational teaching of Christ.

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