What is 'Pirkei Avinu'
How to get the most out of the 'Pirkei Avinu' studies
My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5)
What's in a name?
The name of our Torah Teens Bible study, Pirkei Avinu (Sayings of our Father), is a play on words. With a little knowledge of Hebrew and some understanding of classic Rabinnic literature, you might even chuckle and roll your eyes. While clever, you will probably recognize that is it is also a very serious title.
Advanced students may recognize Pirkei Avot, the well-known tractate (a book or essay) of the Mishna (part of the Talmud, a commentary on the Torah). Pirkei Avot means "Sayings of the Fathers" and contains some of the most pointed wisdom in all Jewish literature. Their plural title, "Fathers," is a term of endearment for the "spiritual fathers of Israel," which are the sages and elders.
It is upon this rich tradition and deep wisdom that First Fruits of Zion presents, Pirkei Avinu which is Hebrew meaning, "Sayings of our Father." It is a direct reference to the eternal words of our Father God as revealed to us in the Scriptures.
Ten important skills Pirkei Avinu will give you
- How to recognize the moral absolutes established in Scripture
- How to connect Proverbs with all of life and Scripture
- How to control thought patterns in your life
- How to enjoy a great relationship with your parents and family
- How to appreciate the Hebrew origins of your faith
- How to value the land and the people of Israel
- How to use the Torah as a 'filter' for seeing things
- How to properly view extra-Biblical literature
- How to interpret the meanings of Biblical texts
- How to understand Hebraic tradition within modern faith
Making good choices for your life's path
Paul's letters often open with a salutation, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Messiah Yeshua." Our Father's teachings and words are eternal. They reveal His grace, bring life and provide a way for peace. The book of Proverbs is a rich source of this wisdom, insight and good advice. The proverbs are a series of Fatherly talks that reveal the fine line between in the choices that we make between wisdom and folly. Avinu (our Father), our God, has given us the choice:
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20, author's emphasis)
In order to choose life, we must know how to obey the Lord's voice and hold fast to Him, and that can only come by knowing Him through His Scriptures.
Life is full of choices, and even one wrong choice can stay with us throughout our entire life. The thought patterns and standards that you establish in your youth will stay with you all of your days. Through this study, it is our prayer that you take this opportunity to learn and apply the Word of God.