Selected Pirkei Avos From Chapter 5

4. “Our forefather Abraham was tested with ten trials and withstood all of them. This shows the love our forefather Abraham had [for G-d].”

9. “Seven things apply to an uncultured person (Heb. ‘golem’), and seven to a wise person.
A wise person does not speak before one who is greater than he in wisdom or years;
he does not interrupt his fellow;
he is not rushed to respond;
he asks relevant questions;
he answers accurately;
he discusses first things first and last things last;
on what he did not hear, he says ‘I did not hear;’ and he admits to the truth.
The opposite of these is true of the golem.”

13. “There are four character types among people.
One who says ‘what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours’ is of average character, and some say – this is the character of Sodom.
[One who says] ‘what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine’ – is unlearned (lit., [of] the people of the land).
[One who says] ‘what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is yours’ – is pious.
[One who says] ‘what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine’ – is wicked.”

14. “There are four types of temperaments.
One who is quick to become angry and quick to calm down – his gain is outweighed by his loss.
One who is slow to become angry and slow to calm down – his loss is outweighed by his gain.
One who is slow to become angry and quick to calm down is pious.
One who is quick to become angry and slow to calm down is wicked.”

15. “There are four types of students.
One who is quick to understand and quick to forget – his gain is outweighed by his loss.
One who is slow to understand and slow to forget – his loss is outweighed by his gain.
One who is quick to understand and slow to forget – this is a good portion.
One who is slow to understand and quick to forget – this is a bad portion.”

19. “Any love which is dependent on something, when the ‘something’ ceases, the love ceases. Any love which is not dependent on anything will never cease. What is a love which is dependent? The love of Amnon for Tamar. What is a love which is not dependent? The love of David and Yehonasan.”

20. “Any dispute which is for the sake of Heaven will ultimately endure, and one which is not for the sake of Heaven will not ultimately endure. What is a dispute for the sake of Heaven? This is a debate between Hillel and Shammai. What is a dispute not for the sake of Heaven? This is the dispute of Korach and his assembly.”

23. “Yehuda ben (son of) Taima said, be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion to do the will of your Father in Heaven.”

25. “He (Yehuda ben Taima) used to say,
at five [one should begin the study of] Scriptures;
at ten, Mishna;
at thirteen [one becomes obligated in] the commandments;
at fifteen [the study of] the Talmud;
at eighteen the wedding canopy;
at twenty to pursue;
at thirty strength;
at forty understanding;
at fifty counsel;
at sixty old age;
at seventy fullness of years;
at eighty spiritual strength;
at ninety bending over;
at one hundred it is as if he has died and passed on from this world.”

26. “Ben (son of) Bag Bag said, turn the Torah over and over for everything is in it. Look into it, grow old and gray over it, and never move away from it, for you will find no better portion than it.”

27. “Ben (son of) Hai Hai said, according to the effort is the reward.”

What mourning taught me

My father A”H passed away in early June. It wasn’t sudden-sudden, but it was sudden enough. He wasn’t young, but he was certainly not old enough. We loved him and we let him know it, and that we were going to be okay, and he shouldn’t worry about us as he approached his end . . . but that probably wasn’t enough either, for he cared and worried about us so much. Yes, it was tough. It is tough. I miss him so much. I wrote a little bit about this, for a general audience, here, but it’s a sliver of the crust of the matter.

I’m not posting this to eulogize my father here, or even to write at length about how he, who was not religious, and never became religious, did so much good in raising his children as Jews that he has left behind so many frum descendants K”EH. Part of the reason for that is that it is too painful, though I do think it would be a good topic down the road here. So many of our parents need to know how it is that, contrary to how some of them feel, frequently BT’s are not rejecting their values: Many of us have made the choice we did because we were acting on those values in ways they did not have the opportunity to do, given their time, place and situations.

For now, though, I wanted to share a few thoughts about something really kind of neat — yeah — that I learned over the course of shloshim — the thirty day period of intense mourning following a close relative’s passing. Mainly, it’s this: The Torah is amazing.

Amazing!

The Torah is amazing in many ways, but if chas v’sholom [Heaven forfend] it gave us nothing but instruction in how to mourn (which are by and large rabbinical enactments), it would still be phenomenally brilliant.

Here are some of the things I didn’t know that I know now, because of how Chazal [the Sages] arranged the Jewish way in mourning:

  • People who extend themselves to comfort a mourner by traveling long distances or taking time off from work or otherwise inconveniencing themselves to attend the funeral or to make a shiva call are seen by the mourners as having expressed a statement of love and caring that is so exquisite, so precious, that … I can’t really describe it. But it is very, very great.
  • Observing shiva in as close to the halachically prescribed way as possible, under the circumstances, does not make the hurt go away, but it is a phenomenally powerful tool that actually “makes” mourners focus, not on “cheering up” or distraction from their pain, but on a full, complete and evolving appreciation of the person they loved and lost.
  • Shiva is utterly exhausting. And there will be repetition. But the “story” we each told on the last day of shiva, while entirely consistent with what we said in the hespedim [eulogies] and on the early days afterward, was so much richer, deeper and logical than when it started. It was stunning to me to be part of, and yet to observe, this process as we listened to each other and embroidered each others’ respective narrative threads into our own thematic focuses. We came to understand, in a week’s time, so much we didn’t know that we knew about who our father was, why his life mattered so much and how his death teaches so much. We came to understand our responsibility as his survivors.
  • The way in which our community coalesces across “political” religious lines and springs into action to support a mourner’s needs during this period is a wondrous and Godly sociological phenomenon. For BT’s, who feel so “left out” so often while others in our communities enjoy the support of large extended families and lifetimes networks developed through school and other experiences we don’t have, this experience can be very uplifting indeed.
  • The main thing I kept wanting to say — and, being me, I finally did say it — was that, “This is so amazing… it would just be so perfect if Dad could be here with us to experience it.”

    And yes, we truly believe he was. And he is.

    Thank you.

    What’s Kosher, Mate?

    Melbourne, Australia is not New York City. This may seem to be stating the obvious, but, shortly after moving here from Brooklyn I would discover in a myriad of ways just how this was so. For instance, say the words ‘shlep’ or ‘shmatte’ or ‘shlamiel’ in mixed company in New York and everyone, even the Chinese, the Latinos, and the Afghanis, all know what you mean, more or less. Say those same words here in Melbourne, Australia and, they are met with curious raised eyebrows. “Is that Swedish?” they might say.

    Not that Australians are not worldly, indeed they are. Most of the young people travel around the world before settling down, and Australians love being exposed to other cultures of all kinds. Diversity holds much charm here, being tucked away so far off in this remote corner of the planet. Australians often crave and seek out multicultural education and experiences. Mention a foreign food of any kind, a tradition, a religious practice, or an exotic art form, and most Australians show immediate interest, almost like curious children encountering something new and magical that sparks their imagination. There is a certain endearing naïveté that Australians have managed to maintain in their society that allows them to welcome foreign cultures with friendly ease. While there are narrow minded individuals here, as is so in any place, for the most part, this is an extremely tolerant and non-judgmentally accepting country.

    Being a jaded somewhat hardened New Yorker when I arrived, I often misunderstood my new countrymen because I perceived them through my own cultural lenses. During my early days here thirteen years ago, I often misinterpreted the strange reactions I would get from Australians when I mentioned anything related to my Jewish practice. The curious glances I misinterpreted as intolerance. I wondered why they looked at me so funnily, as if maybe they thought I was a freak for being Jewish. It took me sometime to realize that their reaction to meeting me was not out of prejudice, but for many of these people, I was the first openly Jewish person they had ever encountered before. The simple direct questions they asked me I initially misinterpreted as ignorance. I wondered if they were mocking me. It took me quite some time to shake off my defensive New York style Jewish paranoia and pseudo-sophistication. What I discovered was that these Australians were actually wanting to know what my life was all about and what I represented.

    Australia is a fantastic modern lovely country, but one cannot exactly describe Australian culture as very spiritual. This is a land where nature, sport, and the good easy life is treasured and enjoyed. This is called ‘The lucky country’, as most of us who live here cannot help but feel fortunate to be living in such a beautiful, bountiful, friendly, easy going, and laid back place. People work only hard enough here but, not too hard, and most are able to enjoy some of life’s frills without too much struggle. Melbourne is one of the friendliest cities in the world. In Melbourne, not only will people stop and give you directions with a nice smile when you ask them, but often they may even take you there. I often tell people I moved from the rudest and coldest city in the world to the friendliest. Nevertheless, Australians as a whole are not particularly religious or spiritual, and certainly not as religious as Americans. Australian culture is a bit like ancient Hellenism in which sport and the pleasures of the body and the material are paramount.

    Working in the business world here is also very different from New York as it is extremely social. Australians expect everyone in the workplace to be good friends, or ‘mates’, as they call it, and that means going out together to restaurants and pubs. The emphasis put on the value of Australian ‘mateship’ cannot be overestimated. For Australians, often when they call you a ‘mate’, it is not just a word, they actually mean you are their friend. This mateship bond is sealed with a meal, or better yet, a drink of alcohol, specifically beer, their national drink of choice. After all, it’s the Aussie way, mate!

    One can only imagine the difficulty in navigating one’s Torah observance in such a culture as compared to New York. I found myself having to turn down many invitations to many social occasions, and this did not go a long way to give me my mateship points. Frequently I was asked what I could eat, and why I couldn’t eat this, or that, or the other. At first I would give these questions short shrift. I just thought it would be too complicated to explain the intricacies of keeping kosher to these Aussie work mates of mine. I knew they often felt snubbed by me, but I was stuck in my brazen defensive New York posture and, it took some time to break that down and try a different approach.

    After a while, because I can be a slow learner when it comes to social situations, it dawned on me that I had been approaching this all the wrong way. Instead of making myself aloof from my fellow countrymen, I would find ways to answer all their questions clearly and in a way that would satisfy their curiosity. So a typical conversation would often go something like this:

    “What’s ‘ kosher ‘, mate?”

    ‘Did you ever read the Bible?” (typical Jew, answering a question with a question).

    “Yeah, I went to church and Sunday school.”

    ‘Well, you heard of the Five Book of Moses?”

    Now sometimes here they would tell me they either went to Catholic school, or they never read it, or they saw the movie with Charlton Heston, and that latter one usually got a good laugh. Whatever their answer, we now had some basis upon which we could define where I was coming from as a Jewish person.

    “Moses gave the Jewish people a set of Laws from G-d to live by. These laws cover every aspect of a Jewish person’s life, how to sleep, how to pray, how to dress, and even how to eat.”

    By this point in the conversation I have grabbed their interest. What really amazes me is that before when I would just say, ‘It’s my religion and it’s too complicated to explain it” they would look a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t tell them anything about it. But after I began to explain it clearly, every single time I would see their faces light up with real delight that I was actually taking the time to let them in on what we mysterious Jewish people were all about. And they appreciated it. Now is when I go into the short but comprehensive explanation of what keeping kosher means:

    “ The laws of keeping kosher means that Jewish people are not allowed to eat meat with milk together, not allowed to eat any creepy crawlies, not allowed to eat any animal unless it has cloved hoofs and chews its cud and has been ritually slaughtered according to the law. Jews can also only eat fish that has fins and scales so that means no shell fish at all. Now, all of this becomes quite complicated in today’s modern world with food technology being the way it is, so we rely on a whole structure of chemists and Rabbis to help us and we can only eat the food that they certify for us. This means all things touching the foods, all utensils and vessels also have to be entirely dedicated to kosher.”

    That entire explanation takes under half a minute. Sometimes they may ask me a bit more, but they don’t go into it too deeply because I gave them just enough information to satisfy their curiosity and to make them realize that is is so super complicated that they prefer not to delve any further. Often I get replies like this:

    “No shrimp on the Barbie! That’s rough, mate”. A barbie is a bar-b-que and barbequed shrimp is an intrinsic part of the national cuisine. Not being able to partake in such an indulgence is enough to make most Australians pity me greatly. Or else they say something like, “ Oh, thanks so much for telling me all that. Now I understand why you can’t come out with us. It must be so hard…..does the Rabbi bless the food?…..etc” I see that they feel so glad that I had enough regard for them as a person to take the time and make the effort to actually demystify a small part of our elusive Jewish way of life.

    Once I started to come up with short non-threatening, clear, and thorough answers to the questions my fellow Australians asked me, without being condescending or making them feel foolish, I felt I gained their respect, not only for me, but for all Jews.

    Originally posted on the Repenting Jewess.

    Giving Kibbudim to Baalei Teshuva

    In public situations is it wise to give Baalei Teshuva kibbudim (honors) at the risk of embarassment?

    Situations include

    – Leading the bentching

    – Saying a beracha at a Sheva Berachos

    – Saying a harachamim at a Bris

    – Getting an Aliyah in shul

    – Getting hagbah or gelilah

    – Opening the aron

    In what cases and situations do you think it would be appropriate or inappropriate to give the honor to a relatively new BT?

    Forks in the Road: Old Divisions, Modern Ramifications

    Forks in the Road: Old Divisions, Modern Ramifications
    Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
    We Might Be a Little Late!
    Originally published here .

    This essay is some one hundred and fifty years late. Events since, some fortunate, most unfortunate, have blurred the differences between the great schools of thought that developed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

    Doubtless, the Satmar Rebbe (R. Yoel Teitelbaum) had this blurring in mind when he is said to have remarked that he himself was the last true Chasid, and that the Brisker Rav (R. Yitzchak Ze’ev Soloveischik) had been the last true Misnaged.[1] It is said that the Satmar Rebbe explained the devolution of both Chassidus and Misnagdus with the following parable:[2]

    Once there was a woman whose husband would only eat fleishig (meat dishes), which she dusifully prepared for him. Their daughter came to marry a man who would only eat milchig (dairy dishes). Not wanting to deprive her son in law, the mosher in law prepared for him, as well, the food he craved. For several years this practice continued, with father and son in law eating in separate rooms.

    Now, it came to pass that the family became impoverished and could afford neisher fleishig nor milchig. The woman was compelled to cook potatoes for both her husband and son in law. Nevertheless, the two continued their custom to eat in separate rooms. After several years elapsed in this manner, the two realized that there was, indeed, no point in their remaining separated and finally came to dine together.

    Nevertheless, as we all strive to enhance our individual and collective Avodas Hashem (divine service), it is worthwhile – perhaps essential – to know what we might choose as our goal or aspiration.

    The Great Divide

    The nature of that goal has been the subject of a debate that has raged since the middle of the eighteenth century, when Eastern European Jewry erupted into the controversy surrounding Chassidus. Henceforth, the Ashkenazic Jewish world divided along the lines of Chassidus vs. Misnagdus. To be sure, there are other, significant trends in Judaism, including the (Hirschian) Torah im Derech Eretz school and, of course, many rich variations of Sephardic Avodas Hashem. The most blatant divide, however, is along the Chassidic/Misnagdic fault line. It is this line that we will attempt here to delineate.

    But before we really begin: Caveat emptor! It would be the epitome of presumptuousness to purport that a short (or even long) essay might succinctly and precisely capture the distinctions between these schools of Avodas Hashem. We intend to examine a relatively narrow bandwidth of the differences, focussing more on exemplary thinkers and Ovdei Hashem (paragons of Avodas Hashem) who grappled with these distinctions in their personal struggles to formulate their own pathways in the hope that the reader will use these distinctions as a springboard for contemplation and understanding. In this effort, we follow in the footsteps of R. Dessler, the Michtav Me’Eliyahu, (in a recently published essay[3]) and others who pursued a simplified definition of differences, for reasons R. Dessler eloquently expresses.

    We must begin our conversation with a definition of the “newer” Chassidic model of Avodas Hashem. The reason for this is simple: Existing philosophies are often forced to articulate their defining characteristics only when faced by a new challenge. This seems to be the case with Misnagdus. Despite its earlier origin, it was only forced to define itself as a philosophy when it came to battle the revolutionary Chassidic movement. The very term Misnaged can only be understood if one knows the context of Chassidus. Its meaning, “Opponent,” is only intelligible if one realizes toward what the opposition was directed.

    “Mainstream” Chassidus and Chabad

    Chassidus itself divided into two significant camps, that of “mainstream” Chassidus, and that of Chabad. Each side argued that its respective derech (pathway in Judaism) was the most accurate reflection of the Ba’al Shem Tov’s (R. Yisrael, the founder of Chassidus, also known as the Besht – an acronym for Ba’al Shem Tov) novel approach to Avodas Hashem. What was that approach and what did each side represent as the means of implementing that approach?
    Read more Forks in the Road: Old Divisions, Modern Ramifications

    Unity in Diversity in Ramat Beit Shemesh

    In the US, and I suspect in other Jewish areas such as England as well, the Jewish community in any given area tends to be rather monolithic. For example in New Jersey, Passaic is Litivish Ultra-Orthodox, so is Lakewood. Morristown is Chabad. Monsey (ok, NY but just outside of NJ) is majority chassidic, some parts of town pretty exclusively one chassidic type or another – other parts a mixed bag. Teaneck, Elizabeth, and West Orange.

    Yet I up and moved to Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. For those who don’t know, Ramat Beit Shemesh has become, outside of Jerusalem, the premier destination for people moving to Israel from English speaking countries. (And there’s a nice contingent of French speakers there also.)

    While Jerusalem somewhat follows the standard monolithic pattern above (again just substitute in neighborhood names to find the chassidic neighborhoods, the Litvish, modern orthodox, sephardic, etc), Ramat Beit Shemesh tries to perform the same exercise on a single street or two at a time. This leads to a level of intermingling that other areas lack.

    Walk across the street and go from a more modern area to a litvish area. Another street and it’s chassidic. As an example, on my nearby street corner there’s a litvish shul, a mizrachi (modern-ish) shul, a sephardi shul, and a Chabad shul. There’s even a street of non-religious Jews that drive, slowly and carefully, in and out of the neighborhood on Shabbos.

    Ok, people aren’t davening together on Shabbos – everyone has their preferred nusach, Shabbos songs, siddur, etc. But when walking down the street the guy in the shtreimel and gold stripped long coat (Jerusalem bekeshe) says Good Shabbos to the guy in the suite and tie.

    Achdus, unity, isn’t becoming the same. It’s respecting each other. And in Ramat Beit Shemesh, that’s a good point.

    (For some Torah from Ramat Beit Shemesh, check out Yesh Ma L’asot’s Emunah Institute at http://YeshMaLasot.org )

    Akiva blogs at Mystical Paths.

    Message to the World – The Power of Prayer

    Imagine you’re in a room full of Jewish addicts. And you’re volunteering to lead a group on Tuesday evenings. The group is called “Spirituality.” What would you talk about?

    This week I decided to ask them what they would talk about. I tossed out a question that I had heard a rabbi ask at the time the Super Bowl was happening, about creating one’s own super bowl ad. “What message would you want to give to the world in thirty seconds if you had a chance to speak to 100 million people?” I asked. They loved it!

    With my arm outstretched into a closed fist (a mike), I walked around holding it in front of each resident of the Jewish Women’s Recovery House, as she spoke. Leslie, twenty-four, had been in the recovery house for almost four months since she got out of jail after her last DUI. She was very eager to respond. “Here’s what I’d say!” she exclaimed enthusiastically. “If you radiate positive energy into the world, that’s what you’ll attract. If you give off negative energy – that’s what you’ll attract!” I told her she had a few more seconds before her thirty seconds would be up, so she elaborated just a little bit more, and just as excitedly.

    Next Rosie wanted “the mike.” Rosie, thirty-five, and a registered nurse, had only been in the recovery house for a week and a half after being released from a local psychiatric hospital. “I started reading a book I found by a Rabbi Twerski. Here it is!” she said, picking it up from the couch, right next to her. “It’s called Angels Don’t Leave Footprints: Discovering What’s Right with Yourself. And I only started it, but it says that we are really better than angels because we can change and grow. We each have a piece of G‑d inside of us. It just gets covered up, but there’s always hope that we can come to recognize who we really are.”

    Ellen, forty-one, a publicist, had come from a detox facility after getting clean from heroin. She had also not been in the house for a full two weeks yet. Ellen waited patiently for everyone else who wanted to speak to go before her, but when her turn came, she was just as ready to share her message as were all the others. “I’ve learned that G‑d hears us. The answers G‑d gives us in life, they may not be the ones we wanted to get, but who are we to know what’s ultimately good for us? It can sometimes be a very long road until we really accept that.”

    Then, I don’t know how or why, but all of a sudden it hit me! “I just realized something! I practically shouted. Your words – the words that each of you just spoke here – they really did reach 100 million people – but they reached even more than 100 million people!” They were all looking at me like I was nuts. “They reached everybody in the whole world!”

    “Your words, your messages to the world … they sounded like prayers to me,” and my voice started cracking. “You have so much. You are such enlightened souls from all you’ve been through.”

    I had to keep going. “You’ve heard of the butterfly effect, right? In the physical realm, the flapping wings of just one butterfly can create tiny changes in the atmosphere, but those tiny changes can end up eventually altering the path of something like a tornado! In the spiritual realm, our individual prayers travel far and wide – they don’t stay put within these walls – prayers don’t care about walls – they go right through them! A tiny prayer’s vibrations travel all around the world, way faster than the speed of light! So your words, your prayers, really could havereached everybody in the whole world already.”

    There was complete stillness, and a glow in the room. “Yeah,” smiled Rosie. “I guess they really could have.”

    Did you get the messages that these women sent you last Tuesday night? I’m sure you did, in some way. It could have reached you in a ray of hope you felt in one flash of an instant.

    But just in case the flapping of their beautiful fragile wings was imperceptible, now you have this.

    Bracha Goetz is the author of twelve Jewish children’s books including Remarkable Park , The Invisible Book and The Happiness Box.

    The content in this page is produced by Chabad.org, and is copyrighted by the author and/or Chabad.org. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you do not revise any part of it, and you include this note, credit the author, and link to www.chabad.org. If you wish to republish this article in a periodical, book, or website, please email permissions@chabad.org.

    Some Approaches to Judging Others Favorably

    We’re in the midst of the Three Week period leading up to Tisha B’Av and the Avodah (work) of this period is on Bein Adam L’Chaveiro (improving relations between man and his fellow). Here are some short thoughts on how to judge other people favorably. If you have any thoughts or ideas that have worked for you, please share them in the comments.

    Focus on the Overall Good

    Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz in Sichos Mussar points out that the Pasuk in Koheles says “There is no Tzaddik who only does good and doesn’t sin”. He takes this a step further and points out that even a positive act has some bad in it, yet nonetheless we can judge the overall act as good. We should try to identify and focus on the positive aspects of the actions people perform and judge there overall acts as positive.

    There’s a Part of You in Every Jew

    Rabbi Moshe Cordervo in the Tomer Devora describes the level of soul conceptualized as the collective Jewish soul. Every person has a piece of that soul so in reality there is a spiritual piece of every Jew in every other Jew. The mitzvah to love your fellow Jew is really self-love, for one’s fellow Jew is oneself on the collective soul level. As each of us contains a piece of each other’s soul, when my fellow Jew is better off so am I. This framework can help us love our fellow Jew.

    Other Peoples Mistakes are More Accidental

    In his Iggeres, the Ramban writes “Consider everyone as greater than yourself. If he is wise or rich, you should give him respect. If he is poor and you are richer — or wiser — than he, consider yourself to be more guilty than he, and that he is more worthy than you, since when he sins it is through error, while yours is deliberate and you should know better!” Less observant Jews don’t understand the obligations of the Torah to the degree we do, so relatively, their sins/mistakes are by accident, while ours are done on purpose. Knowing this should help us humble ourselves and judge others more favorably.

    The Essence of All People is Good

    In the third Bilvavi sefer, the author book points out that our souls are pure and our bodies are just garments. Identifying with our pure souls as opposed to our stained garments is at the root of true self-esteem and enables us to work on removing our stains from a healthy perspective. In the same way we can view ourselves from this aspect of purity, so to we can view our fellow Jews from this perspective. At their root, every Jew has a pure good soul and that is their essence, even when their acts or personalities are negative.

    Mishnayos Yomi – It’s a Great Idea

    The new Mishanayos Yomi cycle start on Sunday July 4th with Masechta Berachos.

    You learn 2 mishnayos a day and you can finish all of Shas in 5 1/2 years.

    It’s not hard and it’s a great accomplishment.

    There are audio files here which take only 5 minutes per day.

    Rav Grossman also has audio files of the entire Mishna.

    And here’s the schedule for the remainder of 5770.

    The http://www.mishnahyomit.com/ site also has some good resources.

    You can download the entire Blackman translation of the Mishnayos at HebrewBooks.org.

    Here’s the entire Mishna online in Hebrew.

    Why not start now, you won’t regret it.

    A Yeshivish Fourth of July to All

    Gettysburg Address – English Version
    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

    We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.

    It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this…The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

    It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here for the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

    It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of their devotion– that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Gettysburg Address – Yeshivish Translation
    Be’erech a yoivel and a half ago, the meyasdim shtelled avek on this makom a naiya malchus with the kavana that no one should have bailus over their chaver, and on this yesoid that everyone has the zelba zchusim.

    We’re holding by a geferliche machloikes being machria if this medina, or an andere medina made in the same oifen and with the same machshovos, can have a kiyum.

    We are all mitztaref on the daled amos where a chalois of that machloikes happened in order to be mechabed the soldiers who dinged zich with each other.

    We are here to be koiveia chotsh a chelek of that karka as a kever for the bekavodike soldiers who were moiser nefesh and were niftar to give a chiyus to our nation.

    Yashrus is mechayev us to do this… Lemaise, hagam the velt won’t be goires or machshiv what we speak out here, it’s zicher not shayach for them to forget what they tued uf here.

    We are mechuyav to be meshabed ourselves to the melocha in which these soldiers made a haschala–that vibalt they were moiser nefesh for this eisek, we must be mamash torud in it–that we are all mekabel on ourselves to be moisif on their peula so that their maisim should not be a bracha levatulla– that Hashem should give the gantze oilam a naiya bren for cheirus– that a nation that shtams by the oilam, by the oilam, by the oilam, will blaib fest ahd oilam.

    Weiser, Chaim M. 1995. The First Dictionary of Yeshivish. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, P. xxxiii.