Pirkei Avot- Ethics of the Fathers
Click here for Chapter 4 of Pirkei Avot.
1. By ten divine sayings the world was created. Could it not have been created by one? What does this teach us? In order to emphasize the guilt of the wicked who destroy the world that was created with ten sayings and the merit of the righteous who preserve the world that was created with ten sayings.
2. There were ten generations from Adam to Noah, to show how great was His patience, for every one of those generations provoked Him continually until he brought upon them the waters of the Flood.
3. There were ten generations from Noah to Abraham, to show how great was His patience, for every one of those generations provoked Him continually until Abraham, our father, came and received the reward of them all.
4. With ten tests was Abraham, our father, tested and he stood steadfast in them all; [they were] to show how great was His love.
5. Ten wonders were performed for our fathers in Egypt and ten at the sea.
6. Ten plagues did the Holy One, blessed be He, bring upon the Egyptians in Egypt and ten more at the sea.
7. Ten times our ancestors in the wilderness tested the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written (Numbers 14:22) "Who ... tested me these ten times and have not obeyed my voice."
8. Ten miracles were performed for our fathers in the Temple:
· No woman miscarried from the odor of the flesh of the offerings;
· The flesh of the offerings never turned putrid;
· No fly was ever seen in the place of slaughter;
· The high priest never suffered a pollution on the Day of Atonement;
· Rain never quenched the fire of the wood arranged on the altar;
· No wind prevailed over the pillar of smoke;
· Never was a defect found in the omer or in the two loaves or in the showbread;
· Though the worshipers stood pressed together, they could freely prostrate themselves;
· Never did serpent or scorpion do harm in Jerusalem;
· No man said to his fellow, "There is no room for me to lodge in Jerusalem."
9. Ten things were created at twilight on the eve of the first Sabbath:
· The mouth of the earth (Numbers 16:32);
· The mouth of the well (Numbers 21:16);