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“Moshe kibel Torah mi’Sinai…”

“Moshe received the Torah from Sinai…”

(Mishnah Avot 1:1)

Issue #4 of PRTCLS focuses on the topic of Pirkei Avot.

What is Pirkei Avot–which could be translated literally as Chapters of the Fathers or Chapters of Fundamental Principles? How does this text represent Jewish thought and life? What is its relevance historically and today?

What does it mean to speak of Judaism’s “Fathers” and Judaism’s “Fundamental Principles”? And what does it mean to speak of Judaism’s “Fundamental Principles” as “Fathers? How might we engage with this text and with the rabbinic tradition more broadly? What kind of politics might we excavate from the rabbinic tradition? What kind of Jewish tradition is transmitted through rabbinic texts? What parts of the Jewish tradition are made invisible by rabbinic texts or by the hegemony of certain rabbinic texts, such as Pirkei Avot?
And what of its more figurative and modern translation, Ethics of our Fathers? What kind of Jewish ethical tradition is attributed to this text? What might be the Jewish ethical tradition more broadly? How might Jewish ethics inform contemporary politics? What are the limits of Jewish ethics? Does such a concept of “Jewish ethics” distort or constrain the rabbinic tradition?  What are sources of Jewish ethics other than the rabbinic tradition?
Please send detailed pitches and/or drafts of art submissions to with subject “Pirkei Avot”.
Submissions must be received by October 1
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