When the days are long and people are idle: two sixteenth-century Yiddish translations of Pirkei Avot

Rebecca Wolpe

Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the Fathers), a tractate of the Mishna containing ethical and moral teachings, is one of the most popular and commonly read works in the Jewish library. Little has been  about the Yiddish translations of Pirkei Avot from the Early Modern period. A comparison of the Yiddish translation in an Italian manuscript penned by the scribe Anshel Levi (completed in 1578/9) and that printed in Cracow around 1590 suggests the existence of an earlier Yiddish tradition that circulated in manuscript or oral form and was adapted by writers/printers in different locations according to their needs

Published in
Jewish Culture and History, 2020

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