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Duties of the Heart

The ninth class consists of those who have exerted themselves to know the duties of the heart as well as the active duties and also what is detrimental to right conduct; who understand the plain sense of the Holy Scriptures as well as their inner meaning, and have arrived at a conviction of the truth of tradition, based on Scripture and on reason; have arranged the laws into an orderly system, divided the practical duties in accordance with circumstances of time and place, as a result of their comprehension of the fundamental principles of the Pentateuch; scrupulously observe these duties and exhort others to do likewise; cherish truth inwardly and outwardly, and follow it wherever it may lead them. They are the Talmudic teachers and the Geonim who continued their predecessors' customs.

The tenth class consists of those who received the wisdom of the Torah from the prophets, with all its interpretations and detailed results of its fundamental principles. They are the men of the Great Synagogue and their successors who received the traditions from them, the authorities named in the Mishnah and Beraitoth, as set forth in the "Ethics of the Fathers." Moses received the Law from Sinai and delivered it to Jushua; Joshua to the elders, the elders to the prophets; the prophets to the men of the Great Synagogue; the men of the Great Synagogue to Simon the Just; Simon the Just to Antigonus; Antigonus to Joseph, son of Joezer and Jose son of Jochanan the Jerusalemite; they delivered it to Joshua, son of Perachiah and Nittai the Arbelite; they delivered it to Judah, son of Tabbai and Simon, son of Shetach; they delivered it to Shemaiah and Abtalyon; from them it passed to Shammai and Hillel; from them to Rabban Jochanan ben Zaccai; from him to Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Joshua, Rabbi Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Arach, Rabbi Jose the Priest and Simon, son of Nathanel; from them it passed to Rabbi Akiba, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Tarfon, Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel,; from them to Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Judah, Rabbi Jose, Rabbi Simeon, Rabbi Judah the Prince. The last is our sainted teacher who gathered together the dicta of the Mishna, arranged them in order, divided them into chapters and compiled them into a work. This compilation is the essential element of the whole radition on which we rely in our Law.

- from Ethics of the Fathers, Shaar Avodath Elokim, ch 4.


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