By April 9, 2008 Read More →

Mishnah Avot 5:21: Stages of Life

Greco-Roman Period
The Rabbis set forth the stages of life of a male Jew. They recommend that schooling begin at an early age, and that marriage take place before the pursuit of a career or the assumption of authority.

5-21 He 195 used to say- At five years old [one is fit] for the [study of] Scripture, at ten
years for [the study of] the Mishnah, at thirteen for [the fulfilling of] the commandments,
at fifteen for the Talmud, at eighteen for the bride-chamber, at twenty for pursuing [a
calling], at thirty for authority, at forty for discernment, at fifty for counsel, at sixty to be
an elder, at seventy for gray hairs, at eighty for special strength, 196 at ninety for bowed
back, and at a hundred a man is as one that has [already] died and passed away and
ceased from the world.

194. Trans. Danby, The Mishnah, p. 458.

195. Scholars are in doubt as to whom to attribute this quotation.

196. Ps. 90-10.

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