(peer-kay a-VOHT) n. Pirkei Avot, literally “Chapters of the Fathers,” (or “Ethics of the Fathers”) is a section of the Mishnah, one of the most fundamental works of the Jewish Oral Law. This is the key work of the Oral Law devoted entirely to the behavior of man, and how he can ameliorate his condition. Collection of maxims of the sages from the Mishnah (Hillel, Akiva, etc.). For example, "He (Hillel) used to say, 'If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?' " Here's another example: “Simon the Just was of the remnants of the Great Assembly. He used to say: On three things the world stands: on the Torah, on the (Temple) Service, and on Deeds of Loving-Kindness.