The Proper Use of Strength

This week we read of the strength of Abraham and Isaac in fulfilling G-d's will at the Temple Mount. This is an analysis of the short Hebrew word for daring strength and boldness.

Batya Medad,

Judaism Batya Medad
Batya Medad
Arutz 7

 

 

One evening, after an inspiring morning in the women's Torah Study Program, Matan, I traveled with
...To be redeemed we must understand how to use our G-d given strength.
neighbors to nearby Eli for a Torah Class by Miram Wolf, which was in memory of a friend's mother.  When Miriam had lived in Eli, she gave us classes in TaNaCh [Bible, ed.], and we were very excited to have the opportunity to hear her again.

This time she took a mishna, a saying, from the tractate Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, V, 20.

"Judah the son of Teima would say: Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, fleeting as a deer and mighty as a lion to do the will of your Father in Heaven. He would also say: The brazen--to purgatory; the bashful--to paradise.

May it be Your will, L-rd our G-d and G-d of our fathers, that the Holy Temple be rebuilt speedily in our days; and grant us our portion in Your Torah."


We spent the evening trying to define the terms.  The question concerned the word az-- [being bold/ strong/daring/brazen] --which is used in contrasting positive and negative instructions in the same paragraph.

We are first told to be az as a leopard,” but the Hebrew phrase  az-pannim, [brazen] later on is negative, leading to hell.  The opposite in the next phrase is  boshet-pannim which the text translates as "bashful."  Our translation was different; we translated/explained that it means "humble before G-d." And that is supposed to be the way to Heaven.

What is this Hebrew word  az?  How is it that when attached to different words, there can be opposite meanings?  What is the message here?

I'm a political commentator, observer of people and events.  I also believe very strongly in G-d and the Jewish religion.

I think that this mishne, law, summarizes very well what I've been trying to say on my blog Shiloh Musings(http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/) for a long time.

In order for the Jewish People to be redeemed we must understand how to use our G-d given strength. That is why in Ethics of the Fathers they combine “az,”, strength of different levels and in different situations,  with the following request from G-d:

“May it be Your will, L-rd our G-d and G-d of our fathers, that the Holy Temple be rebuilt speedily in our days; and grant us our portion in Your Torah.”

In order for this to happen, the rebuilding of our Holy Temple, we must stand up strong, fearless and daring, like a mother leopard protecting her cubs, to defend our Land and our People and our rights.  But at the same time we must be humble before G-d and not rewrite His Laws, nor may we adopt foreign and perverse moralities and ideologies.

We must remember that ultimately, G-d makes the rules, not man.





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