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      by Batya Medad
      A Unique Perspective by Batya Medad of Shiloh
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      Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.)  Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching.  She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:

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      Tishrei 30, 5771, 10/8/2010

      Proper Use of Strength, Ethics of the Fathers



      In order for this to happen, we must stand up strong, fearless and daring, like a mother lion protecting her cubs, to defend our Land and our People and our rights.
      Chodesh Tov!  I want to get this posted before going to pray at Tel Shiloh with my women's group.  As usual, you can find more of my articles on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  Have a wonderful month, Shabbat and week to come.

      Proper Use of Strength, Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers

      One Wednesday evening, after an inspiring morning in Matan, I traveled with neighbors to nearby Eli for a shiur 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, and we were very excited to have the opportunity to hear her again.

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

       כ. יהודה בן תימא אומר: הוי עז כנמר; וקל כנשר; ורץ כצבי; וגבור כארילעשות רצון אביך שבשמים. הוא היה אומר: עז פנים לגיהנם; ובושת פנים לגן עדן. יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו שיבנה בית המקדש במהרה בימינו, ותן חלקנו בתורתך. 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 עז, oz, strength/daring which is used in contrasting positive and negative instructions.

      We are told to be as עז, oz, strength/daring  as a leopard, but the phrase עז פנים oz-pannim, brazen is negative, leading to hell.  The opposite is ובושת פנים boshet-pannim which they translate as "bashful," which we translated/explained as "humble before G-d."

      And that is supposed to be the way to Heaven. What is this עז oz?  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 Shiloh Musings for a long time. In order for us to be redeemed:

      יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו שיבנה בית המקדש במהרה בימינו, ותן חלקנו בתורתך. 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, we must stand up strong, fearless and daring, like a mother lion 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.

      Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov!