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Thought for the Day: Staying Focussed on the Task

A further insight from Chazal:
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.
After telling us the midos needed to avodas HaShem, Yehuda ben Teima adds a warning and a t'fila; The brazen end up in gehinom and the shy in Gan Eden; may it be Your Will, HaShem our G-d, to rebuild the Bais HaMikdash in our lifetime, and give us our portion in Your Torah.

The sefer Achas Sha'alti brings R' Akiva Eiger to explain that once we (again) have the Bais HaMikdash and the Truth of the Torah is obvious and apparent to all, then we will no longer need brazenness to "stick to our guns" (ok, my very very translation) for learning and avodas HaShem.  Therefore Yehuda ben Teima warns us that we must be very careful in our use of being brazen to be only for Torah and avodad HaShem as the misuse is very costly.

At first glance this seems to be a contradiction to the previous explanation (Incorporating Midos Into One's Being).  Why should be incorporate a mida into ourselves that is only necessary until the Bais HaMikdash is rebuilt (may it be soon and in our lifetime)?  Worse, the use of this mida is fraught with danger to the point that we need to be nervous about earning gehinom.  Why in the world would Chazal exhort us to acquire this mida?

Chazal do not want us to acquire the mida of "azus panim" (being a brazen person), they want us to act with brazenness when required for avodas HaShem -- and the reaction should be as natural a response as a leopard's response.  We need to work constantly to align our outlook with HaShem's; only then can our responses match the call to action with both z'hirus (caution) and z'rizus (enthusiasm).  Chazal then finish this mishna about what we have to achieve with counsel on how to achieve it: constant focus on the goal, which is to make HaShem's presence experience with all our senses (the Bais HaMikdash) and yearning to take our rightful place in His Torah.


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