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Mar. 17, 2018 - 1 Nisan 5778
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Section:  Avodah   Category: Pirkei Avos
Pirkei Avos: Be A Real Man

"B'Makom She'Ein Anashim Hishtadel Li'Hiyos Ish", in a place where there is no man try to be a man, says the famous Mishna in Pirkei Avos (2:6). But what does this mean? The Mefarshim say that we all act differently when someone is watching us. To ourselves we can justify any behavior and therefore we are not embarrassed of ourselves. When another person is watching us the justifications don't help. We know exactly how our behavior will look in their eyes and all our excuses will not help so we behave differently. Like Rav Yochanan Ben Zakkai said to his talmidim your fear of heaven should be like your fear of man.

Therefore the Mishna in Pirkei Avos tells us, even when there is no one watching you, try to be objective. Try to see your actions through the eyes of someone other than yourself. Even when "there is no other man" says the Mishna, "try to be that other man".


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