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What's In a Flame? The Chanukah discourse Ki Atah Neri from Shaarei Orah employs the multiple images of the lamp, the oil, the wick and the different hues of the flame in order to express profound gui... more>
Chasidic discourses by the fifth leader of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn, delivered during the year 5671 (1910-11). In the year 5672, Rabbi Shalom DovBer commenced his famous se... more>
What exactly is the milah covenant and what does it signify? The founder of the Chabad movement, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, delivered the text of this discourse in 1802 to probe the deeper, mystic... more>
Originally delivered by Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn, fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah in 5634 (1873). The discourse’s main theme is the cosmic impact of performing the m... more>
Chasidic discourses by the fifth leader of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn, delivered during the year 5680 (1920). The discourses of Rabbi Shalom DovBer are distinctive in their sys... more>
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Yehuda ben Teima said: Be brazen as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion, to fulfill the will of your Father in heaven.
Pirkei Avot 5:20
Although brazenness is a negative trait, one should "borrow" it when necessary, such as to do a mitzvah despite the mockery of cynics. But one should not be become brazenfaced--one's brazenness should not be apparent on one's face.
When a person's brazenness is fueled solely by the desire "to fulfill the will of his Father in Heaven"--not by his ego--it bears no negative consequence.
If your evil inclination tells you, "How can you pray to G-d? Are you not embarrassed of your petty and depraved deeds?!"--be brazen as a leopard and respond:
"True, I am not worthy. But I trust in G-d's goodness and that He will not turn me away empty-handed."
R. Naftali of Ropshitz would relate, that when he was a child and attempted to rise early in the morning to serve G-d, his evil inclination would tell him, "Why do you need to get up so early? It's still dark outside!"
The young Naftali would respond boldly: "You have already risen to do your job--but you're telling me not to rise for my job?"
Holtzberg Memorial Edition