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Pirkei Avos - Throw Yourself To The Lions and Spare The Foxes

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Pirkei Avos - Throw Yourself To The Lions and Spare The Foxes
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Revach L'Neshama

The Mishna says (4:20) "V'Hevei Zanav L'Arayos V'Al Tehi Rosh L'Shu'alim"; be a tale to the lions and don't be the head of the foxes. Rabbeinu Yonah explains that it is better for you to be a lowly student by someone who is much wiser than you since you will grow from it every day. Your alternative with your limited knowledge is to be a Rav but only to those weaker than you. In that situation where you never learning only spewing forth what you already know, you will become less learned every day.

Rav Shlomo Kluger in Magen Avos says that this refers to a sacrifice a person can make for the Tzibbur. If you are far better than the people around you, you will look like a tzaddik and make them look like resha'im in comparison. However if the company you choose to associate with is much greater than you, they will gain in stature in comparison to you and you will shrink in stature compare to them. Nevertheless says the Mishna, for the public's sake it is better for you to be a Tale of a Lion and look bad than to be the Head of a Fox and look good.

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