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Pirkei Avos - How Does A Real Man Fight? He Runs Away!

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Pirkei Avos - How Does A Real Man Fight? He Runs Away!
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Revach L'Neshama

The Mishna in Pirkei Avos (4:2) says "Ben Azzai Oimer, Hevai Ratz LiMitza Kala UBorai'ach Min HaAveira"; run to an easy mitzva and run away from an aveira. Why all the running? The Likutei Basar Likutei brings from the Medrash Shmuel who explains that mitzvos are not just waiting for us like low hanging fruit. We need to work to catch them. Even the easy ones require our efforts. Why? Because the Yetzer Hara chases them away in order to keep us from doing them. Sometimes when you undertake to do something good which you think is not a big deal suddenly at every turn you run into another difficulty. That may be sign that you are on to something good and the Yetzer Hara is trying his best to discourage you. Keep running you will eventually catch it.

However when it comes to aveiros the Yetzer Hara runs after us and brings them to our doorstep on a silver platter. Even if we run away from them he chases after us constantly dangling the temptation in front of us. So if we controlled ourselves once it's not enough we need to gird our loins with courage and fight him off time after time or better yet suggest Ben Azzai run far away and don't turn back.

For example many times during a conversation I have an urge to say lashon hara yet I control myself. Unfortunately two minutes later something else is said that makes me want to say that piece of lashon hara even more. This can happen a few times until I finally succumb. The only real solution is to politely say this topic of conversation is leading down the wrong path let's change the subject. Oh, if I only knew how to run fast :(

Revach L'Neshama
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