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The State of The Generation - Part 2

If you haven't read the Part 1, you can do so here. I strongly suggest it, since Part Two is built on the previous article.

There's something about The Fifth Son and the goat offering. Let's go a bit deeper so we understand more of it. 

So עֵז - Ez means a goat, but it also means arrogance. So, by throwing a goat from a cliff, this ceremony fixes the trait of arrogance. 

But this word can also be read as עַז - Az or עַז פָנִים - Az Panim brazen-faced, shameless, arrogant with total disregard for others - a type of individual. There's a pasuk that predicts the end of this type of people - עַז פָּנִים לְגֵיהִינוֹם - Az Panim Le Gehinam which means that the Shameless end up in Hell. But why would Hashem judge them so harshly, and write in books their destination ahead of time, while they are still alive down here on Earth?

The Az Panim or Shameless person or his sin of arrogant behavior, and his disregard for others, allows him to start rumors, and incite people just to keep the hatred against the individual going for years to come. It's never a one-time venture, it is a long, quiet, and behind-the-scenes operation that can go on for years with many people involved. That is why Hashem lets us know his destination - Gehinam/Hell. Notice in the community, that these Azei Panim start rumors that go on for years with no hope of dying off even after many years, while causing lots of sleepless nights and suffering to the other party.

But what about his support group - the ones that support him and his ideas for the next dirty rumor? The ones that do his dirty work, while he stays on the side "clean and dry". These people fall into a whole different category. So, let's talk about them for a change.

In Mishna Sotah 9:15, it tells us about the generation - פני הדור כפני הכלב - The face of the generation will be like the face of a dog. Why would Sages compare the generation's face to the face of a dog? What is it about this animal that Hashem compares the generation to it?

In Parashat Bereshit 2:19-20, we are told about Adam HaRishon and how he was naming the animals. Midrash on these pesukim, tells us a bit more. Every time Adam HaRishon looked at the animal, he looked at its essence, that is why the dog got its name Kelev, which derived from the words "Kulo Lev" or "All Heart". This accurately represents the dog, since it’s traits are devotion and loyalty. The people who support the shameless person or Az Panim become his dogs without realizing it, and they apply their devotion and loyalty to the wrong cause. In the process which may take years, they lose their free choice and act as slaves while serving their master - the Az Panim guy, while disregarding an enormous amount of sins being committed loyally and with devotion for years and all for the wrong reasons. Serving The Shameless and participating in various conflicts and situations, across shuls, communities, and continents. 

And this is the sorry state of the generation, Azei Panim - shameless, brazen-faced people with lots of dogs around them… And if you notice a similar scenario in your daily life, expect Mashiach to be in their midst getting most of the blows. 

So, what is the way out of this? How do you silence the Az Panim and his dogs? In the Parashat Bo 11:7, it tells us - that when the nation of Israel came out from Egypt, no dog barked against a man or beast. And so it will be in the future, no dogs of the generation will bark or raise their voices when Hashem on That Day will humiliate the Azei Panim - The Shameless of the generation and their dogs. Mashpil Geim Ade Aretz - He will throw down the Proud/Arrogant people to the ground.

There's a pasuk, ה' עֹז לְעַמוֹ יִתֵן - Hashem Ohz Le Amo Yiten - Hashem gave the strength to His Nation - עֹז - Ohz, another variation. What is this strength? It is a Strength to Choose - whether to choose the way of Ez/Goat and become the Az Panim, the Shameless Individual, and end up in Gehinam or Hell, or end up as someone's slave or dog. Or use that strength to stay away from the way of the Az Panim - Shameless, and not become his slave or dog, but to be a Boshet Panim - a Person of Modesty and be on the way to Gan Eden or Paradise, and serve Hashem wholeheartedly, with loyalty and devotion, all for the right reasons. And only then ה' יְבַרֵך אֶת עַמוֹ בַשָלוֹם - Hashem Yevarech Et Amo Ba Shalom - Hashem will bless His Nation with Peace.


Shmuel Katanov

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