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Beit Midrash Series Ein Ayah

Condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 8:36

Frequently Ideal Entranceways

Afadna (a hallway before a palace) represents apitcha dein (to this opening)
Various RabbisShvat 18 5779
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Gemara: Afadna (a hallway before a palace) represents apitcha dein (to this opening)



Ein Ayah: There are various lofty concepts that are pillars of the proper life of man, including: justice, wisdom, sanctity, riches, and bravery. Man can and sometimes does strive to excel in these areas. However, a person should never think that he has reached the depth and breadth of these areas, for they are too vast. The distinction is between those who have not even made it into the sanctums of these concepts and do not even have a glimpse of their greatness and those who have entered and have begun to draw closer to these goals.

The honor of every great building is defined by the goal of the activity that is held within. This can be the castle of a king, the halls of justice, or the Beit Hamikdash. Each represents a sphere of a lofty ideal upon which the lives of man seek support and elevation. The more a person realizes the value of the ideal the more he will strive to enter its halls and proceed forward within it. In general, we are only able to stand in the proximity of the doorway. But the recognition that it is worth it to cling to the ideal is itself a matter of wisdom and justice, which effectively pushes a person toward greatness. This leads to images of honor to which the spirit of man strives, and it causes mankind to want to build impressive edifices to express their regard for the ideals related to the place.

If people’s view of what is noble extends beyond the proper bounds and they start praising that which is disgraceful and call "god" to that which is not, then there is a problem. They will at the same time not give proper regard to lofty ideals and think that they have already reached as much fulfillment in these areas as they have interest. Such silliness will not allow them to maintain any semblance of spiritual success.

That is why an afadna is a place at which all should want to be at the entranceway. "Fortunate is one who listens to Me and frequents my doorways day by day, guarding the posts of the gateway; for those who find Me have found life, and will emit good will from Hashem" (Mishlei 8:34-35).
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