Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rather be the Tail of a Lion than the Head of a Fox

What did Rav Matyah Ben Cheresh mean when he said "better be the tail of a lion than the head of a fox" in Avot 4:20?

Was he saying it is better to accept a lower position in a bigger company than a higher position in a smaller one? Better be a small part of a huge project rather than lead a smaller one?

I used to think so, but recently I'm thinking his statement is about religious faith and serving God.

Rav Matyah can be read to be saying that whatever is done with the wrong intention, i.e. for something other than serving God, is like being the head of a fox. But the most mundane of activities, if done for the service of God, is like being the tail of a lion.

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