רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר אין עושין נפשות לצדיקים דבריהם הן הן זכרונן
ירושלמי שקלים פ"ב ה"ה
What's pshat with opening the shirt? Is the idea that it makes it harder for the assailant to shoot bare skin than a shirt, as if to remind him that it's a person he's threatening to kill?
I thought it was just a sign of courage but I like your "p'shat" better.
another such story can be found regarding R. MS Zivitz told by himself in the hakdama to his Mateh Aharon (for some reason the otzar hachochma edition is missing the hakdama; the hebrewbooks' one seems to be the same copy)
I get the courage thing. To me it seems like the pshat pashut, they're showing their willingness to be shot. But I just don't understand why or how opening the shirt or jacket shows that; that's why I speculate as I do, and it could be that it's even on the unconscious level, with the conscious thought meant to show courage.
IIRC, T'nuas (or Pulmos) Hamussar describes the Alter of Slobodka opening his shirt in response to a (Jewish) Communist who came into the yeshiva brandishing a gun.
I wonder if this was some kind of eastern European mannerism that everyone "knew," thus they'd react to such a situation this way, while it's significance is unclear to us.
Thanks for all the interesting comments!
Shirts weren't cheap in those days.
speaking of "all for the boss" does anyone know what the differences are between the original edition and the "completely revised" newer edition
DFIt's one thing to dramatically pull off one's shirt and yell, "go ahead, shoot!" It's quite another when you have to ask the gunman to please wait while you unbutton your topcoat, unbutton the waistcoat/vest, and THEN unbutton your shirt and lower your tzitiz, and then say, "OK. Now go ahead, shoot!"DF
The "pshat" of opening the shirt is probably just a way of expressing one's fearlessness or his "backbone". As opposed to just boldly yelling "go ahead, shoot me!", which still will not definitely eliminate any feelings of fright eminating from the target, whereas an actual daring "pe'ulah" presumably would. In addition to, testifying to one's lack of intimidaion of his opponent, thereby not givivng the assailant any sense of gain or power over his victim. Simple "svarah".
Ovadyah is saying good lomdus. You have to do a "maiseh" of bravery. The mere declaration of it isnt enough.
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