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'AZZUT PANIM (, "brazen-facedness"):

A term applied to an impudent person. The phrase "'az panim" occurs in Deut. xxviii. 50 ("a nation of fierce countenance"), and in Dan. viii. 23 ("a king of fierce countenance"). "The brazen-faced one goes to Gehenna, the shame-faced, or bashful, to Gan 'Eden," says R. Judah (Mas. Kallah, ii., and thence transferred to Abot v. 20; see Taylor, "Sayings of the Fathers," p. 96). "He who has not 'boshet panim' [bashfulness or shamefacedness], of a surety his ancestors stood not on Mount Sinai"; that is, he has not the pure blood of the Jewish race in him (Ned. 20a; compare Mek., Yitro, 9 on "His fear be upon your face that ye sin not," Ex. xx. 20). One of the characteristics of the Jewish people, next to their being compassionate and benevolent, is their bashfulness (Yeb. 79a). No greater insult can therefore be inflicted upon a Jew than to call him "'Azzut Panim," in dialect also "Azzes Pōnim." "Every priest that shows 'Azzut Panim is surely a descendant of the slaves of Pashhur, the son of Immer, the priest who smote the prophet Jeremiah and put him in stocks [Jer. xx. 1]; these slaves having intermarried with priestly houses" (Ḳid. 70b.) According to R. Eliezer, R. Joshua, and R. Akiba, an "'az panim" (shameless person) exposes himself to the suspicion of being the offspring of an incestuous marriage or of some forbidden connection ("mamzer," or "ben ha-niddah"; Mas. Kallah, ii.). An "'az panim" may be called "rasha'" (wicked), in accordance with Prov. xxi. 29 ("A wicked man hardeneth his face"), or be hated, in accordance with Eccl. viii. 1 (which, with the reading "yesunne," means "the boldness of his face causeth him to be hated"). An "'az panim" is sure of falling a victim to sin, and it is on account of "'azze fanim" (the shameless) in the land that rain is withheld, according to Jer. iii. 3: "Therefore the showers have been withholden, . . . thou refusedst to be ashamed" (Ta'an. 7b).

At the close of his daily prayers Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi used to say: "May it be Thy will, O Lord our God and God of our fathers, to save us from ' 'azze fanim' [the shameless ones] and from ' 'azzut panim' [shamelessness], from an evil man, an evil plague," etc. (Ber. 16b)—a prayer which found a place in the daily morning prayer of the common liturgy.

J. Sr. K.
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