282 Undoubtedly the "shame which brings sin" includes that which induces people to make promises to friends, promises which cannot be kept. Thus, a person may make an enemy of a friend without cause (dwrean, 20:23). On the other
hand, "a man who has lost his sense of shame" may be expected to default on a neighbor's loan (29:14). Without shame (anaidouj) "begging is sweet" (40:30). A sense of
shame is essential to proper etiquette.
The foot of a fool rushes into a house, but a man of experience stands respectfully (aisxunqhsetai) before it. Sirach 21:22
It is no wonder, therefore, that the final petition in the lament of Sirach 22:7-23:6 prays for deliverance from a "shameless soul" (yux^ anaidei). A shameless soul would
expose him to betraying neighborly benefactors, a life of begging, and a host of other hazardous patterns of life.
Such an ambiguous phenomenon as shame requires careful scrutiny. The long didactic poem of Sirach 41:14 through 42:8 seeks to bring some order out of the apparent chaos of human shame. The poem is composed of two parts (41:17-23 and 42:1-8) with an introductory summons to hear (41:14-16). The first major part (41:17-23) lists actions of which one should be ashamed. These include all manner of activities which are classic characteristics of enemies. The second part (42:1-8) lists those patterns of behavior of which one