3. It is inappropriate for a scholar to trouble the people,
aiming to walk near them in order that they should stand in his
presence; rather, he should take the shortest route, intending
that they not see him, not to trouble them to stand. The sages
used to go around [take the longer way] where those who
recognized them were not found in order not to trouble them.
Q1: Why does R advise the scholars to take the shortest way,
when the sages (of whose actions he evidently approves) took the
YE: R is simply saying that a scholar should not go out of his
way to "gain" more honor - he should just go his normal way and,
if that involves passing near people who recognize him as a
scholar, so be it. He then accentuates the notion that "seeking"
such honor is not a positive approach by noting that scholars
would even go out of their way for the opposite goal - to avoid