In Rav Weinberger's Tanya shiur this morning, we were learning the section in the 4th perek where the Alter Rebbe discusses the higher level of Yiras Hashem called "yiras boshes," the fear relating to embarrassment or shame. This is in contrast to the lower level of fear (though halevai we should attain it) called yiras ha'onesh, fear of punishment.
Yiras Boshes is the contemplation and recognition of Hashem's greatness and the concomitant feeling of smallness and nothingness, along with a feeling of embarrassment and shame because of a person's actions which have concealed that greatness and strengthened the forces if impurity in the world.
When healthy, this feeling will lead to a desire to come back to Hashem, and not to hide away and stay distant because of the shame. This is why, Rav Weinberger explained, the word "busha," embarrassment, has the same letters as ther word "shuva," to return.
I asked him after the shiur if this aspect of busha is related to the pasuk in Ki Sisa that the Jews saw "ki boshesh Moshe," that Moshe was delayed. The word for delayed there has the same shoresh as the word for embarrassment. He explained that the underlying shoresh means "distance." So distance in time is "delay" and distance in relationships is "shame."
I was thinking that perhaps the Torah uses the word "boshesh" rather than any other word for delay to illustrate the bad side of busha, shame. The Jews at that time went after the wrong side of busha. That feeling of shame/distance can lead to two opposite reactions. It can make a person want to come back closer, or it can make the person run away further. The Jews, by the chet ha'egel, the sin of the golden calf, reacted to the feeling of distance personified by Moshe's perceived delay in coming down from Har Sinai by running away from Hashem and building the egel. The Torah, therefore, used the word "boshesh" here, instead of "hismame'ah" or something else, to teach "how not" to react to the feeling of busha.
IY"H, may we all be zoche to attain an awareness of Hashem such that we will feel busha and return to Hashem before we even think of doing anything against His will.