Please Learn in the Merit of:

Please learn for the merit of a complete recovery for the following individuals:

Ya'akov Don ben Esther Ahuvah Sharona
Avraham Yishayahu ben Aviva
Perel Leah bas Sima

Please learn in the merit/memory of Eyal ben Uriel, Gil-Ad Michael ben Ophir, Ya'akov Naftali ben Avraham, and Alter Aryeh Leib Reuven ben Sima

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon י"א כּסלו - Kislev 11 - Seventy-First Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Even if the instigator of the conflict is [one's] relative, even if [the instigator] is his father, he should nevertheless be exceedingly careful to bestow honor upon him by [allowing himself to] be drawn after him [into the conflict]. Even if [one's] father will command him in this matter, [instructing him to join the dispute, he should still not join the quarrel. This follows] that which is ruled to be the halacha in Yoreh Deah, in siman 240, sif 15, [where we learn] that if [one’s] father [instructs] him to transgress a rabbinic law, he should not listen to [his father], for both the son and the father, [as well as] everyone [else], are obligated to honor HaShem.[1] How much more so, [must the son honor HaShem and not listen to his father if his father instructs him to commit] the severe sin of quarreling.

Similarly, we find that the sons of Korach did not draw [themselves] after their father in his quarrel, though this [proved] shameful for their father. By [not joining their father’s quarrel, the sons of Korach] escaped from the punishment that came upon their father. [This follows] that which is [taught] in Yalkut Parshas Korach[2], as follows:

“This is what the pasuk [means when it] states: (Tehillim: 1; 1)

“Praiseworthy is the man…” This [refers to] the sons of Korach;

“…who has not walked in the council of the evildoers…” – [For] they did not [follow] in the council of their father, as it says, “…Please remove yourselves from the tents of these evildoers…” (Bamidbar: 16; 26),

he did not stand in the path of sinners…”, as it says, “…the pans of these sinners…”” (Bamidbar: 13; 7); [This [pasuk] refers to Korach who would mock Moshe and Aharon].”

It is also [taught] in Yalkut [Shimoni, as follows][3]: “What merit did the sons of Korach possess that they were saved (Meaning: from the punishment that came upon their father)? [They were saved from the punishment that came upon their father], for at the time that they were sitting by Korach, their father, they saw Moshe and hid their faces in the ground. They said: “If we stand from before [the presence of] Moshe Rabbeinu, we are behaving shamefully toward our father, and we are already commanded [to] honor one’s father and mother. [If] we do not stand, it is already written, “Before a Torah scholar you shall stand up…”[4] (Vayikra: 19; 32) It is better that we stand before [the presence of] Moshe Rabbeinu, even though we are bringing shame to our father. At that moment, [the sons of Korach] caused
their hearts to stir in Tishuvah. [King] David says with respect to [the sons of Korach], “my heart stirred [with] a good thing.”[5] (Tehillim: 45; 2) From [the above teaching in Yalkut Shimoni], one can [conclude] that if he does not allow himself to be drawn after the council of his father in his quarrel, he will not be caught in [the] net [that his father is caught in, and thereby avoid the negative ramifications of partaking in the quarrel].

[Chofetz Chaim’s note: Even if [the person] sees that the law [goes] is [in accordance] with his father, he should nevertheless see to it to [remain] silent and not strengthen the quarrel with the opposing side. [One should avoid strengthening the quarrel even when he sees that the law is with his father], for aside from the mitzvah of bringing [about] peace, he should think, that perhaps, due to the love that is rooted in the heart of a person [toward his father], he made a mistake in his thinking [regarding which side of the quarrel is in the right. Such a mistake can result in a mistaken notion as to the correctness of his father's argument], since he loves his father as [he loves] himself. [This follows] that which is [taught] in Sifrei (Parshas Ri’eih, peirush 87): “Your fellow that is like yourself” (Divarim: 13; 7) – This [refers to] your father, and, [just as] a person does not see himself as guilty, [he therefore might very well not see his father as guilty and incorrect in his side of the dispute].]

[1] This halacha mentions that if one’s father instructs him to transgress a Torah law, whether it be a positive commandment or a prohibition, or to transgress a Rabbinic law, a person should not follow his father demand's.

[2] This teaching can be found in Yalkut Shimoni, Korach, 16, with the words beginning, “zehu she’amar ha’kasuv…” – “this is what the verse stated, Remez 750.

[3] This teaching is found in Yalkut Shimoni, Parshas Korach, Remez 752, on the pasukva’yakhilu…”

[4] This translation, as written in the text, follows Onkelos’ translation.

[5] This chapter of Tehillim was written by the sons of Korach and begins as follows: (Tehillim: 45; 1- 2)

"To the conductor, on the shoshanim [musical instruments], by the sons of Korach, [written] with wisdom, a song of love. My heart stirred with a good thing, my actions are for a king, my tongue [speaks purely in song] as a quill of the expert scribe [writes]."

Note: The above translation is based on the commentaries of Mitzudas Tzion and RaSh"I.

Onkelos writes the above verses as follows:

"For praise for those who sit on the Sanhedrin of Moshe, that was said by prophecy, by way of the sons of Korach, with good wisdom, and praise, and gratitude. My heart seeks to speak that which is good, I say that my actions are for a king, my tongue speaks quickly, just as the quill of the experienced scribe."

Onkelos continues to explain this chapter of Tehillim in context of Mashiach ben David. However, the chapter begins by praising those on the Sanhedrin of Moshe. Perhaps, the sons of Korach merited to have the merit to speak this prophecy about Mashiach ben David, as their hearts stirred in that which is good, as we learn in Yalkut Shimoni, refers to the Tishuvah that the sons of Korach performed when they showed the proper respect for Moshe, as well as by refraining from continuing to take part in the rebellion of their father.

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