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

Monday, November 27, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon ט כּסלו - Kislev 9 - Sixty-Ninth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Even if one has already entered the matter of dispute, and it is difficult for him to separate from his other friends [by desisting from the quarrel], nevertheless, he should see to it with all of his strength to extricate himself from [being involved in this quarrel]. [Removing oneself from a quarrel] is similar to what On ben Peles did. [On was] initially of one mind with the instigators of the quarrel [of Korach], as is written in the Torah. [However], in the end, [On] removed himself from [the quarrel of Korach and his followers], as [our Sages of Blessed Memory] have said in Perek Chelek.[1] (Sanhedrin, 109b) Therefore, [On] was not punished when the time came for the visitation of punishment [against the participants in Korach’s quarrel. In addition, when attempting to extricate himself from the quarrel], a person should pay no heed to the words of the Yetzer HaRa and his arguments, [for the Yetzer HaRa] entices [the person to persist in the quarrel, by claiming] that it would not be honorable for him to stop in the middle [of the quarrel] and not finish [the dispute by achieving] the “victory”. The individual should refute these claims of the Yetzer HaRa by pointing out] that it is preferable for a person to be embarrassed in this world before certain individuals and not be embarrassed in The World to Come, before the entire Heavenly retinue. Our Sages of Blessed Memory have also said (Eduyos: Chapter 5, Mishna 6): “It is preferable for a person to be referred to as a shoteh[2], all of his days, and not be evil for even one moment before HaShem.[3]

[1] The gemara here is discussing the incident where On’s wife encouraged him to leave the dispute with Korach. RaSh”I, on this gemara, points out that On tells his wife that he swore to the participants in Korach’s dispute that if they would call him to come with them and assist them in their dispute, that he would come. To get On out of his bind, On’s wife gave him wine to drink, whereupon On got drunk. On’s wife stood by the entrance to the tent with her hair uncovered. Anybody who was involved in Korach’s dispute who came to call On to join, turned around from the tent upon seeing her standing by the entrance to the tent with uncovered hair.

[2] “Shoteh” refers to a person who is crazy or is a fool.

[3] This mishna in Eduyos (Chapter 5, Mishna 6), lists four rulings that the great sage Akaviah ben Mahalalel had which were at odds with the ruling of the Chachamam (Sages). The Chachamim offered Akaviah the position of Av Beis Din – father of the court, that person being the deputy to the Nasi (president) of the Sanhedrin. He would preside over this Jewish High-Court when the Nasi was not present. However, the stipulation for Akaviah to receive this distinguished position was that he retract his four rulings which were at odds with the rulings of the Chachamim. Akaviah refused to change his position on these four rulings, stating it is better for a person to be called a fool – shoteh, all of his life by others, then to be an evildoer for even one moment before HaShem’s Presence. He refused to change his four positions, for he said that by changing his positions, it would appear to others that he changed his position on the four rulings in exchange for a position of leadership.

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