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

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon ד טבת - Teves 4 - Ninety-Fourth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Therefore, [as all Jews are part of one greater whole], we have found a number of instances in the words of our Sages of blessed Memory, [where we learn] that, if Heaven Forbid, a person performs a sin, he thereby corrupts the entire Jewish People, for [the Jewish People] are comparable to one body. If one were to have a severe pain in a given limb, the other limbs [similarly] experience a sensation from that pain, though the pain that they suffer is not so great. [The above] relates to the matter that we find [taught] in Vayikra Rabba, parsha 4 (sif 6), [as follows]: ““Israel is a dispersed sheep…”, (Yirmiyahu: 50; 17) [from here we learn that the Nation of] Israel is compared to a sheep. Just as it is the way of a sheep that is stricken in one of its limbs, and all [of the sheep’s limbs] have a sensation [of that pain], so too [this is true of the Nation of] Israel, [if] one [person] sins, all of them are punished. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai taught: “[The effect that the sins of each individual Jew has on the entire Jewish People], is analogous [to a situation where] people were boarding a ship. [Once having boarded the ship], one of [the passengers] takes a drill and begins drilling [into the floor of the ship] below him. His fellow [passengers then] said to him: “Why are you doing this?” [The one doing the drilling responded] to them: “What does [my drilling] concern you? Am I not only drilling [only] below myself?” [Whereupon, his fellow passengers] said to him, [your drilling concerns us] because you are causing the ship to sink upon us!...”” See over there [in Vayikra Rabba, where we learn that the above teaching is related] to the explanation cited earlier, [that being that each Jews’ actions affect the entire Jewish People].

Therefore, my brother, [based upon what has been taught above], be exceedingly careful to refrain from taking revenge and bearing a grudge against your fellow, [for by doing so against your fellow], you are [truly] taking revenge and bearing a grudge against yourself. [To avoid taking revenge and bearing a grudge against your fellow], simply think to yourself that all of this that has occurred was Heaven-sent, due to your sins, and what [difference is there] to me if this suffering came about through this [person] or through someone else? If I truthfully accept all of this [suffering] upon myself, my sins will thereby be pardoned.

This follows that which [we learn about King] David, [when he] responded to Avishai ben Tziruyah, at the time that [Avishai] wanted to take retribution against Shimi ben Geira on behalf of [David, as Shimi was going about] shaming and insulting David, as well as cursing him [with] a [powerful] curse. [However], David did not allow [Avishai to harm Shimi], and he [rather] said, “HaShem said to him, “Curse”… ””[1] (Shmuel II: 16; 10) Our Sages of Blessed Memory have [also] said [in this context], that the Heavenly Court [at that time], voted and appointed David that he would be the fourth of the legs of [HaShem’s] Chariot, as we shall [discuss] this at length later on, G-d Willing.

[1] The entire verse reads, “And the King said, what [differences] are there between me and you, the son of Tziruyah, for he is cursing, for HaShem said to him, “Curse David”, and who will say to [Shimi], “Why are you doing this?”” (Shmuel II: 16; 10)

RaSh”I explains that David said that as someone as great as the head of the Sanhedrin, Shimi, would not be cursing David, unless commanded to do so by HaShem.

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