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

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon ו טבת - Teves 6 - Ninety-Sixth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Chapter 7

Wherein Shall be Explained the Greatness [of the Trait] of being Careful to Avoid Arguing for the Guilt of a Jew, and [the Person’s] Reward for Arguing for [the] Innocence [of a Fellow Jew]

Behold, in the previous chapters, we explained in reference to [the importance of judging] an individual person [favorably. As we have demonstrated that judging an individual Jew favorably, is of great importance], how much more so must a person be exceedingly careful to avoid arguing for the guilt of the Jewish People, for [that] sin [of arguing for the guilt of the Jewish People], is exceedingly great, as we find in [maseches] Pisachim (87b), [as follows]: “What is the meaning [of the following quote from sefer Mishlei]: “A servant should not relate slander to his master… A generation [that] will curse its father, and it will not bless its mother.”[1] ? (Mishlei: 30; 10 – 11) Even [if the] generation [is one] that curses its father and does not bless its mother, [one] should not relate slander to his Master, [with respect to the generation. In this context, “His Master” refers to] The Holy One, Blessed is He.” Please see [of the following incident that occurred to] Yishaya the Prophet, at the time that he beheld The Glory of HaShem. [At the time that Yishaya beheld The Glory of HaShem, Yishaya] said, “Woe to me, for I have been silenced, for I am a man of impure lips and in the midst of a nation of impure lips, do I dwell, for The King, HaShem [[Master of] Legions, my eyes have seen.]” (Yishayahu: 6; 5) Because [Yishayahu] said, “and in the midst of a nation [of impure lips, do I dwell”, even] though [by saying this] he did not intend to scorn the Jewish People, [as evidenced by the fact that] he also preceded by saying such [a statement] in reference to himself. [Yishayahu] only intended to say that he is not fitting to behold The Countenance of [HaShem’s Divine] Presence, both due to his actions and due to the actions of the nation, among whose midst he dwells. Nevertheless, see that which is written afterwards: “And one of the Sirafim [angels] flew [over] to me and in his hand was a cinder…, notice that this has been touched upon your lips…” (Yishayahu: 6: 6 – 7) Our Sages of Blessed Memory have [also] said[2] that [the word “רצפה” – “ritzpah”] is an acronym, [as follows]: “רצץ פה” – “Ritzotz Peh” – “Crush the mouth that spoke slander against My children.” Eventually [Yishayahu] died as a result of this matter, as is written in [maseches] Yivamos (49b), [as follows][3]: “…They brought the cedar [tree] and sawed it, once they reached [Yishayahu’s] mouth, he died”, see over there.[4]

[1] On this pasuk quoted from seferMishlei”, RaSh”I comments that one should not pass judgment against even a very sinful individual, the proof of this being the incident that the gemara records involving the Prophet Hoshea. (Bava Basra, 46a) Hoshea asked HaShem to exchange the Jewish People for another nation, as many of the Jewish People at that time were very sinful, as the above gemara explains. In punishment for such a request, HaShem commands Hoshea to marry a woman who is promiscuous, who would bear him children of promiscuity.

[2] Note found in the Hebrew “Kol HaLashon” printing of seferShmiras HaLashon”: [[This teaching is found in] Yalkut [Shimoni, in] Remez 406 [in seferYishayahu”], as well as in Shir HaShirim Rabba, on the pasuk – “Al Tiruni…”]

The Yalkut Shimoni and Shir HaShirim Rabba also note incidents involving Moshe Rabbeinu and Eliyahu HaNavi when they were wrong in criticizing the Jewish People and their punishments for doing so.

[3] The gemara in maseches Yivamos (49b), discusses the death of Yishayahu, the Prophet. King Minashe brought Yishayahu before him with the intent to kill him. In order to act as if his killing of Yishayahu was justified, Minashe first queried Yishayahu vis-à-vis some things which he had said, that, on the surface, may appear to contradict some things that Moshe Rabbeinu had said. Yishayahu said that if he were to explain the verses that he was quoting as saying, as well as the ones that Moshe was quoted as saying, the apparent contradiction between Yishayahu’s teachings and Moshe Rabbeinu’s teaching would dissipate. However, Yishayahu said that if he were to indeed reconcile all of the verses quoting the two of them, Minashe would either have him killed for “intentionally” contradicting some of the teachings of Moshe Rabbeinu, or simply not accept what he were to say. Thereupon, Yishayahu said one of HaShem’s Holy Names, and was swallowed into a cedar tree. Minashe had the cedar brought to him, and had it axed open. Once they got to the point were they were sawing the tree open at the point where they sawed Yishayahu’s mouth, Yishayahu died. The gemara explains that this was the punishment that befell Yishayahu at the end of his life for saying in reference to the Jewish People, “…and in the midst of a nation of impure lips, do I dwell…” (Yishayahu: 6; 5) RaSh”I explains that Yishayahu was punished for making the above statement in reference to the Jewish People, for he stated it though HaShem did not command him to say it, and as well, Yishayahu did not make the statement for the purposes of rebuking the Jewish People.

[4] * [Chofetz Chaim’s note: See in the RITV”A (in his chiddushim over there in [maseches] Yivamos), [where] he inquired [regarding Yishayahu’s punishment], for [Yishayahu] was already pardoned [for the sin of speaking slander against the Jewish People], as the angel said, “and your sin has been removed, and your inadvertent sin has bee atoned [for].” (Yishayahu: 6; 7) [The RITV”A] answers that [Yishayahu] was only pardoned for that which he spoke before The Holy One, Blessed is He. Afterwards, the Prophet [Yishayahu] returned [to] speak these [words] before the Jewish People, and therefore he was punished a second time.

According to my humble opinion, it appears [fitting] to say, that the Prophet did not sin by subsequently relating [the above] to the Jewish People, for by [doing so], he demonstrated to them how great is [the] love [of the Jewish People], in The Eyes of The Master of everything, [HaShem] Yisbarach. [Rather], in truth, The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to the angel [to] “smash the mouth”, that being the punishment that [Yishayahu experienced] in the end [of his life. Yishayahu] did not merely get touched [on the mouth with the cinder, for] the touching [by] the angel [of Yishayahu’s lips with the cinder] was not [meant] to completely atone [for his sin], rather, as a result of being [touched by the cinder, Yishayahu’s main punishment] was put into abeyance until the end [of his life]. [The follows] the matter that [our Sages have] related [in maseches Yoma (86a), as follows]: “The suffering [of the individual] is suspended and death purges [the sin].” [The fact that] after the angel had already touched the cinder to [Yishayahu’s] lips, [the following] is written, “…behold [this cinder] has touched [upon your lips]… and your sin has been removed, and your inadvertent sin will be atoned” (Yishayahu: 6; 7), [teaches us the Yishayahu had not yet received the main part of his punishment. We know this, for the pasuk is written in the] future tense, it being a fitting testimony for [the above teaching from maseches Yoma, where we learn that for some sins, death is necessary to purge the individual of the sin]. Just as “and the jealousy of Ephraim will be removed” (Yishayahu: 11; 13) [is in the future tense], similarly, “תּכפר” – “will be atoned” is in the future tense, to demonstrate to us that [Yishayahu] was still not completely atoned [for his sin], only that now by being touched with the cinder, the atonement [for Yishayahu’s sin] has begun, and eventually the sin will be removed by this cinder. [However], the angel did not reveal [to Yishayahu] the intent of The Holy One, Blessed is He, through this [punishment of being touch with the cinder]. Otherwise, it is possible to say [that] “and your sin has been removed”, [refers to] the prosecuting [angel] that was created from that sin who didn’t prosecute [Yishayahu]. Similarly, we find by David, [that he experienced a similar situation], that the Prophet responded to him, “also HaShem has removed your inadvertent sin…”, that refers to the prosecuting [angel], as our Sages of Blessed Memory have explained. The essence of the Prophet [Yishayahu’s] sin was eventually forgiven for him, that [being the meaning of the phrase] “and your inadvertent sin will be atoned [for]”, in the future tense. The first answer that we have written is more fitting.]

No comments: