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, March 25, 2007

Shmiras HaLashon י"ג טבת - Teves 13 - One-Hundred-and-Third Day

© 2007 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

At the time that a person will desire to attach himself to [the] attribute of patience, he will constantly contemplate the essence of the punishment [for] the sins [that he has performed, and for which he would suffer] in gehinnom and in reincarnation, as our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in maseches Eruvin (19a), as follows]: “Those who pass within the “valley of crying” (this refers to gehinnom), they shall drink from a spring…” – For they shall shed tears as a river of shisin.” [1] [2] (Tehillim: 84; 7) It is known that the fire of the first, [and most minor of the seven levels of gehinnom], is sixty times more [intense] than our fire, and of the second [level] is sixty times more [intense] than the first [level]. Similarly, in this manner, the punishment is multiplied in each of the [levels of gehinnom]. The RaMBa”N has already written in his book, “Sha’ar HaG’mul[3], that [the punishment of] one moment in gehinnom is harsher than the suffering that Iyov experienced [throughout] his entire lifetime. Furthermore, it is known that the punishment of reincarnation is more severe than the punishment of gehinnom.

Therefore, once a person will constantly contemplate concerning his actions, and he will know, [that due to many of his sins], he will not be cleansed on The Day of Judgment from the awesome punishment [that awaits him], he will [then] definitely, with great happiness, accept upon himself this attribute, to be patient and constantly overcome his [negative] attributes, in exchange for the [removal of the] aforementioned harsh punishments. ([This follows that which] is written in seferChareidim[4], [as follows]: “When I hear all of those who publicly shame and insult me, I place a scale opposite myself: In one [side of] the scale, [are my] actions of guilt, and in the [other side of the scale are] the [acts of] shame and the insults [that I am victim to. Upon observing the scale], I see that [the side of the scale that represents my] actions of guilt is [continuously being weighed] down, and, [as a result], I am silent [and don’t respond to those who insult and shame me], and accept the judgment against me, [it being that I fall victim to that shame or suffering]. I shall, [as well], act similarly concerning all types of suffering [involving matters of] speech [as well as other] actions). [It is only sensible to act in the foresaid manner], for do we not notice with our senses that it is easy for the person to accept upon himself all [types of] scorn if this will thereby prevent a loss of his property, such as at the time of a fire and other [types of] troubles, may The Merciful One spare us [from such misfortunes]. How much more so [will a person be willing to accept all types of scorn], if he knows that, [as a result of such suffering], the severe bodily punishments [decreed upon him] will be removed from him. How much more so are we able to [conclude] that [the aforementioned] applies all the more so to [the acceptance of the attribute of] patience [over the great punishments that may otherwise come upon the person, whether in this world or in The World to Come], for [remaining patient] is only difficult upon the person at the time that he stands opposite his fellow and hears himself [falling victim to] scorn.

[1] According to RaSh”I, the “shisin” is an aperture at the base of the altar through which the wine of the libations flowed throughout the year. The gemara in maseches Eruvin is coming to teach us that the tears of many of those who are in gehinnom resemble the wine that constantly flows through the shisin aperture.

The text in the gemara is “as a spring of [the] shisin” rather than “as a river of [the] shisin”.

[2] The entire pasuk from seferTehillim” reads as follows:

“Those who pass within the “valley of crying” (this is gehinnom), they shall drink from a spring, [our] teacher has enwrapped us in blessings.” (Tehillim: 84; 7)

RaSh”I explains the above pasuk as follows:

“Those who pass through the “valley of crying” – Those who transgress the Law of HaShem, and, as a result, they are in the depths of gehinnom (hell), crying and wailing. They shall cause a spring to come into existence with their tears.

“[Our] teacher has enwrapped us in blessings” – Those who are suffering in gehinnom bless and thank HaShem and they say, “[HaShem] has judged us well, and His judgment is truth. Those who teach us to go in the good path [of The Torah] have [thereby] enwrapped us in blessings, [however], we did not listen to [them].”

The gemara comments that gehinnom is referred to as a “valley” – “eimek”, for gehinnom is made “deeper” – “ma’amikin” – for them. Both words come from the root word “עמק” – “eimek”.

[3] See [what we have written] earlier in chapter 3, with regard to this [teaching].

[4] Note from “Kol HaLashon”: [This teaching if found in] chapter 66 (5), sif 65, according to the new printing.

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