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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Shmiras HaLashon י"ז טבת - Teves 17 - One-Hundred-and-Seventh Day

© 2007 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Chapter 9

In [this chapter, we] Shall Explain [Concerning] The Attribute of Trust [in HaShem], as well as [of the Importance of] Establishing Times for [The Study of The] Torah

Furthermore, [in addition to the previously discussed attributes that a person should incorporate into their lives, one] should see to it to constantly strengthen themselves in the attribute of trusting [in HaShem], for aside from [the fact that] it is a holy attribute and [is] necessary for the path of the intended service [of HaShem][1], it is also of great necessity in relation to [the successful acquisition of the] attribute of guarding one’s tongue. [The aforementioned is true of the importance as well as of the benefit of the attribute of trusting in HaShem], for, it is known, that in a number of instances one’s heart will become exceedingly evil in opposition to his fellow, and, [during those times, one’s evil] inclination entices [the person] to go and “expose” [this individual whom he feels at odds with] as being an evil and base man. [The evil inclination entices the individual to publicize the evil character of the person that he is at odds with, specifically] vis-à-vis a matter, which, according to his understanding, affected him in his [business] dealing, or [something] which led to a lessening of his [level of] honor. In such a situation [as mentioned above], it is very difficult for [the individual] to overpower his [evil] inclination. However, once the person will resolve [to act based] on that which our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in maseches
Yoma (38b)], that a person does not touch that which is prepared for his fellow, [not] even [of] a hairs-width [of that which belongs to his fellow], and each individual will be given that which is decreed [for him] from Heaven, whether with regard to matters of honor, whether with regards to matters of money. [This follows] that which our Sages of Blessed Memory have said in [maseches] Yoma (38a), [as follows]: “Based on this, Ben Azzai said, “They shall call you by your name, and they will seat you in your place, and they shall give to you from [that which] belongs to you…””[2] [Once the individual accepts the above teaching and resolves to accept it], then the [evil] inclination will weaken [his grasp] from [upon] him.

[1] The “intended service of HaShem” refers to the goal which all Jews should aspire to attain, that being following the Torah to the greatest extent possible. One should be determined to improve oneself to follow the Torah in accordance to all of its commandments, as well as perfect one’s middos – character traits – to the best of their G-d given abilities.

[2] The gemara from maseches
Yoma, first discusses a situation involving the House of Avtinas, a family of Kohanim involved in the preparation of the Ketores (special mixture of spices designated for use in the Beis HaMikdash). They wanted to keep the process of producing Ketores secret. There was a special ingredient that they used that was meant to ensure that the smoke from the Ketores would rise up in a straight line, similar to the straightness of a staff. The Avtinas family kept that ingredient a family secret, as well as the process necessary to produce Ketores. Due to the family's refusal to reveal the ingredient, the Sages fined the family by having them replaced by experts from Alexandria. Though these experts were able to produce the Ketores, they were unable to get the Ketores to rise in a completely straight line. Whereupon, the Sages sent for the family of Avtinas to return to their previous position of Service in The Beis HaMikdash of preparing the Ketores. They agreed to come back to prepare the Ketores once their daily wage was doubled. The Sages queried the family why they kept the process of preparing the Ketores a secret. They explained that once the Beis HaMikdash would be destroyed, someone not fitting to produce the Ketores may come to involve himself with it and use it toward idolatry. The gemara records that a member of the Avtinas family showed the scroll with the list of spices used by the family of Avtinas in the production of the Ketores, (including the herb used to cause the smoke the rise in a straight line), to Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri. The Ketores, if used for purposes for which they are forbidden to be used, would be “cut off” from the Jewish nation (Shmos: 30; 33) and if the Ketores is offered missing any of its' ingredients, then that person is liable to the death penalty (Rabbi Nosson – maseches K’risus, 6a). Once Rabbi Akiva heard from Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri, that this member of the household of Avtinas shared this information with Rabbi Yochanan, he said that based on this incident, it is forbidden to speak disparagingly against this family. RaSh”I explains that this is because it was clear from this incident that the intention of the household of Avtinas in hiding the ingredients of the Ketores was for the sake of Heaven. Following the aforementioned statement by Rabbi Akiva, the gemara quotes the teaching of Ben Azzai, as is brought in the text. The gemara adds that one monarchy does not overlap the time for the rule of another monarchy even by a hairsbreadth, everything being decreed by HaShem.

The point of the gemara, as RaSh”I explains it, is that the person should know that all that which comes to them is designated from Heaven, if it did not come to them, it was not meant for them. This incident can be evidenced by the unsuccessful attempt to remove the Avtinas family from their position of preparing the Ketores in the Beis HaMikdash. Therefore, based on the above incident, RaSh"I explains that even if it appears that one person is depriving him of his income, he should realize that everything comes from HaShem and no one is able to deprive a person of that which is fitting to come to him.