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, June 07, 2007

Shmiras HaLashon כ טבת - Teves 20 - One-Hundred-and-Tenth Day

© 2007 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Even if [the person who maintains his designated times of Torah study] notices that there are certain people who are completely idle from their [Torah] study, and who are [nevertheless] successful in their business dealings, he [should] constantly contemplate well concerning their affairs. [Subsequent to taking note of the affairs of such individuals], he will notice, that on a number of occasions, incidents will befall them [which will lead to a depletion of that allotted wealth. Such incidents may include] a force [of troops that] will come upon [such individuals, or] other similar types of incidents, which will thereby consume a great deal of [that person’s] money, this being the money that he gathered which is not [rightfully] his ([This follows that which] the pasuk states [in sefer Yirmiyahu (17; 11), as follows]: “…He makes money unjustly, in half of his days it will depart him…”[1]), or [he makes the money] during a [period of] time that doesn’t belong to him, for he should have designated this time to [the study of] Torah and for Service of HaShem. [The aforementioned resembles that which] is [taught] in Avos D’Rabbi Nosson (Chapter 29, Halacha 2), [as follows]: “All those who are idle from [learning] words of Torah, [Heaven] sends over to him those who would negate his [other work] (who will [force] him [to become disconnected] from the matters in which he toiled up until the present). [Such matters which may come along which would detract from his time, include interrupters] such as [a] lion and [a] wolf, a cheetah and a snake and battalions and robbers, who come and surround him, and they exact retribution from him, as its says [in seferTehillim”], “…however, there is G-d Who judges in the land.”[2]” (Tehillim: 58; 12) [These events that occur in order to interrupt the person’s progress in worldly matters occurs] measure for measure, for in exchange for his being idle from [the study of] Torah and he [rather spends that time to] toil [in order] to amass great wealth, “interrupters” are provided in opposition to him, who will make him idle from the matters in which he toiled up until the present [in order to attain that wealth]. For, [at the very least] even if [it would be that] the lion and the wolf will not kill him, nevertheless, as a result of [coming into contact with] them, the individual] experiences a loss of his money. [Such a situation can lead to a loss of his wealth, for this experience may] necessitate that he flee from them and abandon his property, or [pay to] heal himself from the wounds [which they have inflicted upon him]. On many occasions, numerous [types of] suffering, as well as great sicknesses, will befall him from Heaven, until the money he did not wish to give to tzedakah will be taken from him, as [our Sages] have said [in Midrash Rabbah on Shir HaShirim[3]]: “A house which is not open to the poor is open to the doctor.” (The text over there states: “A doorway that is not open to mitzvos will be open to the doctor.”)[4] This, at times, comes precisely due to being idle [from] Torah [learning], as our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in maseches Birachos (5a), as follows]: If a person sees that suffering is befalling him, he should carefully examine his actions [to see if he committed a wrong for which he may be suffering. If that person] carefully examined [his actions] and did not find [any wrongdoing], he [should conclude that the suffering befell him] due to [his being] idle [from] Torah [learning].[5]

As [the above is true of the great loss that one may suffer due to his not having kept his scheduled time of Torah study, or due to having refrained from the performance of other mitzvos, due to a desire for monetary gain, then] for what reason do you amass money which does not belong to you, my brother. Or, [why do you] withhold from the [allotted] money which you are required to give to the portion of The Holy One, Blessed is He, or steal from the time which you are required to designate to The Name of The Holy One, Blessed is He, and [instead] amass money in precisely this [period of] time. [Eventually, the money gained at the expense of the performance of the aforementioned mitzvos] will need to be returned through suffering and troubles. [Such a loss of money can be realized as a result of [invading] troops and sicknesses, The Merciful One should spare us [from such suffering], as mentioned above. [It is only subsequent to this suffering that the individual] will be happy to have survived these [tribulations]. The sum of the matter [is that] the world and its fullness belong to The Holy One, Blessed is He, and He created all of the creations for His honor, as the pasuk [in sefer
Yishayahu] states, “All that which is called in My Name, and for My honor, I have created it…”[6] (Yishayahu: 43; 7) Unquestionably, no cause, even in this world, will [lead HaShem’s] Will [to be determined], whether for good or for the bad. In reference to this [teaching], the pasuk states, “Trust in HaShem and perform [that which is] good…”[7] (Tehillim: 37; 3)

[1] The entire pasuk states, “The dagar [bird] calls out and it has not given birth, one who acquires wealth unjustly, in half of his days it will leave him and in his end he will be contemptible.” (Yirmiyahu: 17; 11)

Metzudas David explains that the individual who acquires wealth in an unjust manner is similar to this dagar bird who calls chicks which are of a different type of bird. Once these chicks mature, they will recognize that this dagar is not its’ parent and will leave it. Similarly, one who attains wealth unjustly will lose that money at “half of his days” and will be exiled among other individuals who are sly. At the end of his life, this individual will be recognized to be a base individual. Thus, by attaining wealth unjustly, the person, at the end of his life, has a net loss of being viewed by others as being a contemptible individual.

In the context of this teaching in seferShmiras HaLashon”, this pasuk comes to teach us that the person who detracts from his designated Torah study in order to amass wealth, will, in the end, not experience any monetary gain, and, instead, would be stuck with the loss of the designated time he had for his invaluable study of The Torah.

[2] The above pasuk in Tehillim, quoted in Avos D’Rabbi Nosson, teaches that HaShem judges all people, to the righteous person, He gives reward and to the evildoer, He pays according to the evil of that person. When this reward and punishment is displayed before people, they will recognize that HaShem oversees everything. (MaLBI”M) Though the evildoer, if he is hated by HaShem, would receive his entire reward in this world, as we learn in (Divarim: 7; 10), we learn from this pasuk in seferTehillim” that such an evildoer (and any evildoer, for that matter), can still receive punishment in this world.

[3] This teaching is found on the pasukEl ginas egoz…”, Parsha 6, pasuk 11.

[4] This teaching is quoted in the name of Rabbi Levy.

[5] The gemara goes on to note that if the person investigated and concluded that he did not waste any of his time when he was supposed to learn Torah, then the afflictions that he suffers are “afflictions of love”. (RaSh”I explains “afflictions of love” – “yisurim shel ahava” (יסורין של אהבה) to be afflictions that HaShem sends to a person in this world in order to allow him to receive a reward in The World to Come that surpasses his meritorious actions performed in this world.

[6] The entire pasuk states, “All that which is called in My Name, and for My honor, I have created it, I have formed it, I have even made it.” (Yishayahu: 43; 7) In this context, this pasuk teaches us that everything belongs to HaShem and it is not for us to detract time from our Torah studies to spend extra time trying to earn money.

[7] See note 2 on the 18th of Teves

We learn from this pasuk that the person should place his trust in HaShem and follow the Torah, not trying to amass money in an inappropriate manner. As everything belongs to HaShem, it is HaShem who ensures that the persons attains the designated amount of money for the given year, that being that which was determined for him on Rosh HaShanah.

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