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 ט"ו טבת - Teves 15 - One-Hundred-and-Fifth Day

© 2007 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

This attribute [of overlooking the sins that others have committed against oneself], at times, benefits the person, [in addition to being pardoned for all of his sins], by [leading to a] lengthening [of] his life. [The above applies] even if it was already decreed against him [in Heaven], that he would die. [This follows that which] is [taught in maseches Rosh HaShanah (17a)], regarding an incident involving Rav Huna the son of Rabbi Yihoshua, who became ill, and [thereupon] Rav Pappa came up to visit him. [Whereupon seeing Rav Huna, Rav Pappa] saw that [it seemed that Rav Huna] was about to die[1] [and thereupon] said [before those present] to present his burial shrouds. [However], in the end, [Rav Huna] recovered [from his sickness. As a result of his statement concerning the preparation of Rav Huna’s burial shrouds], Rav Pappa was embarrassed to [come to] see [Rav Huna. Nevertheless], Rav Pappa asked Rav Huna, as follows]: “What did you see [when you were deathly ill]?” [Rav Huna responded to Rav Pappa by] saying to him: “Yes, this was the case (that death was decreed upon me), and The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to him, “Since he’s non-combative regarding personal matters do not be exacting concerning [his actions].”[2] Concerning [attaining the benefits of] such [a possibility of increasing one’s lifespan], a person needs to constantly cling to this holy attribute [of overcoming his negative impulses], and, [as a result of this], it will be good for him in this [world] and in [The World to] Come.

[1] The literal translation of this phrase in the gemara is “the world was weakening him”.

[2] The gemara continues with a support for Rav Huna’s miraculous recovery for it says in the pasuk, “He pardons for the intentional sin and passes over the rebellious sin…” (Michah: 7; 18) This follows that which we have learned previously, “For whom does [HaShem] pardon [their] intentional sin? [HaShem pardons the sin of] one who passes over rebellious [sins].”

Shmiras HaLashon י"ד טבת - Teves 14 - One-Hundred-and-Fourth Day

© 2007 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

We shall explain [that which we have written with respect to the importance of adopting the attribute of silence, as follows]: For even if one were to [only] be partially forgiven for [a given] sin, and [acting patiently will] only [lead to a] lightening of his punishment, it is also similarly fitting for him [to adopt this attribute of patience], as mentioned earlier. How much more so [is it fitting for one to adopt this attribute of patience] if he will thereby be completely forgiven for one sin [that he had performed]. All the more so [should one adopt the attribute of patience] as it is known to us that because of this [attribute, the person] is forgiven for all of the sins that he possesses, even [including] those which are referred to as “Pesha” – “rebellious sin”, only that [the person should] be careful from now on to not perform those [sins], as our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in maseches Rosh HaShanah (17a), as follows]: “All of those who overcome their [negative] attributes, [accordingly, in Heaven] they pass over all of his rebellious sins, as it says [in sefer“Michah””], “…He pardons for the intentional sin and passes over the rebellious sin…”[1] (Michah: 7; 18) For whom does [HaShem] pardon [their] intentional sin? [HaShem pardons the sin of] one who passes over [their] rebellious sin.”

However, one who desires that The Holy One, Blessed is He, will pardon him even for his rebellious sins, will also be careful to not be exacting at all, even if he knows for certain that his fellow acted against him [in a] rebellious and treacherous [manner], this being referred to as “pesha” – “rebellious sin”, as [our Sages] have said [in maseches Yoma (36b), as follows]: “[The] pisha'im – these are the rebellious sins.”[2] [Regarding] this teaching [quoted above from maseches Rosh HaShanah, our Sages] were precise [with the order of their wording, as follows]: “For who does He forgive for intentional sins? For one who passes over rebellious sins [of others]”, (for in truth, The Holy One, Blessed is He, pardons [the person] even for his rebellious sins [in such a case], as it says, “They, [in Heaven], pass over all of his rebellious sins”. The pasuk [from seferMichah”, first states, “forgives for sin”, because of the order of the attributes of The Holy One, Blessed is He, [as stated in the Torah], for [the Torah also] mentions that [HaShem] forgives for intentional [sins] and also [mentions that He] passes over rebellious [sins], as it is written in The Torah, “…He forgives for intentional sin and rebellious sin…”. (Shmos: 34; 7))

[1] The pasuk states as follows:

“Who is G-d like You, Who pardons for sin and passes over the intentional sin for the remnant of His inheritance, He doesn’t grasp onto His anger forever, for He desires kindness.” (Michah: 7; 18)

Mitzudas David comments on the above pasuk as follows:

“Who is G-d like you” – The prophet returns to HaShem for the designation of good and he says, “Who is G-d like You, Who pardons for sin…” Meaning, based on “the letter of the law”, we are not fitting to receive all of that good for we are full of sin. However, who is G-d like You who pardons for the [performance] of the sin.

“and He pass over the willful sin” – Meaning, He doesn’t stand over the willful sin in order to oversee it to dispose of the punishment, rather, He passes over the intentional sin and goes beyond it as if he doesn’t see it.

“for the remnant of His inheritance” – For those who remain from the birthpangs of the [Coming of The] Mashiach.

“He does not grasp [onto His anger forever]” – Even when He get angry, He does not hold onto His anger forever, for He desires kindness, and, therefore, does not desire the anger.

[2] The gemara explains that “chata’os” refer to those sins performed unintentionally, out a state of negligence, and “avonos” refer to those sins that are performed intentionally, whereas “pisha’eem” refer to those sins which are performed rebelliously. The gemara then quotes from the beginning of the confession of the Kohein Gadol on Yom Kippur “chatasi, avisi, pashati, lifanecha, ani u’veisi…” – “I have sinned unintentionally, sinned intentionally, [and] sinned rebelliously before You, I and my household…”

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.