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, January 10, 2008

Shmiras HaLashon כ"ג שבט - Shevat 23 - One-Hundred-and-Forty-Second Day

© 2008 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Chapter 17

In [this Chapter we] shall Explain that one who punishes his Fellow, will not be Cleansed if he is Also Guilty of [involvement in the same] Sin

[One] should also contemplate and be cognizant that at the time that he relates Lashon HaRa against his fellow, [in Heaven], the angels are recounting his sins, as [is recorded by the] Rokeach in his sefer[1] and as is [taught] in “Aggadas Mishlei[2].

[In addition to the above teaching, it is] also essential that the person embed within himself that which the SMa”K wrote in siman 82 in the name of the RIV”A[3], “…that even [concerning one] whom it is a mitzvah to kill, such as [the person] who pursues a male [to commit sodomy] and [one who pursues] a betrothed woman [to have relations with her], and [one who pursues] his fellow to [murder] him, this [individual] who killed [those sinners] must subsequently be careful [to not become involved in] the dust [of those sins]. For if the one who kills [those sinners] will Heaven Forbid [subsequently] stumble in a similar type of sin, it will be considered as if [the person] who he killed was innocent. [The above teaching is] attested to [by the incident involving] Yeihu, [he being] punished for [spilling] the blood of the household of Achav. [Yeihu was punished for the killing of Achav’s family] even though the prophet commanded him in The Name of HaShem to kill them, since he stumbled [by involving himself in] the [same type of] sin [for which] the household of Achav [was held accountable].”

Even though [Yeihu] performed a great [act of] good in [the midst of] Israel, [that being that] Achav had worshipped the ba’al’s and the calves[4], and Yeihu [subsequently] destroyed the ba’al from Israel, as it says in the pasuk [in “Milachim II” (10; 27)], “…and he converted it into latrines…”[5], [he was nevertheless held accountable in Heaven for this action due to his subsequent involvement in such a sin]. In addition, concerning [having] killed off the household of Achav, [Yeihu] found favor in the Eyes of HaShem, and as a result of this he was given the kingship for four generations, as is written in the pasuk, [in “Milachim II” (10; 30)[6]]. Yeihu’s subsequent worship of the calves was performed out of negligence (as is written in [maseches] “Sanhedrin” (102a), “Yeihu was a great tzaddik, however, he saw the stamp of Achiyah the Shiloni and he erred.”[7] Notwithstanding [that Yeihu worshipped the calves out of negligence], since he retained [a bit of] the sin [that] Achav [had committed], he was [similarly] punished, as it says in the beginning [of sefer] “Hoshea” (1; 4), [as follows]: “And I shall visit the punishment for the blood of Yizrael (Meaning: [The blood] of the household of Achav, who were killed off in Yizrael) upon the household of Yeihu.”[8]

Based on that which is written in the SMa”K, [it is evident] that it is likewise the case [that one would be held liable] in any similar situation [that involves an interaction] between one person and his fellow [where the person who took action against his fellow for a given sin was found to have later committed that or a comparable sin. For], if one [person] will [inflict any] type of punishment [upon the sinner, whether] by hitting [him], causing [him] embarrassment, or speaking Lashon HaRa against him, even if the one who caused [the] embarrassment or [who] spoke [the Lashon HaRa against the sinner] acted appropriately, he should nevertheless be aware that if he had already [committed] such a [sin], or if he will eventually commit the sin, the suffering of [the person] who he embarrassed or who he spoke Lashon HaRa against, will automatically be considered as if [he had harmed an] innocent [person, concerning whom it is forbidden to victimize]. Consequently, the person who harmed this sinner] will be punished [for having taken such action against] this person [who had sinned, just] as [he would be punished if he had wronged an individual] who is complete in [his observance of] The Torah of HaShem and His mitzvos.

Behold, as a result [of his having sinned in a similar manner as did the person who he acted against, both] the person who spoke Lashon HaRa against his fellow, [and] the one who caused him any type of distress, should be overcome with trembling and shaking. [Such an individual should be in a great state of trepidation for his having distressed his fellow], for when he will [put a] great deal of thought [into the matter], he will discover that he recently had committed the same or a similar transgression. Even if [this person] does a thorough examination of himself and [still] does not discover [that he had committed any transgression that resembles the sin which his fellow had committed], he should nevertheless [be aware] that in the future, subsequent to [his having] spoken [Lashon HaRa against the sinner], if he will come to transgress [such a prohibition or commit a similar sin], he will retroactively be immediately punished in Heaven for the sin of his having spoken [Lashon HaRa] against his fellow.

[1] This teaching is found in the sefer of the Rokeach in ma’amar 28, which is toward the end of the sefer.

[2] This teaching is found on the pasuk that begins “Shocher Tov” in seferMishlei”(11; 27), it being recorded in Parsha 11.

The teaching states as follows:

““One who seeks out the good of other people will seek out the benevolance of HaShem toward them…” (Mishlei: 11; 27) (Translation based on the commentary of Metzudas David) If you have seen a person who is speaking good about his fellow, [then you know that The] Ministering Angels are speaking good concerning that person before The Holy One, Blessed is He. [The above teaching follows that which is written in parshasKi Sisa”], “…and I shall show favor to those who desire to show favor to others…” (Shmos: 33; 19) – Based on Targum Yonasan ben Uziel. [The rest of the pasuk from seferMishlei” reads], “…and one who seeks out evil [against his fellow will have that evil] come to him [from HaShem].” (11; 27) If you have seen a person who is speaking evil concerning his fellow, [then it is known that The] Ministering Angels are speaking evil concerning him before The Holy One, Blessed is He, as [it is written in seferTehillim”], “His sin shall return [to] his head…” (Tehillim: 7; 17)

The Ibn Ezra on this pasuk explains that the evil that a person considered having performed is brought upon them from Heaven due to his robbery.

[3] This teaching can be found quoted in the notes of Rabbeinu Peretz, in note 6, where he quotes the RIV”A (Rav Yitzchak ben Asher HaLevi). The Chofetz Chaim quotes from the SMa”K (written by Rav Yitzchak ben Rav Yosef) for some of the examples of some of the sins which are liable for the death penalty. The SMa”K gives other examples as well, these are all sins for which the perpetrator can not be killed by the witness after the sin was committed. The caution offered to those who commit the same sin as those whom they punished is taken from Rabbeinu Peretz who quotes this teaching from the RIV”A.

[4] The “Ba’al’s and the calves” are different forms of idolatry.

[5] The preceding p’sukim discuss how Yeihu killed the worshippers of the idol Ba’al, and burned the pillars of the temple of Ba’al. This pasuk states as follows:

“And they broke the pillar of Ba’al, and they destroyed the temple of Ba’al, and he converted it into latrines until this day.” (Milachim II: 10; 27)

[6] This pasuk states, “And HaShem said to Yeihu, because you have done that which was good to perform that which is upright in The Eyes of HaShem, having performed to the household of Achav in accordance with all that which is in My Heart, four generations of yours will sit on the Throne of Israel.” (Milachim II: 10; 30)

However, we see that since Yeihu performed some of the sins that Yiraviam performed and he was punished, as it says, “And Yeihu did not observe to go [in The Way of] The Torah of HaShem The G-d of Israel with all of his heart, he did not turn away from all of the sins of Yiraviam who caused Israel to sin. In those days HaShem began to become angry against Israel, and Chazael struck within all of the borders of Israel.” (Milachim II: 31 – 32)

[7] The gemara in masechesSanhedrin” (101a – 102b) states that the prophet Achiyiah the Shiloni was misled and therefore erred in his judgment of Yiraviam’s behavior and was convinced that he wasn’t involved in idolatry even though he truly was involved in idolatry. Therefore, having been misled, Achiyah approved of Yiraviam’s actions. According to Rava, Yeihu saw Achiyah’s stamp of approval on the actions of Yiraviam and assumed that he was also permitted to act in a similar manner. Abayee saw that Yeihu came to sin as a result of what he said earlier, “…Achav worshipped the Ba’al a little, Yeihu will worship it a great deal.” (Milachim II: 10; 18) Even though Yeihu made the above statement to mislead the worshippers of Ba’al so that they would trust him so that he could more easily kill them and in no way intended to carry out his words, according to Abayee, this was the reason that he eventually stumbled in the sin.

[8] The entire pasuk states, “And HaShem said to [Hoshea], call its name Yizra’el, for in a short time I shall visit the blood of Yizra’el upon the household of Yeihu and I shall cause the Kingdom of Israel to cease.” (Hoshea: 1; 4) The Chofetz Chaim is quoting RaSh”I when he explains that “the blood of Yizra’el” refers to the blood of the household of Achav which Yeihu is being held accountable for on account of committing a sin that resembled the sins that were committed by the household of Achav.

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