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, April 10, 2008

Shmiras HaLashon ח ניסן - Nissan 8 - One-Hundred-and-Eighty-Sixth Day

© 2008 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

(During a Jewish leap-year: 22 Adar II - בִּשְׁנַת הָעִיבּוּר - כ"בּ אדר בּ)

The essence [of the matter concerning the need to establish and maintain local yeshivos for the youth], is dependent on the distinguished people in the city, who possess the ability to protest and to rectify [problems], as our Sages of Blessed Memory have said on [the following] pasuk [from ParshasVayikra”]: “It is the sin of the congregation…”[1] (Vayikra: 4; 21), [that it is] juxtaposed [with the following phrase]: “That a prince will sin…”[2]. [This comes] to teach us, [that concerning] that which the congregation sins, it is [considered as if, in reality, it is] the distinguished person who sins, for he is held accountable for their sins in that he didn’t see to it to rectify the [sinful] matter [that was committed].

However, the council of the [evil] inclination [concerning] this [matter] is known, that being that once [the opportunity for such a] mitzvah as [rectifying the sins of the masses], presents itself to him, [the evil inclination] makes him into [a] humble [person, by] saying [as follows]: ‘I am the lowliest [person] in the city, and my words [in opposition to the given wrong], will definitely not be accepted at all, [so therefore], why should I destroy [the power of] my words for no [benefit]?’ However, once the person will contemplate to himself, he will see [and realize] that [the above] is only the council of the [evil] inclination, for if one were to [even] touch his honor at all, within [seconds], torches would be sent from his mouth against [the person who besmirched his honor], and he will [take the initiative to] arouse a number of people to be at his assistance against his fellow [who wronged him, with respect to] this [incident]. [However], once the [opportunity to take an action involving a] matter [concerning] The Honor of HaShem, presents itself [to him, the evil inclination] will [encourage] him [to act as one who is] humble and lowly of spirit [in order to try to avoid taking action for the sake of The Honor of HaShem]. [The above] can only be [the case due to the fact] that the evil inclination turns the person inside out like a leopard in its spots[3]. [[The above follows] that which our Sages of Blessed Memory have hinted to us [in maseches] “Birachos” (61a), that the evil inclination sits between two openings of the heart[4], for he doesn’t have a set place, as does the good inclination [which resides on] the right [side], rather, he adjusts [his place] based on [the type of] enticement [which he wishes to give to the person], every [matter], according to the [given] situation.]

[1] This pasuk states, “And he shall take the cow outside of the camp, and he shall burn it as he had burnt the first cow, it is a Chattas offering of the congregation”. (Vayikra: 4; 21)

[2] This phrase is taken from the next pasuk, which states, “That the prince shall sin, and out of negligence he shall perform one of the mitzvos of HaShem his G-d, which shall not be performed, and he shall be guilty”. (Vayikra: 4; 22)

[3] This phrase concerning the leopard, is based on the pasuk from seferYirmiyahu”, which states, “Can a Cushite change [the complexion of] his skin, and a leopard [change from having] his spots, also are you capable of changing, those [of you] who are accustomed to commit evil?!?” (Yirmiyahu: 13; 23)

Metzudas David explains that just as it is impossible for a person with black skin to change it to white and for the leopard to remove his spots, they being a natural part of them, so too, HaShem is telling the people through Yirmiyahu, that since they had become so accustomed to performing evil, it had become such a central part of their nature that it would similarly be impossible for them to change their nature to become good. Metzudas David explains that this pasuk is exaggerating the extent to which these people wouldn’t be able to perform tishuvah, and really means that for these people to change their ways to be good, it would be very difficult.

[4] The text of the gemara states as follows:

“Rav said, ‘The Yetzer HaRa is comparable to a fly, and it resides between the two openings of the heart, as it says [in “Koheles”], “Dead flies spoil the perfumer’s oil…” (Koheles: 10; 1) And Shmuel said, ‘[The Yetzer HaRa] is similar to a type of wheat, as it says [in parshasBireishis”], “‘…sin crouches at the opening…’” (Bireishis: 4; 7)’ Our Rabbis taught [in a Baraisa]: A person possesses two kidneys, one advises him to [perform] good, and one advises him to [perform] evil. It makes sense that [the kidney which advises the person to perform] good, is on his right [side], and [the one that advises the person to perform] evil, is on his left [side], as it is written [in “Koheles”], “The heart of the wise person is to his right [side], and the heart of the fool is to his left [side]” (Koheles: 10; 2).”

No comments: