Dvar Torah Acharei Mos – Preaching Without Practicing

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  • #1853656
    abukspan
    Participant

    Acharei Mos 1 – Preaching Without Practicing:
    וידבר ה’ אל משה אחרי מות שני בני אהרן בקרבתם לפני ה’ וימתו
    Hashem spoke to Moshe after the death of Aharon’s two sons, when they approached before Hashem, and they died (Vayikra 16:1).
    It says in the Midrash (Tanchuma, Acharei Mos: 6) that Bar Kappara said in the name of Rabbi Yirmiyah ben Elazar: “Bishvil arba’ah devarim meisu bnei Aharon: al hakreivah, ve’al hahakravah, ve’al eish zarah, ve’al she’lo natlu eitzah zeh mi’zeh…. – Aharon’s sons died on account of four things: for drawing near, for offering, for the strange fire, and for not having taken counsel from each other.”
    When Nadav and Avihu brought a strange fire in the Kodesh, they acted independently, each one preparing the pan, incense, and fire on his own. This is inferred from the Torah’s emphasis in Parashas Shemini, “And each man took his pan” (Vayikra 10:1), rather than saying, “They took pans.” So while they entered the Kodesh together and were killed simultaneously, they had no prior discussion as to the advisability of their intended course of action.
    According to Rav Meshulam David HaLevi Soloveitchik, were they to have conferred with one another, each one would have been advised by his brother not to proceed with bringing a strange fire and entering the Kodesh. It seems apparent that the advice would have been heeded.
    Why is this true? If each, individually, felt that bringing the fire was permitted and perhaps even a mitzvah, how would asking for the other’s opinion help? It would seem more likely that the other brother would have seconded the motion: “Great idea! I’m doing it myself.” Why does the Midrash fault them for not asking for advice, when such advice would not have been forthcoming?
    Perhaps this is another instance where we see a well-known maxim and fact of life being played out. The Mishnah in Negaim (2:5) tells us, “Kol hanegaim adam ro’eh chutz mi’nigei atzmo – A person sees all faults but his own.” We can both be doing the same incorrect thing, yet I only find fault in you. My vision is imperfect pertaining to myself, and I cannot be objective. Yet when addressing the same issue in another, I can, like a laser beam, home in on the truth of the problem.
    Here, too, although the would-be adviser had the same intentions as the seeker of advice, when being afforded an opportunity to focus on another, the truth could have come out. Each one would have been able to give proper advice.
    I think there is another lesson to be learned from this Midrash. The literal reading seems to imply that Nadav and Avihu would have been saved only if they had each gone to take advice from the other, as it says that they were punished: “for not having taken counsel from each other.” Even though Nadav was able to be objective and tell Avihu not to proceed, he still would have done it himself. Hearing the words coming out of his mouth may not have been enough to get him to reconsider his own action. He still would have had to go to his brother and be told to stop.
    If this is the case, we can learn an interesting lesson. I can tell you that doing x is wrong, all the while continuing to do it myself. But more significantly, I may be doing the very same thing that I am attempting to dissuade you from doing – and still you can be faulted for not listening to my advice. Avihu should have listened to Nadav, although Nadav himself was still intending to bring the fire. Although the ideal is “Keshot atzmecha ve’achar kach keshot acheirim – Adorn yourself and after that adorn others” (Bava Basra 60b), it does not mean that the other sinner’s advice can be discounted and ignored, even if the other brother does not practice what he is preaching.
    This point can be proven from a pasuk in Rus and the explanation of the Midrash based on that pasuk: “Vayehi bi’mei shefot hashoftim – And it happened in the days when the judges judged” (Rus 1:1). The Midrash (Rus Rabbah 1:1) explains that in those days, the judges were judged by the population. And the Midrash laments, “Woe to the generation that judges its judges.” The Gemara explains that when the judge would say, “Remove a splinter from between your teeth,” the accused would say, “First remove the beam from between your eyes” (Bava Basra 15b).
    The judges themselves were more corrupt than the people they were judging. The judge would accuse a man of stealing a splinter and demand that he return it, while the accused would respond that the judge himself was guilty of much more than petty theft, since he had in his possession something as large as a stolen beam.
    Thus, the people discounted the reproof the judges gave because the judges were greater sinners. Although the people could claim, “Why listen to him? He doesn’t practice what he preaches,” they were still criticized for judging their judges and discounting their reproof and authority.
    The truth is still the truth, whether from the mouth of a saint or a sinner. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but if the message being preached is correct, I have no right not to accept it. The Rambam, in his preface to Shemonah Perakim, says, “Shema ha’emes mi’mi she’amrah –Listen to and accept the truth from the one who says it.”
    This offers us an important insight into human nature. Being able to give another person proper advice or tochachah does not guarantee that I will practice what I preach.
    We can also learn an important lesson regarding our accountability. Even if the person advising us is not practicing what he preaches – or even committing worse offenses – we cannot discount his advice.
    It is our job to practice what our friend preaches

    #1853878
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Look at the Binah Leitim on Pirkei Avos about nothing better than silence.

    #1853963
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    There are some universal proverbs, sweep before your own house or in hungarian drinks wine and preaches water.

    #1853958
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    abukspan, what you are saying at end is completely incorrect. A person cannot see his own faults but he knows what he does right and only on that can he admonish the other. Otherwise, he will be told correct yourself first. it is also not right to bring up some other fault of the admonisher.

    #1853953
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    לא המדרש העיקר אלא המעשה actions speak louder the words, which seems to indicate the opposite.

    #1853954
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    קשוט עצמך ואחר כך קשוט אחרים make yourself righteous first before you make others.

    #1853992
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I have another logic why someone would not listen to something that is not practiced. The fact that he is not practicing it seems to indicate that it is not true otherwise why does he not practice it if he believes so strongly to tell him about it.

    #1853984
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I understand your idealistic concepts and get off your ivory tower as it is against human nature because the person does not recognize his own faults, he will do everything to belittle the admonisher if he does not follow what he preaches. So it might be true what you are saying but it is not realistic and we are human beings who cannot be expected to follow it . The Torah was not given to angels and Nadav Vavihu would not be punished for it.

    #1854000
    abukspan
    Participant

    As I wrote: “Although the ideal is “Keshot atzmecha ve’achar kach keshot acheirim – Adorn yourself and after that adorn others” (Bava Basra 60b), it does not mean that the other sinner’s advice can be discounted and ignored, even if the other brother does not practice what he is preaching.”

    While it is appropriate to first correct yourself then others קשוט עצמך ואחר כך קשוט אחרים, that is the optimum. Yet, those same words are the criticism of a person who is unwilling to take tochocha. Tul Korah m`bein einecha…., why should I listen to you when you are no better or even worse.

    But chazal are here, by nadav and avihu, saying (and as understood by Rav Dovid Soloveichik and others) that they are faulted for not hearing the tochocha of the other -even when the other, on his own, was doing the same wrong thing. that is the whole point/chidush here. and the same thing is seen from the medresh in Rus.

    #1854043
    abukspan
    Participant

    2 of the 3 chazalin you mentioned are in my piece. I bavornad exactly what you were bringing up. The medresh, that notwithstanding, is saying otherwise. I am not saying it is easy or that i can easially do it. (Even though, I truly believe that I and many others have been in such a situation and at least recognized the truth) The etzem teich, as mentioned, is from Rav Dovid Soloveichik. Chazal are saying that they were guilty of not going to get advice from one onother. Dus heist, that someone who is doing the same aveira, can see the truth for another and tell him to do the right thing. At the same time, I am responsible to be mekabel the truth even from a hypocrite. . It is not supposed to be easy, a very high madreiga. But chazal, (according to Rav Dovid) are faulting them and the dor of Avimelech of just that. One may not like the pshat, there may be other ways to account for the lashon in chazal. I would be happy to hear an alternative. And this is by far , not the only case where are Kedoshim are held to a high standard. What it may mean for me is between me and my Rav,Mashpia…..

    I do see that you disagree, but I have yet to hear a kashya that disproves what is a yesodesdica upteich of two Chazalin and mistameh the truth about human nature.

    #1854016
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    As I mentioned that we are lamenting on the judges and not the people. We want the judges be the model of behavior to be examplary and look up to them to learn from them but over here we musr judge them on their atrocious behaviour.

    #1854012
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    When we say woe for the generatiion we are also hiolding the judges responsible for having to be judged.

    #1854080
    abukspan
    Participant

    And the Midrash laments, “Woe to the generation that judges its judges.” The Gemara explains that when the judge would say, “Remove a splinter from between your teeth,” the accused would say, “First remove the beam from between your eyes” (Bava Basra 15b).
    Both things were occurring. The people judged the judges and were not mekabel thier words and the judges were worse than the people themselves. That is a way that the chazal can be understood. We see that even though the judges were perhaps hypocrites, the people are still wrong for judging them -d`hynu, not listening to them. Yes, a chiddush and not how we all were taught. see if it fits into the words of chazal.

    #1854085
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I don’t think there is a proof from the Medrash. They are lamenting, woe to the generation having judges that they have to judge and say that they are worse than them. It was not the people that were criticized because they don’t have to listen to admonishments from bad judges as mentioned above but the judges were criticized.

    #1854109
    abukspan
    Participant

    while true that the judges were not good, the lashon seems to be faulting the dor (namely the baalei dinim) that judge the judges. it is certainly the people that are being criticized -for judging their judges. The gemora explains the nature of why they judged them. We can disagree. good night

    #1854294
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    abukspan, look at the Alshich Hakadosh on Rus that this is related to the famine which happened as the bad judges contributed to it. צדק צדק תרדוף למען תחיה – כדאי הוא מינוי הדיינים הכשרים להחיות את ישראל ולהושיבם על אדמתם so we see that the proper behavior of judges provides sustainance and the zechus to stay on the land.

    #1854321
    abukspan
    Participant

    I do not know what to say. The pshat pashut in shfot hashoftim is the the people were judging the judges. However bad they were, and they were, chazal are criticizing -certainly – those who are judging the judges. It would be great if we could shmooze on a phone if you so desire but i cannot keep this up. If you think i am wrong, so be it. I can cite near countless seforim that the people were being criticized for their criticism of the shoftim. is that not correct. Forgive me if I have to now go to class

    #1854328
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    To understand better, look at the Binah Leitim (Volume 2, Eis Tzara, Darush for Shabbos Divrei, 1). He explains what caused the Chorban. Shabbos (119,2) it gives the reason שלא הוכיחו זה את זה they did not admonish each other where it should have said שלא הוכיחו אותם they did not admonish them. They admonished the hamon am, the rest of the nation, but not themselves. Therefore, the hamon am said, if the talmidei hachomim cover for each other and don’t admonish each other, then we don ‘t have to listen to them either. A similar situation could have occurred over here. The judges did not admonish each other and therefore the people did not listen to them.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Reb Eliezer.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Reb Eliezer.
    #1854427
    abukspan
    Participant

    ” A similar situation COULD have occurred over here”

    This point can be proven from a pasuk in Rus and the explanation of the Midrash based on that pasuk: “Vayehi bi’mei shefot hashoftim – And it happened in the days when the judges judged” (Rus 1:1). The Midrash (Rus Rabbah 1:1) explains that in those days, the judges were judged by the population. And the Midrash laments, “Woe to the generation that judges its judges.” The Gemara explains that when the judge would say, “Remove a splinter from between your teeth,” the accused would say, “First remove the beam from between your eyes” (Bava Basra 15b).
    The judges themselves were more corrupt than the people they were judging. The judge would accuse a man of stealing a splinter and demand that he return it, while the accused would respond that the judge himself was guilty of much more than petty theft, since he had in his possession something as large as a stolen beam.
    Thus, the people discounted the reproof the judges gave because the judges were greater sinners. Although the people could claim, “Why listen to him? He doesn’t practice what he preaches,” they were still criticized for judging their judges and discounting their reproof and authority.
    The truth is still the truth, whether from the mouth of a saint or a sinner. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but if the message being preached is correct, I have no right not to accept it. The Rambam, in his preface to Shemonah Perakim, says, “Shema ha’emes mi’mi she’amrah –Listen to and accept the truth from the one who says it.”

    #1854452
    abukspan
    Participant

    ” A similar situation could have occurred over here. ”

    what is the point? Do you need me to agree with you and remove my post? Need I say that the words of chazal -in their entirety are wrong because Rav E. Feigu says a pshat in a gemora in Yoma?

    I accept that you do not like what was written. Bigger people than me have written this pshat and said over
    this pshat.
    Its fine if you dont but perhaps have one more patient go at what was written.

    This point can be proven from a pasuk in Rus and the explanation of the Midrash based on that pasuk: “Vayehi bi’mei shefot hashoftim – And it happened in the days when the judges judged” (Rus 1:1). The Midrash (Rus Rabbah 1:1) explains that in those days, the judges were judged by the population. And the Midrash laments, “Woe to the generation that judges its judges.” The Gemara explains that when the judge would say, “Remove a splinter from between your teeth,” the accused would say, “First remove the beam from between your eyes” (Bava Basra 15b).
    The judges themselves were more corrupt than the people they were judging. The judge would accuse a man of stealing a splinter and demand that he return it, while the accused would respond that the judge himself was guilty of much more than petty theft, since he had in his possession something as large as a stolen beam.
    Thus, the people discounted the reproof the judges gave because the judges were greater sinners. Although the people could claim, “Why listen to him? He doesn’t practice what he preaches,” they were still criticized for judging their judges and discounting their reproof and authority.
    The truth is still the truth, whether from the mouth of a saint or a sinner. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but if the message being preached is correct, I have no right not to accept it. The Rambam, in his preface to Shemonah Perakim, says, “Shema ha’emes mi’mi she’amrah –Listen to and accept the truth from the one who says it.”

    #1854477
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    abukspan, thanks for contribution, but we are going in circles.

    #1854480
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    There might be another reason they didn’t listen to the judges. מי שיש בו יראת שמים דבריו נשמעים asks the Bina Leitim, it should have said ישמעו דבריו as he didn’t speak yet?
    He answers that he doesn’t need to speak. His Yiras Shomayim are his words. Since the judges did not follow their preaching there was a question in their yiras shomayim and credibility.

    #1854378
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    MODS! I WAS A PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMMER AND THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM IN SOFTWARE WHICH SHOULD BE CORRECTED!!!!

    #1854383
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    MODS! THE SOLUTION IS TO COPY THE INFORMATION BEFORE EDITING AND THEN WHEN LOST CAN BE RESTORED!

    #1854510
    abukspan
    Participant

    ME
    “what is the point?”
    “I accept that you do not like what was written.”
    ” It would be great if we could shmooze on a phone if you so desire but i cannot keep this up. If you think i am wrong, so be it.”
    “We can disagree. good night”

    YOU
    “thanks for contribution, but we are going in circles.”

    Boruch Shekivanta

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