July 29, 2021 12:53 am at 12:53 am #1995396
Eikev – The Tactics of the Yetzer Hara:
זכר אל תשכח את אשר הקצפת את ה’ אלקיך במדבר למן היום אשר יצאת מארץ מצרים עד באכם עד המקום הזה ממרים הייתם עם ה’
Remember, do not forget, how you angered Hashem, your G-d, in the desert; from the day that you went out of the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebelling against Hashem (Devarim 9:7).
According to most opinions, the command to remember how we angered Hashem while in the desert (which some say refers to the Cheit HaEigel) is a mitzvah le’doros, an obligation for all time, not just for the dor hamidbar. Why is it incumbent upon us, the descendants, to remember those sins?
Altogether, there are six zechiros, remembrances, which include: yetzias Mitzrayim, Kabbalas HaTorah, Amalek’s attack, Miriam’s punishment, and the day of Shabbos. Most of these, when remembered, seem to fulfill a practical purpose. Shabbos, the Exodus, and the Revelation at Sinai are fundamental articles of our faith, while remembering the incidents with Miriam and Amalek teaches us that actions have consequences.
But this zechirah, remembrance, speaks of an event long past, which was caused by people who are no longer alive. We are not enjoined to recall the consequence of the sin, but the sin itself, and how this angered Hashem. Is this supposed to teach us not to worship idols, or do we have an obligation to remember what was done by our ancestors and do teshuvah on their behalf?
Rav Avraham Weinfeld (quoted in Ke’Motzei Shalal Rav on Eikev) explains that human nature is such that every sinner finds a way to excuse, explain, rationalize, and thereby justify his misdeeds. Many people justify their actions with claims of hester Panim, the hidden Countenance of Hashem; the absence of the Divine Presence has had an effect on us, making it difficult to avoid sinning. The lengthy exile has had its effect on us, as well. Then there is the ever-present worry and struggle to earn a livelihood, which we allow to govern our behavior.
But in truth, these are only excuses. Hashem is not out to get us, and He would never impose on us a burden we can’t handle. Whatever the situation, we still have the power and the ability to exercise our free will. It is just obstinacy and lust for the physical that keeps us from humbly submitting to Him.
The proof that any such defense is merely an attempt to rationalize is seen from the fact that we angered Hashem even in the desert, when we had no such excuses. There was no time in history where Hashem revealed his Shechinah as He did then, at Har Sinai. There were no worries of parnassah, as we ate the food of angels, the Manna. We had no troubles, nothing to fear, and every reason to serve. And with all that, we still angered Him. We are taught and reminded by this zechirah that sin is only the result of succumbing to our lesser self. We are the ones who anger Hashem and have no one to blame but ourselves.
Once a person’s real motives for sinning are revealed, he can deal with his weaknesses, rather than making excuses and ignoring the real cause. One who fails to keep this in mind not only embarks upon a path of failure, but is actually offered entry to the gates of Gehinnom.
In BeZos Ani Botei’ach (p.93-94), Rav Shach points out that one can never feel complacent, convincing himself that he is not at the doorstep of Gehinnom. He brings the Gemara, which writes that Gehinnom has three entrances: one in the desert, one in the sea, and one in Jerusalem (Eiruvin 19a). He explains that these three entrances allude to three instances in which the yetzer hara tries to get us to sin.
The first entrance to Gehinnom that is mentioned in the Gemara is the entrance in the wilderness. A person may think that the yetzer hara is only out to get him when he is part of a crowd, for that is when it can entice him to sin and to arouse his selfish attributes in his interpersonal relationships. However, were he to live as a hermit in the desert, the evil inclination would not rule over him. That is why our Chazal came to tell us that one of the entrances to Gehinnom is in the desert.
Rav Shach then brings the example of Kayin and Hevel. Even though they owned every possession and every piece of real estate in the world, they quarreled and feuded with each other, until they divided the wealth. Yet even then, they were not satisfied and they fought. We see from here that even if a person is alone and has it all, the yetzer hara ambushes him. Thus, the entrance to Gehinnom still looms large even in the desert, as it says in Parashas Korach (Bamidbar 16:33): “And they and all they had descended alive to the pit.”
Based on the Gemara’s reference to the entrance in the sea, Rav Shach explains that even when a person finds himself in a dangerous situation, with a tempest raging all about him, threatening to capsize his ship, he is still not free from the shackles of the evil inclination. This can be seen from the incident of Yonah HaNavi; even when the sea was raging and everyone on the ship was in danger, he did not yet turn to Hashem. And even after they threw him into the sea and he was in mortal peril in the belly of the dag, the male fish, he did not cry out to Hashem. Only after being spit out by the male fish and subsequently swallowed by a dagah, a female fish, with crowded and extremely uncomfortable conditions, did he cry out to Hashem: “from the belly of the grave” (Yonah 2:3). Even when our lives are threatened, our obstinacy may hold us back, letting us sink into the depths of another entrance to Gehinnom, this one with an address in the sea.
The third gate is in Yerushalayim, as the pasuk states, “The word of Hashem, Who has fire in Zion and a furnace in Jerusalem” (Yeshayah 31:9). Even Yerushalayim, the holiest place on earth, offers no assurance of freedom from the yetzer hara, for here, too, he has dominion over us.
So we see, concludes Rav Shach, that in every place and in every situation, the yetzer hara lurks, waiting to pounce upon us and entice us to sin. We must always be on our guard – against the yetzer hara and his ploys, and against the rationalizations that accompany each sin.July 29, 2021 7:57 am at 7:57 am #1995610GadolhadorahParticipant
Really “light” topic to begin the day. Interesting point that even in times of great sakanah, when one would logically feel a need to reach out to the Ebeshter for safety and comfort, the Yetzer Horah is working at opposite purposes. When I think back over some of the real serious challenges faced over the past several years, the point is well taken and may be the time when we are most vulnerable to the pull of the yetzer horah, especially if we superficially sense our reaching out to hashem has not yielded immediate positive outcomes.July 29, 2021 9:22 am at 9:22 am #1995629
The Baal Akeida explains the meaning of הרהורי עבירה קשה מעבירה. thinking of a sin is worse than the sin itself, rationalising, explaining an aveira by minimizing it and saying there is nothing wrong in doing it.
The GRA explains the gemora in Shabbos (12,1) where Rav Yishmoel ben Elisha bent the wick and said afterwards. how great are the words of the chachamim who said in the mishna not to read by a candle light and did not mention a reason for it. When a reason is known, one rationalizes by saying, by me it does not apply as king Shlomo married many women (1000) hy saying that the prohibition of being swayed away from Hashem by them does not apply to me.July 29, 2021 10:10 am at 10:10 am #1995662
The Arvei Nachal in Parashas Shelach explains the three means to recognize the yetzer hara’s influence over the yetzer tov. One, if something is done with a greater ferver than usual, two, how would one feel if done by someone else and three if all else fails, do the sin with a small neasure and see your reaction. When David Hamelech wanted to kill Shaul he instead cut off his shirt’s corner and felt bad about it, so he knew that he should not touch him.July 29, 2021 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm #1995666
A maggid (Hebrew: מַגִּיד), also spelled as magid, is a traditional Jewish religious itinerant preacher, skilled as a narrator of Torah and religious stories. A chaplain of the more scholarly sort is called a darshan (דרשן), and usually occupies the ordained position of para-rabbi. The title of maggid mesharim (‘a preacher of uprightness’; abbreviated מ”מ) probably dates from the sixteenth century.
There have long been two distinct classes of leaders in Israel—the scholar and rabbi, and the preacher or maggid.
Based on the above, you defintely in line to be the Maggid of the Coffee Room, you come, post your torah and leave, whereas Reb E give the pilpul on everything making him more in line to be the CR of the CRJuly 29, 2021 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm #1995684
Maybe we can learn a new pshat on גם כי אלך בגיא צלמות when a person where his physical codition causes spritual depression, the yetzer hara affects him, nothing bad will happens to him if he realizes that the rod, stick or crutch is there to comfort him and has not been forsaken like a father who says I hit you because I love you.July 29, 2021 1:08 pm at 1:08 pm #1995726
One way to fight the yetzer hara is to keep in mind the holy Alashich’s vort, והיה עקב תשמעון as the end will be that we will be forced to listen through a melech kasha kehaman, a king harsh like haman, וידעת היום we might as well take to heart now and liisten now.July 30, 2021 10:45 am at 10:45 am #1995934
Gadolhadorah, I agree that the paths to gehennom are scary ones. If I recall correctly Rav Shach was telling the buchurim that they should not think they are in the clear, safely ensconced in the ivory towers of yeshiva. Even in Jerusalem, or bnei.brak the danger lurks..
I’ll try to 07 Sr a more user friendly one next week 😉July 30, 2021 10:46 am at 10:46 am #1995938
Sechel.Hayashar, I should have you write a blurb for the back of my next iy”H next book.August 1, 2021 9:48 am at 9:48 am #1996177RememberThatParticipant
Remember That the 6 Zechiroth…daily Mitzvah.August 1, 2021 10:35 am at 10:35 am #1996194
The Magen Avraham says to keep in mind the 6 zechiras by krias shema. ובנו בחרת, You chose us, kabolax hatora, וקרבתנו לשמך הגדול, broght us close to your name, which will be complete after the destruction of amolek, להודות לך, to praise You, use our mouth properly, not like Miriiam, וליחדך באהבה, to recognize Your unique might with love, not like the people in the midbar, ‘וזכרתם את כל מצוות ה, remember all Hashem’s comandments, shabbos which comprizes all commandments and אשר הוצאתי אתכם מארץ מצרים, yetzias mitzraim and he finishes by saying tto drop he talis from the shoulders when saying krias shema. Maybe like the Midrash says to be surrounded by all sides with mitzvos.August 1, 2021 1:01 pm at 1:01 pm #1996201
According to the Sefer Hachinuch there are also 6 mitvos that constantly apply. אנכי ה’ א-להיך, belief in Hashem, לא יהיה לך, not to believe in strange gods, יחודו, recognizing Hashem’s uniquness, אהבה, to love Him, יראה, to fear Him and לא תתור, not to get influenced by our heart and sight. Maybe the mnemonic can be א-לי, א-לי.August 1, 2021 3:06 pm at 3:06 pm #1996218August 1, 2021 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #1996224
Reb E for CRAugust 1, 2021 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #1996209
The above Magen Avraham is SA O’CH 60 s’k 2.August 1, 2021 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #1996248
When you have good merchandise, let the merchandise speak for itself. The yetzer hara talks a great deal because he has nothing good to sell compared to the yetzer tov who does not have to talk much.
The Chasan Sofer explains that Yosef did not listen to Potifar’s wife as she was constantly nudging him similar to the yetzer hara.August 1, 2021 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #1996251
common saychel, see https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/house-january-6th-commission reply #1995737August 1, 2021 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #1996250
common saychel, what is the use of being CR of CR if you don’t follow in CR my ruling?August 2, 2021 10:49 am at 10:49 am #1996367
We ask in davenen והסר שטן מלפנינו ומאחרינו, remove the satan from before us and from behind us. The Tiferes Yisroel Perek (4,2,12) explains that when we want to do a mitzva, he stands infront of us to stop us from doing it, whereas by an aveira, he stands behind us, to allow us to do it.August 2, 2021 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm #1996383
Being CR one does not make rulings just cuts ribbons and makes nice droshos, the chief rabbis of Ukraine, Moldova, Galitzya, Albania, Bulgiria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia and Honduras for example never made a rulingAugust 2, 2021 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #1996387
See the Chovas Halvavos Shaar Yichud Hamaaseh.August 2, 2021 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #1996444
common saychel, no thanks, then I decline the position as you have abukspan the Maggid, and כל הישר בעיניו יעשה, let people do as they desire. This is the way the Chief Rabbi of New York, Rav Yaakov Yosef ztz’l was destroyed and was killed 15 years after coming to America. I can write daroshas without being CR of CR.August 2, 2021 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #1996483
It says in Parashas Reaih וסרתם מן הדרך you turn off the road ועבדתם אלהים אחרים and you worship sttange gods, asks the Chasam Sofee, how does the turn off the road lead to idol worshipping? He says אשר לא ידעתם you don’t realize that one thing leads to another and that is the start by turning off the accustomed walk on traditional way (mesorah, minhagim) can lead to sway away from Hashem.
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