Thursday, August 31, 2006

Daf Yomi - Yoma 85 - One who Mocks his Friend is Akin to Denying the Existence of HaShem

Daf Yomi - Yoma 85 - One who mocks his friend is akin to denying the existence of HaShem

Rabbi Meir Bergman writes at length in his discourse on Parshas Kedoshim regarding the gravity involved in the sin of one who ridicules or defames another Jew as this is akin to a direct affront on Hashem. Rav Bergman offers a proof to this thesis from the fact that the Torah juxtaposes the mitzvah of providing for the poor next to the laws regarding the festival of Shavuos and Rosh Hashanah. He writes that showing concern for the needs of a friend is in the category of accepting on oneself the yoke of the Heavenly Kingdom. This demonstration of concern is in a sense a prerequisite to the mitzvah of blowing shofar on Rosh Hashanah, which is the ultimate crowning of Hashem. Rav Bergman cites the Gemara in Yevamos that states that when a gentile seeks to convert to Judaism, we inform him of certain mitzvos, one of which is the severity of one who refuses to give charity. The reason why we inform him of the obligation to give charity is because we are demonstrating to the potential convert that if one does not show concern for a fellow Jew, he is in essence demonstrating that he does not have concern for his creator. Rabbi Klonimus Kalman Shapiro hy”d writes that it is a greater mitzvah to give up one’s life for his friend than to give up ones life for Hashem, because when one gives up one’s life for the son of the king, this signifies how much one loves the king. This, Rabbi Klonimus Kalman explains, is why the Gemara here states that Yom Kippur atones for all sins, regardless of a person repenting, except for the sin of one who removes from himself the yoke of Heaven. The Sheiltos of Rabbi Acahai Gaon (V’Zos Habracha 167) states that Yom Kippur atones for all sins except for the sin of one who mocks his friend. The reason that ridiculing a fellow is so severe is because when one mocks his friend, it is akin to denying the existence of HaShem.