Friday, December 22, 2006

Daf Yomi - Rosh Hashana 17 - Compassion before a Sin

The Gemora states that Hashem shows compassion before a person sins and afterwards, providing that the sinner repents.

The Rosh questions the necessity for Hashem's mercy before the person commits a transgression.

His first answer is that that Hashem's compassion is required even though He knows that the person will ultimately sin, nonetheless justice is not issued until the person actually transgresses.

The Rosh offers an alternative answer that this is referring specifically to the sin of idolatry where Hashem views a person's thoughts as if he committed an action as the Gemora in Kiddushin proves from a passuk. Hashem has mercy on the person and does not administer punishment until he actually worships other gods and then he will be punished for the thoughts as well.

Rav Meir Bergman comments that with the second answer of the Rosh, we can understand a difference between the language of the tefila of Moshe Rabbeinu by the sin of the golden calf and by the sin of the spies. Moshe prays for forgiveness on behalf of Klal Yisroel for their sin with the calf and he cries out "Hashem, Hashem!" When he prays by the sin of the spies, he calls out Hashem's name only once. It is by a sin of idolatry, such as the golden calf, that Hashem's compassion is required even before the sin is committed.

The Korban Nesanel asks on the Rosh from a Gemora in Chulin where it is evident that Hashem punishes for the thoughts of idolatry even if the person did not actually serve any idols.

Harav Elyashiv Shlita answers that the Rosh is discussing a case regarding a person who is intending in the very near future to commit idolatry. Hashem does not administer justice on such thoughts until after the transgression is not committed. The Gemora in Chulin is referring to a person who accepts another god in his mind. This is regarded as idolatry and the person can be punished even without performing an action.