Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spirit of Foolishness

Rish Lakish says (Daf Yomi:Sotah 3a): A person does not sin unless a spirit of foolishness enters him.

Reb Chaim Shmuelitz asks: If so, why should a man be guilty for committing a transgression? If a spirit of foolishness entered him, it should be regarded as if it was unavoidable and he should be exempt from any punishment! It should be compared to a person who is standing on the edge of a pit and a strong wind blows and he falls into the pit. Is that his fault?

Reb Chaim explains that yes it is! It was his fault that he was even in the vicinity of the edge of the pit. Immediately, when he realized that he was near the boundary of the pit, he should have distanced himself from there. If he would have been far away from the pit, no wind, no matter how strong, would have been able to propel him into the pit. So too, it is with the spirit of foolishness that enters a person and causes him to sin. He obviously was too close to the sin in the first place that when a spirit of foolishness entered him, it was able to overpower him and cause him to sin.