Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Three Insights

By: Rabbi Avrohom Adler

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Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak answers: It means that if he comes into slavery with a wife and child, his master can give him a Canaanite slavewoman (to have relations with). Otherwise, he cannot.

The commentators ask: Isn’t this illogical? If he doesn’t have a wife, the master should be able to give him a slavewoman, and if he does have a wife, why should the master give him another wife?

The Daas Zkeinim explains that if he is married to a Jewish woman, he will not be so attracted to the Canaanite slavewoman and will not follow her ways. However, if she is his only wife, he is liable to follow her ways. The Torah did not want this.


It is written [Yirmiyah 22:10]: Cry intensely for one who leaves, because he will not return again and see the land of his birthplace. Rav Yehudah said: This is referring to one who departs this world without children.

Rav Huna said: The verse is referring to a person who committed a sin and repeated it. The Gemora states: Rav Huna is following his reasoning stated elsewhere that one who commits a sin and repeats it; it has become permitted to him.

The Gemora asks: Do you actually think that it is permitted? The Gemora answers: Rav Huna means that it becomes to him as if it was permitted.

The Gemora (Yoma 86b) explains that a true penitent is one who committed a sin in the past and then the opportunity for the same sins comes again a first time and a second time and he is saved from the sin on both occasions.

The Sefer Chasidim writes that a person should not put himself into a situation where he is tempted to sin, because he may not be able to withstand temptation.

The Tzlach questions the words of the Sefer Chasidim from the commentary of the Kli Yakar in Parshas Chukas, who writes regarding the phenomena of the Parah Adumah that the Parah Adumah was capable of rendering pure those that were impure and conversely, rendering impure those that were pure.

The Kli Yakar likens this idea to certain medicines that are beneficial for one who is ill but can prove fatal for one who is healthy. There is a parallel between remedying the body and remedying the soul. One who wishes to repent must be with the same woman that he sinned with the first time, at the same time of the year in which he had sinned, and at the same place where he sinned with her. Thus, the temptation to sin is particularly strong, as his Evil Inclination will entice him to respond exactly as he did before. By resisting the temptation, he demonstrates that he is a true penitent.

The Kli Yakar adds that this is what the Gemora (Brochos 34b) means when it states that in the place where penitents stand, the completely righteous do not stand, i.e. the completely righteous cannot stand in a place of temptation. Yet, according to the Sefer Chasidim, a righteous person is not permitted to endanger himself by entering into such a situation.


The Gemora states that if one commits a transgression and repeats it, it becomes like it is permitted to him.

Rav Shach was once giving rebuke and he questioned if there is any among us that have committed a sin and not repeated it. Woe is to us.

The Mabit in Beis Elokim (shaar hateshuva ch 11) writes that our sages have said if one commits a transgression three times, it becomes like it is permitted to him. Did he have a different version in the Gemora than us? Our Gemora states this to be correct if a person commits a sin even twice.