Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hanistaros, and not judging kefira

(See my previous post, on judging kefira.)

Here is a nice explanation by the commentator Maamar, which relates to the latest blow-up. Should we judge people for their kefirah-dik views? He says no, that this is what Hanistaros LaHashem Elokeinu means. I don't think that he would extend this, though, to those who are trying to persuade others of these views, to say that we should not make it clear to those others that the views are outside the pale of our defined normative belief.

Starting on these pesukim in Nitzavim:
טו  כִּי-אַתֶּם יְדַעְתֶּם, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-יָשַׁבְנוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם, וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָבַרְנוּ בְּקֶרֶב הַגּוֹיִם, אֲשֶׁר עֲבַרְתֶּם.15 for ye know how we dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the midst of the nations through which ye passed;
טז  וַתִּרְאוּ, אֶת-שִׁקּוּצֵיהֶם, וְאֵת, גִּלֻּלֵיהֶם--עֵץ וָאֶבֶן, כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב אֲשֶׁר עִמָּהֶם.16 and ye have seen their detestable things, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were with them--
יז  פֶּן-יֵשׁ בָּכֶם אִישׁ אוֹ-אִשָּׁה אוֹ מִשְׁפָּחָה אוֹ-שֵׁבֶט, אֲשֶׁר לְבָבוֹ פֹנֶה הַיּוֹם מֵעִם ה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, לָלֶכֶת לַעֲבֹד, אֶת-אֱלֹהֵי הַגּוֹיִם הָהֵם:  פֶּן-יֵשׁ בָּכֶם, שֹׁרֶשׁ פֹּרֶה רֹאשׁ--וְלַעֲנָה.17 lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;

"כִּי-אַתֶּם יְדַעְתֶּם -- From the content of these verses until the end of the parasha it appears to me that all of Israel was not yet purified from the impurities of the deficient beliefs that their fathers inherited in the land of Egypt. And upon this it states וַתִּרְאוּ, אֶת-שִׁקּוּצֵיהֶם. And the proof is that Yehoshua commanded the nation, when they accepted upon themselves the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven, [Yehoshua 24:23]

כג  וְעַתָּה, הָסִירוּ אֶת-אֱלֹהֵי הַנֵּכָר אֲשֶׁר בְּקִרְבְּכֶם; וְהַטּוּ, אֶת-לְבַבְכֶם, אֶל-ה, אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.23 Now therefore put away the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD, the God of Israel.'

And Chazal received a tradition that a molten image they brought up with themselves from the Reed Sea.  And behold, the master of prophets [Moshe] knew, via the Soul of Hashem, who made him understand tha there were people in the nation who still, despite all the signs and wonders, did not believe in Hashem and in Moshe His servant with all their hearts, so as not to trust in his blessings
and not to fear his curses, since they thought that these are the mere speakings of lips, the spirit of man established them, and they did not go forth from the mouth of the Supreme. And only from fear of Moshe and fear of the punishment did they serve Hashem in each heart. And upon this it said [in the pasuk above] פֶּן-יֵשׁ בָּכֶם, שֹׁרֶשׁ פֹּרֶה רֹאשׁ--וְלַעֲנָה. That is to say, that now he is but the root [shoresh] but in the multitude of days he will give fruit.

And well did Onkelos translate in accordance with our way, 

כט,יז פֶּן-יֵשׁ בָּכֶם אִישׁ אוֹ-אִשָּׁה אוֹ מִשְׁפָּחָה אוֹ-שֵׁבֶט, אֲשֶׁר לְבָבוֹ פֹנֶה הַיּוֹם מֵעִם ה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, לָלֶכֶת לַעֲבֹד, אֶת-אֱלֹהֵי הַגּוֹיִם הָהֵם:  פֶּן-יֵשׁ בָּכֶם, שֹׁרֶשׁ פֹּרֶה רֹאשׁ--וְלַעֲנָה.דִּלְמָא אִית בְּכוֹן גְּבַר אוֹ אִתָּא אוֹ זַרְעִי אוֹ שִׁבְטָא, דְּלִבֵּיהּ פְּנִי יוֹמָא דֵּין מִדַּחְלְתָא דַּייָ אֱלָהַנָא, לִמְהָךְ לְמִפְלַח, יָת טָעֲוָת עַמְמַיָּא הָאִנּוּן:  דִּלְמָא אִית בְּכוֹן, גְּבַר מְהַרְהֵיר חֲטִין--אוֹ זָדוֹן.
as  גְּבַר מְהַרְהֵיר חֲטִין--אוֹ זָדוֹן -- a man who contemplates transgressions or willful sins. 

(And according to the opinion of Chazal that we brought above in the matter of the idol of Micah, it is possible that it intended with the words אוֹ-שֵׁבֶט [in pasuk 17, cited above] to refer to the shevet of Dan, which strayed after it as is known, and now it speaks about the שֹׁרֶשׁ פֹּרֶה רֹאשׁ--וְלַעֲנָה, and that is the אִישׁ [or isha; now skip o shevet] who is פֹנֶה הַיּוֹם מֵעִם ה

And further, he does not act publicly. Then, Hashem's fury will smoke, etc., until but not including pasuk 21 [Josh: where Hashem will not pardon, and Hashem will separate him from the tribes of Israel, and all the curses of the book shall lie upon him, etc.]. (And Chazal already said that regarding Avodah Zara, Hashem combined thought to action.)

However, when the thought turns to action, and the רֹאשׁ וְלַעֲנָה give fruit, then [Josh: pasuk 21, which talks about comprehensive punishment on all of Israel], וְאָמַר הַדּוֹר הָאַחֲרוֹן.

And it closes with  הַנִּסְתָּרֹת--לַה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ -- this matter is stated directed towards those people who know that their hearts [meaning the hearts of other people] are not complete with Hashem. And he says that even if the hidden secrets of their hearts were revealed before me, even so, I [Moshe] do not have the power to punish them on the ideas of their spirits and upon their thoughts, for the nistarot are to Hashem.

And a great thing said the father of prophets here. And that is that it is not upon the judge to chastise [ליסר] any man on the thoughts of his hears and the beliefs in his heart, if they be known to us prior to their passing into actual actions of man. This because the judges who are placed in the land only judge the actions of man, for the body which acts has its source in the dust, and therefore by law, those who are molded out of material shall bring him in judgement. However, the soul is a divine portion from above, and so only He who Dwells in heaven shall consider its judgement. And this, in my opinion, is the intent of Chazal that a negative commandment which has no action, we do not impose lashes for it."

End quote.

Tangentially, I suspect that that pasuk in sefer Yehoshua comes not necessarily because the Israelites were idolators at that time, but (a) because from Yehoshua's perspective, perhaps they were -- see the context, about the building of the altar, and (b), because of the parallel to Yaakov and his sons in Shechem Note the parallel to trees in both cases, alongside other matching language.

ד  וַיִּתְּנוּ אֶל-יַעֲקֹב, אֵת כָּל-אֱלֹהֵי הַנֵּכָר אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדָם, וְאֶת-הַנְּזָמִים, אֲשֶׁר בְּאָזְנֵיהֶם; וַיִּטְמֹן אֹתָם יַעֲקֹב, תַּחַת הָאֵלָה אֲשֶׁר עִם-שְׁכֶם.4 And they gave unto Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hand, and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth which was by Shechem.


Hillel said...

R' Waxman,
Who is 'hamaamar' - do you know of any biographical information?

joshwaxman said...

i don't know much about him. here is an entry at gilyonot of nechama:

ר' מאיר וולף (המעמר),
מחבורת פרשני "הביאור" (השתתף בכתיבת הפירוש לנביאים ראשונים, לישעיהו, לדניאל ולמשלי).

מלבד זאת חיבר את "המעמר" - פירוש משלו על אונקלוס, רש"י, הרא"ם ועוד (נדפס לצד "הביאור" בחומש "נתיבות שלום", פראג 1836), וכן את הספר "תורת לשון עברית" (העבראאישע שפראכלעהרע).

i also posted the following on facebook, about a co-author:

"i think r'moshe segal landau and/or r'wolf meir. often responds to shadal. alas, don't know more."

nistar said...

"i think r'moshe segal landau and/or r'wolf meir. often responds to shadal"

it's the other way around, shadal responding to the aforementioned.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

not מְעַמֵּר?

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are prob right.

Indeed, you are right. Though the printer of המעמר often responds to Shadal, with a parenthetical ד״ה to make this clear, as in here. http://parsha.blogspot.co.il/2011/06/can-zohar-teach-us-about-acceptable.html I initially conflated the two, and then worked in my recent comment from by original erroneous summary. Thanks.



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