Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Icons II




Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The 9/11 scenario in Halachah

A. Background
Is it permissibile to shoot down a plane full of passengers in the 9/11 (or the Corey Lidle) scenario, where the plane headed for a building with occupants?

The passengers of the plane will certainly die upon impact, and some of the occupants of the building will likely die if the plane is allowed to hit the building. The question is, may one actively deprive the passengers of the plane of Chayei Sha’ah, a short span of life, for the sake of preserving the extended life span of the building occupants.

The place to begin this discussion is the well-known Yerushalmi in the 8th Perek of Masseches Terumos:

"A group of people who were walking on the road and non-Jews accosted them, and said: ‘Give us one of you and we will kill him, and if not, we will kill all of you, even if they will all get killed they should not hand over one soul of Israel. If they designated one like Sheva the son of Bichri [In Shmuel II:20 Sheva ben Bichri is demanded by Yoav, the general of David’s army, for rebelling against the king] they should hand him over and not get killed.

R’ Shimon ben Lakish said: This is only so if he is liable for death, like Sheva ben Bichri.

And R’ Yochanan said: Even though he is not liable for death like Sheva ben Bichri (it is still permissible to hand over the one who was singled out)."

The first Halacha here, that where no particular individual was singled out it is forbidden to hand anyone over, even if they will all die as a result, is recorded in Rambam (Yesodei HaTorah 5:5) and by the Rema (Yoreh De’ah 157:1).

This requires some elucidation. Generally speaking, one is obligated to give up his life rather than murder another, based on a Sevara of מאי חזית דדמא דידך סומק טפי - "Why do you think your blood is redder?", meaning that there is no benefit in killing the other person, since either way a Jew will die, so there is no reason to allow the murder. However, in the case in the Yerushalmi, if they do not hand over one person, they will all die, including the person being handed over, so why do we not allow the handing over of one person to save the others?

The Kesef Mishneh on the Rambam (ad. loc.) explains that the Sevara of Mai Chazis is only necessary when the non-Jew who is asking you to kill has designated another particular Jew to be killed. In this case, however, even without the Sevara of Mai Chazis it is clearly forbidden to hand over one Jew, since there is no way to determine who should be handed over, and we cannot condemn one to death more than any of the others, and therefore they must all die and not hand anyone over.

B. Can one volunteer to die to save the others?
Yes. In fact, it is a Mitzvah to do so. The Chazon Ish (Yoreh Deah 69) proves the permissibility of this act from the story of Papus and Lulianus (who confessed to a crime of murder that they did not commit in order to save the Jews who were under threat - Rashi to Taanis 18b), about whom the Gemara (Bava Basra 10b) says that no person is allowed into their exclusive area in Olam HaBa.

However, the reason for this is a dispute among the Poskim. The Chazon Ish (ad. loc.) says that the reason for this is that this is considered primarily an act of saving others and not an act of getting oneself killed. On the other hand, the Binyan Tzion (2:173) states that the reason for this is that since if he does not volunteer he will die in any event, it is permitted.

(An apparent practical difference would be in a situation where the person who is volunteering has a chance of escaping, where the Chazon Ish would still permit it, whereas the Binyan Tzion would not. This is not the 9/11 scenario, however.)

C. Can we assume that the passengers on the plane would willingly volunteer, and shoot down the plane?

In a Sefer called Mishnas Pikuach Nefesh [by R’ Yosef Aryeh Lorincz, Bnei Brak 5763] (Simman 50), the author (when discussing this 9/11 scenario) assumes that there is an Anan Sahadei - a clearly valid assumption - that the passengers would be willing to give up their lives in this scenario, and it should be allowed.

However, he points out that usually there are minors (below Bar Mitzvah) on the plane, and for them the Anan Sahadei will not help (I assume, since they cannot waive their own lives, and we
cannot do it for them).

Additionally, in the Sefer B’Chol Nafsh’cha (10:(32)) the author is not sure whether one can volunteer to be actively killed by a Jew to save the many. (He says that from the Yam Shel Shlomo to Bava Kama (8:59) it would seem that is allowed, based on what he writes regarding Shaul HaMelech committing suicide, but it still requires more thought).

D. What is the Halachah in the dispute between R’ Yochanan and Reish Lakish?

When the non-Jews do designate someone to be killed, who is not liable for the death penalty, may he be handed over?

This is a Machlokes Rishonim. The Rambam (ad. loc.) says that they may not hand over the Jew who has been singled out, in accordance with the position of Reish Lakish, whereas many other Rishonim decide the Halachah in accordance with R’ Yochanan [The Beis Yosef (Yoreh Deah 157) quoting the Rash to the Mishnah in Terumos and the Ran to Yoma 82a; Bach understanding of Semag (Lavin 165) and Semak (78); Issur V’Hetter HeAroch (Klal 59).]

The Rema (Yoreh Deah ad loc) brings both opinions.

The Bach and Taz (157:7) decide the Halachah in accordance with the Rambam.

However, in Teshuvos Rema (11) he holds that the primary opinion is like Rabbi Yochanan. This is also the position of the Shaar Efraim (72), Tiferes Yisrael (Mishna Terumos 8:12) and the Chazon Ish (ad. loc.) say that the Halachah is in accordance with Rabbi Yochanan.

Most authorities hold that Rabbi Yochanan’s position is only true if the one who is singled out will certainly die in any event.

E. What is the rationale for R’ Yochanan’s position?
This is a further dispute. From many Rishonim (Kesef Mishneh ad loc., Rashi to Sanhedrin 74b s.v. Yatza, Ran (Yoma 4a in the Rif folio), Ritva and Maharam Chalawa to Pesachim 25) it seems that the reason for R’ Yochanan’s position is that the Sevara of the Kesef Mishneh quoted above for the prohibition of handing one of the people over is no longer applicable. Since the one who has been singled out is going to die anyhow, there is no reason why he should not be handed over to spare the others.

However, the Maharam Shick (Yoreh Deah 155), the Chazon Ish (ad loc) and Igros Moshe (Yoreh Deah 2:60) all say that the reason why he may be handed over is because, after he has been singled out, he has the status of a Rodef. [However, the Igros Moshe there does end up proving that the Ran and the Rash hold of the first reason as above.]

F. Does this hold true even at the expense of the condemned’s Chayei Sha’ah?
Yes. This is clear from the Chazon Ish and the Igros Moshe. R’ Moshe explains that the reason for this is because whatever time there is in excess of that Chayei Sha’ah which they are depriving that person of, only he is a Rodef on the others, but they are not a Rodef on him for that time span, since he will not have that time to live in any event.

Presumably, according to the first reason mentioned in the Rishonim as well, there is still reason enough to hand the one who is singled out over the others, since his lifespan is inevitably limited to Chayei Sha’ah.

[Although the Yad Avraham on the margin to the Shulchan Aruch seems to disagree, the Sefer B’Chol Nafsh’cha says that that position is in accordance with Reish Lakish].

G. Can we extrapolate from the Hetter to hand over the person, that it allowed to actively kill him to save the others?
The Meiri (Sanhedrin 72b s.v Zeh) as well as the Arugos HaBosem (brought in the Hagaha to the Mordechai (end of Perek Arba Misos) say that, while one may hand over the Jew to a non-Jew, one may not actively kill the Jew.

However, the Sefer B’Chol Nafsh’cha says that this is not implied by the simple reading of the other Rishonim (since the logic used should apply to direct murder as well).

If we were to decide the Halachah in accordance with the position of Rabbi Yochanan, then, it would seem that it is permissible to shoot down the plane, since they will die in any event, and the occupants of the building will be saved as a result.

However, we cannot simply discount the weighty position of the Rambam on this issue, as there are major Acharonim who decide the Halachah like him, as above.

H. Are there Hetterim even if we were to decide the Halachah in accordance with Reish Lakish?

a) There are positions in the Acharonim (Lechem Mishneh to Rambam ad loc., Tosefes Yom HaKippurim (Yoma 82) who hold that even Reish Lakish would only argue if there is some slim chance that the person singled out will escape. But if there is no chance at all, he would agree that he should be handed over.

b) The Chazon Ish (ad loc) discusses the following scenario:
"We must delve into a case where one sees an arrow about to kill many people, and he can divert it to a different side, where it will kill only one person on another side, and those on this side will be saved, and if he were to do nothing, the many will die and the one will live. It is possible that this is not the same as the case of handing over someone to be killed, since that handing over is a cruel act of killing someone, and in this act there is no salvation of others in the inherent nature of the act, it is only that the particular circumstance caused that this act will bring about salvation to others, so the saving of the others hinges on the handing over of a Jewish soul.

However, in the diversion of the arrow from one side to the other, there is essentially an act of salvation, and it is not connected at all to the killing of the individual on the other side, rather it is only now, in this circumstance, that there is another Jew on the other side. And since on this side many Jews will die, and on the other side only one, it is possible that we must make every effort to reduce the loss of Jewish life to whatever extent possible. After all, Lulianus and Papus were killed to save the Jews, as Rashi writes to Taanis 18b, and they say that no person can stand in their section.

However, here may be worse since he is actively killing, and we only find that we may hand over Jews, but to kill with one’s hands, perhaps we do not do so, and that which they killed Sheva ben Bichri was because he was a rebel against the king. But, this requires more delving into.

So, the Chazon Ish has a doubt whether one may do an act which is primarily one of salvation, which will actively kill an individual, to save the multitudes. It seems that the accepted position by the Sefarim on the topic is that the Chazon Ish permits this. [The Sefer B’Chol Nafshecha seems to understand that this case of the Chazon Ish is not really direct killing. He holds that the Chazon Ish’s doubt is only in real active murder, like swerving a car away from the many to run over an individual. Though I do not see how that fits into the language of the Chazon Ish.]

In the Sefer "Chashukei Chemed", which is a collection of Psakim by R’ Yitzchak Zilberstein Shlit"a of Bnei Brak in order of the Dapim on Pesachim, brings from the preface of the Pnei Yehoshua to his novellae on Shas, that he had vowed to dedicate his life to delving in to the depths of the Torah, after he was trapped under some collapsed buildings, and many came to save, "And those that they killed by their trampling (in the area) were even more than those who had originally died, although there was no way out of this, since their intent was to save and remove the rubble."

Rav Zilberstein understands that the Pnei Yehoshua is approving of what they did. (It seems to me that the language of the Pnei Yehoshua implies that the Hetter is because - if they don’t do this they would all die anyhow, in addition to this being an act with the intent of saving. This would be a parallel to the 9/11 scenario. Though it is not clear in the Pnei Yehoshua whether he would hold this to be true even according to Resh Lakish, nevertheless, in the final analysis, he says it is allowed).

I. Is shooting down the plane primarily an act of saving or of killing?
One could perhaps distinguish between that Pnei Yehoshua and the 9/11 scenario, wherein in the Pnei Yehoshua’s case they were not actually doing acts of killing, they were only inadvertently shifting debris that caused people to die.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit"a, quoted in the Sefer Mishnas Pikuach Nefesh, says that he is unsure whether this should be considered an act of killing or of salvation.

J. Is a situation of war different?
In the Sefer Mishnas Pikuach Nefesh, the author raises the concern that if we were to conclude that it is impermissible to shoot down the plane, we would be in a terrible quandary. Our enemies could take a few Jews from their countries, put them on a plane (with a nuclear bomb!) drop it on the concentration of the Jews!

He therefore says that in the context of war, the rules are different. Here, everyone must fight and be willing to sacrifice his life to save the multitiudes from the enemy, and therefore it is allowed to down the plane although we are killing Jewish passengers.

This would even be true if there were children on the plane who are not obligated to fight against the enemy, since that is the Halachah, that in war we sacrifice the few to save the many.

And, so, a plane hijacked by terrorists would come under the rubric of war, and would be permissible, especially in light of Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky’s position on the impermissibility of ransoming the kidnapped Rav Hutner, on a hijacked plane, at the time, due to Israel being engaged in a war with the Arabs since ‘48.

[What would be in a case where one is not sure whether a terrorist attack is being perpetrated, like initially on 9/11, or in the Corey Lidle case, is an interesting question]

K. Conclusion:
We have a number of Tzedadim that would allow for downing the plane:
1) If all the occupants are adults, based on an assumed volunteering to save the multitudes.
2) If we hold like the many Rishonim who hold like Rabbi Yochanan, as some Acharonim aver, it would likely be allowed.
3) Even according to the Rambam and Resh Lakish, if it is clear that they will all die if nothing is done, some Acharonim say that it is allowed.
4) This may constitute primarily an act of salvation, with the killing being a side-effect, which is probably allowed according to the Chazon Ish.
5) In the context of war, this would certainly be permissible.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Rav Moshe Feinstein on Government

This post is in reaction to Jak Black's over at Mishmar . It is a translation of Darash Moshe Derush 10 (page 415) in the standard edition:

"Remember that which Amalek did to you etc., do not forget". It is seemingly not understood what purpose there is in remembering the action of Amalek orally and in our hearts. What can we do about it?

However, the Passuk in Parshas Tetzaveh answers this, in that it seems difficult, that here (Parshas Tetzaveh) is not the place where Bnei Yisrael are commanded (about lighting the Menorah with pure olive oil), rather Hashem is only saying now that He will eventually command them, as Rashi explains in Parshas Emor (24:2), and, if so, what purpose does it serve now? This is not done by the other Mitzvos!

We also must understand the reason that the Torah commands that it be pure-pressed oil, that never had any sediment, since it will burn with sediment as well.

The reason is that the Torah is telling us a great thing. Every empty belief in the world, and every vapid value system in the world, declares that it illuminates the world, and portrays some nice things to mislead the eyes and to ensnare souls. But since many people are not interested in it, they force their opinions upon anyone they can with swords and spears, that they should accept their beliefs and value system, as is known in every period and era, whether in beliefs or value systems, whether in the past or present, and even more strongly so (now) such as with (Communist) Russia and Germany and the like. This is the sediment in their light, and in the end all that is left is only the evil and not the system that they portrayed, which they no longer have any use for since they have a sword and a spear. And it turns out that since there was sediment mixed into their light, which is the waste of the sword and the spear, there was room to err ansd think that the sediment provides light, until, finally, all that is left is the sword and spear alone, and the light is completely extinguished, as we saw with our own eyes with Russia and Germany on both extremes.

And we derive from this that no government, which is the authority, has the right to accept one particular belief or value system, because in the end all that will remain is force, devoid of values, and there will be destruction in the world, as we see with our own eyes.

If so, there is a difficulty, since the path of the Torah is also that the Jewish government supervises the law of the Torah as well, and this is represented by the Mikdash which is the foundation of our Nation, and if so, how can we have a claim against the Kings of the Nations that they supervise their beliefs and values?

The answer to this is that it is true that the Jews can hand over the implementation of the Torah to their government as well, because in the end He will command them to light in the Menorah only pure-pressed oil that was never with sediment, meaning that only with the light of the Torah will it be illuminated, in that it is a wise and understanding Nation, to influence the entire world, as it was in the days of David and Shlomo that all the Nations streamed to them, and many converted, out of a pure love for Hashem and the Torah, because it is forbidden for the Jews to force other Nations to convert, and we do not coerce any nation or country to do so, and on the contrary, we do not accept converts if there is even a doubt whether they want to convert because of some fear or other mundane matter, and therefore there is no need to be concerned about this - rather the righteous king will see, through the might of the wisdom of the Torah, to influence the entire world.

And even those among the Jews who are liable for the death penalty - it is so difficult to have an individual be liable for the death penalty! For only righteousness and justice is our our light, with no addition of sediment. And therefore Hashem hurried to inform us, in the middle of the commandment to erect the Mishkan, to answer that which Hashem gave over the Torah to the leadership of the monarchy, that they need to use pure olive oil, although here is not the place for that commandment.

Now, Amalek, who came to fight against the Jews, also had a value system. They wanted to show, erroneously, that there was nothing miraculous about the Jews and there is nothing to fear about them, and if so they should have initially argued with words and to show that they were right if they could, or to admit that they were wrong if they could not. But they did not do so. They came immediately to fight. They showed that the primary part is the sediment. So we must remember, orally and in our hearts, so that we know that any belief or value that uses its authority and force, and is not satisfied with its light alone, is full of vapidity and lies and they are merely fooling the public, and that is the benefit of remembering Amalek for us as well.

We conclude from all this that any kingdom from the Nations of the world is not allowed to espouse one particular belief system. It must only do its job, which is to make sure that noone wrongs his fellow by stealing or murdering, for without the fear of government each man would swallow his fellow alive, but regarding value systems and beliefs and other things everyone must be free to do as he wishes.

And if so, the government of the United States, which already 150 years ago set as a law for its government that they will not espouse one particular belief or system, rather each man can do as he pleases, and the government will only ensure that one man does not swallow his fellow, they are doing the Will of G-d, and therefore they were successful and they became great during that period. And we are obligated to pray for them that Hashem grant them success in all that they endeavor.

And soon may Yehudah and Yisrael be redeemed, Amen.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Shaarei Teshuva XIII

Sorry it took me a while to get to the next segment. I haven't quite found the time to do this properly lately...

ד ועוד התבונן ברעת המתאחר מן התשובה כי רבה היא, כי לולא התמהמה כי עתה שב איש נאנח במרירות לב ברגזה ובדאגה ודלפה עינו מתוגה, כי יפגשהו יצרו שנית ויזדמן החטא לידו יכבוש את יצרו ויזכור אשר עברה עליו כוס המרירות ולא יוסיף לשתותו עוד, כמו שנאמר (תהלים ד, ה): "רגזו ואל תחטאו" - באורו: רגזו והצטערו על אשר חטאתם ואל תחטאו עוד! כי הזכיר חטאם למעלה (פסוק ג) באמרו: "תבקשו כזב סלה". ויעיד על זה הפירוש אמרו "רגזו" מלשון: "אל תרגזו בדרך" (בראשית מה, כד); "ותחתי ארגז" (חבקוק ג, טז), וענינם הצער על הדבר שעבר ועל ההווה, ולא אמר "יראו" או "גורו". וכאשר יאחר לשוב, בבא החטא לידו יפול במוקשו כנפול בתחלה, ויגדל עוונו האחרון מאד, ותעלה רעתו לפני השם, כי מראשית לא חשב כי פתאום יבוא היצר השודד עליו אך אחרי אשר ראה דלות כחו ואשר גברה יד יצרו עליו וכי עצום הוא ממנו, היה עליו לראות כי פרוע הוא ולשית עצות בנפשו להוסיף בה יראת ה' ולהפיל פחדו עליה ולהצילה ממארב יצרו ולהשתמר מעונו. ואמר שלמה עליו השלום (משלי כו, יא): "ככלב שב על קאו כסיל שונה באולתו" - ביאורו, כי הכלב אוכל דברים נמאסים, וכאשר יקיאם נמאסים יותר והוא שב עליהם לאכלם, כן ענין הכסיל, כי יעשה מעשה מגונה וכאשר ישנה בו מגונה יותר, כאשר בארנו.

"And also ponder the severity of delaying Teshuva, how great it is, for if delays not, rather repents now, groaning in bitterness of heart in anguish and concern, and eyes shedding tears from misery, when his Yetzer will encounter him a second time, and the opportunity for sin presents itself again, he would conquer his Yetzer, and recall that the cup of bitterness had passed over him as well, and he would not partake of it anymore, as it says: "Be anguished and do not sin" - meaning: Be anguished and pained due to your sinning, and sin no more! For he mentions their sin earlier: "You seek out falsehood constantly".

And testimony to this explanation is provided by the use of the term "Rigzu", similar to "Do not (bicker in) anguish ("Tirgezu") on the way"; "And in my place I am in anguish ("Ergaz"), and their meaning is one of pain over the past and present, and it does not say "be afraid" or "be frightened".

And when he procrastinates his repentance, when the sin will come upon him again, he will fall into its trap just as he fell initially, and his latest sin will be very magnified, and his bad deed will come before Hashem, becuase he initially did not think that the Yetzer bandit would come upon him suddenly. But after he saw the meagerness of his strength, and that the hand of the Yetzer had overcome him, and that it is more powerful than him, he should have realized that he is exposed, and to place counsel for his soul, to add Yiras Hashem to it and to place His fear upon it, to save it from the ambush of his Yetzer and to protect it from his sin.

And Shlomo HaMelech Alav HaShalom said - "Like a dog returning to his vomit so is a person repeating his folly" - meaning, the dog eats disgusting things, and when he vomits them they become even more repulsive, and he still returns to eat it. So is the manner of the fool, that he does a repugnant act and when he repeats it, it is even more repugnant, as we explained."
This is a very important segment in Rabbeinu Yonah. It underscores the obligation upon a person to be cognizant that he is in an ongoing battle with his Yetzer, and it requires strategizing. בתחבולות תעשה לך מלחמה -"With stratagems you shall wage war for yourself".
If a person sins, it is not enough to just think - "I sinned, I'll try not to do it again". That's like a general in an army, after suffering a rout in battle, not studying what went wrong, but just saying - "Well, its too bad. Next time I'll do better." An attitude like that gets the general demoted! He has to pore over the battle plans, assess his capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, and actually think how he will defeat his enemy next time! If he loses - there was a root cause! Determine what it is! Don't let it just happen.
Here, Rabbeinu Yonah is talking about a loss where the key element in favor of the enemy was exploitation of a heretofore unknown weakness - a chink in the armor. Like, we shouldn't know from things like that anymore, a 9/11 attack. Who ever expected something like that to happen? Nobody did. But after it did happen, the number one responsibility was to shore up the defenses in the aviation arena.
To fortify ourselves against another sneak attack, a person has to realize that if he sinned - that indicates that an exposed flank was exploited. The first step to protecting that flank is to fortify it. How does one do that? By motivating oneself to place guards there - and that is done by feeling the pain and anguish of that loss. If the attack doesn't bother you too much - you won't be watching it next time it is attacked. So, one must do Teshuvah right away for a sin - or the weak spot remains exposed.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Shaarei Teshuvah XII

ג ולא ימצא איחור התשובה זולתי בעמי הארץ, אשר הם ישנים שוכבים ולא ישיבו אל לבבם, ולא דעת ולא תבונה להם למהר להמלט על נפשם. ויש מהם נדחים מעל השם ברוך הוא ולא יאמינו לעונש החטא. ואמרו רבותינו זכרונם לברכה (ברכות יט א): אם ראית תלמיד חכם שעבר עבירה בלילה אל תהרהר אחריו ביום, כי באמת עשה תשובה.

"And one will not find delay of Teshuvah except by the Amei HaAretz, who are sleeping, lying down, and they do not instill into their hearts, and they have neither the intelligence nor the understanding to make haste and escape for their lives. And some of them are distanced from Hashem, and they do not believe in the retribution for sin. And Chazal say - 'If you've seen a Talmid Chacham who violated an Aveirah at night, do not think badly of him in the day, for he has truly repented"

Delaying Teshuvah on sins which we know we have done is only by people who are not spiritually focused. If their thoughts were, consistently, geared toward spiritual pursuit, they would immediately regret the Aveirah and resolve not to do it again.

Virtually everyone lapses here and there - they doze off spiritually and fall into sin. But the quality of the Am HaAretz vs. the Talmid Chacham, in this context, is that the Am HaAretz sleeps lying down. That means he's not just caught snoozing - he's crawled under the blanket to take a good shluf. That's when the individual becomes desensitized to his shortcomings, and does nothing to repair the breaches in his wall of observance.

These people may even intellectually know what they need to do, but it is not part of their Avodah to actually get that into their consciousness. They may have וידעת היום , but the והשבות אל לבבך is lacking - as Rabbeinu Yonah says. I think it was the Kotzker Rebbe who said that the distance between וידעת היום and והשבות אל לבבך is like the distance between Heaven and Earth - there's alot of travel time.

A Rebbe of mine remarked, that in order to get something from your mind into your heart, one of the things you have to do is loosen your tie - or you'll choke off the pathway between them. While I think he meant this slightly diffferently, (in that you have to let your inner self come through to receive the intellectual data and mesh it with your soul - and not be too 'cerebral'), I'll borrow the metaphor and say that I can't be sitting in my suit and tie at my mahogany desk, and have a white-collar kind of attitude toward my Avodah. It will take some blue-collar effort - straining to build the spiritual muscle needed to maintain our connection to the Ribbono Shel Olam.

אין הדבר תלוי אלא בי

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Shaarei Teshuva XI

ואמרו רבותינו זכרונם לברכה על הענין הזה (קהלת רבה ז, לב): משל לכת של לסטים שחבשם המלך בבית האסורים, וחתרו מחתרת, פרצו ויעבורו ונשאר אחד מהם. בא שר בית הסוהר וראה מחתרת חתורה והאיש ההוא עודנו עצור, ויך אותו במטהו. אמר לו: קשה יום! הלא המחתרת חתורה לפניך ואיך לא מהרת המלט על נפשך?
"And our Rabbis of Blessed memory said on this matter (Kohelles Rabbah 7:32): A parable, of a group of robbers who were incarcerated by the king, and they dug a tunnel, breached and passed through, while one of them remained. The warden came and saw that that there is a tunnel which was dug, and that man was still in jail! He struck him with his staff, and he said :"Ne'er-do-well! The tunnel is dug in front of you, how did you not quickly escape?"
This parable has always bothered me. It would seem to be an even more exacerbated rebellion against the king to escape from jail. I mean, this was illegal. How can that be compared to missing the opportunity to do Teshuvah?
I'm still not certain of the answer. But perhaps the meaning is, that in reality Teshuvah is not something which makes any sense, as we mentioned earlier in the series. How can we erase a deed which was already done? And yet, we are granted this "illegal" escape route - we should take advantage of it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Shaarei Teshuva X

ב ודע, כי החוטא כאשר יתאחר לשוב מחטאתו יכבד עליו מאד ענשו בכל יום, כי הוא יודע כי יצא הקצף עליו ויש לו מנוס לנוס שמה, והמנוס הוא התשובה, והוא עומד במרדו והנו ברעתו, ובידו לצאת מתוך ההפכה, ולא יגור מפני האף והחמה, על כן רעתו רבה.
"And know, that the sinner, when he delays repenting for his sin, his punishment weighs more heavily on him each day, because he knows that there is wrath upon him, and he has a refuge to escape to, and that refuge is Teshuvah, and he remains in his rebelliousness and is still in his wickedness, and it is in his hand to get out of the rubble, and he has no fear of the anger and wrath, therefore his wickedness is great."
After dedicating the opening paragraph to words of encouragement, the carrot, if you will, Rabbeinu Yonah now turns to the stick. This is really the second derivative of his opening statement that Teshuvah is "among the good things that G-d did for his creations". Delaying use of that gift is hurtful.
This paragraph is harsh. After I sin, I usually feel bad about it, but in my mind, after a while, the pangs of conscience get weaker, and fade away. And I assume that that is how the Ribbono Shel Olam relates to it - at the moment of sin, it is severe, but He puts it into the minus column in my tally book, and "gets over it". But Rabbeinu Yonah is saying that that mental image is wrong. Hashem's anger has been kindled, and the fact that He does not punish me is a constant restraint of His anger, כביכול. When we say in Davening of Rosh HaShanah אין שכחה לפני כסא כבודך - "There is no forgetfullness before Your Throne of Glory", that does not only mean that everything is recorded, but that the deleterious impact of the Aveirah upon the relationship between myself and the Ribbono Shel Olam has not subsided at all.

This is reminiscent of what Rabbeinu Yonah says in his commentary to Massechet Avos (3:1):
[This is one of the most terrifying pieces of Mussar you will read. You have been warned:]

ולפני מי אתה עתיד ליתן דין וחשבון - שהנבראים לא נבראו אך לירא את ה'. כי איך יחטא האדם אם יחשוב לפני מי עתיד ליתן דין וחשבון ויותר על הפורענות והנסיון שיהיה לו על חטאיו כי יתבייש בשת גדול. משל למלך שנכנס אדם לפניו אם ימצאהו מרמה במעשיו או משקר דבריו הלא יתבייש בשת גדול. על אחת כמה וכמה לפני מלך מלכי המלכים הקב"ה גם כי בהתבייש הנפש אחר שנתפרדה מן הגוף הבושת ההיא גדולה מהבושת בעודנה שמה כי טבע הגוף משכח וכי יעשה האיש דבר כיעור ויתבייש עליו מבני אדם לשנה או לשנתים ישכח הדבר וילך הבושה מעליו וגם כי לא ישכח מלבו. יהיה הדבר ישן נושן והוסרה קצת הבושה כי טבע השכחה שבגוף מתערב עם טבע הנפש וכי אינו יכול להתגבר עליו לשכוח הדבר לגמרי על כל פנים יתגבר עליו להתיישן הדבר שהוא קצת השכחה שמסיר רוב הבושה אך בהיות הנפש לבדה אין שכחה לפניה כי כלה ברה וזכה ואין שום טבע מהגשמים בתוכה. ושמתביישת לפני מלך מלכי המלכים הקב"ה. לעולם ולעולמי עד תעמוד בבושה באותה שעה שהיתה עומדת לפניו וכמו הפעם ההוא תעמוד מבוישת לעולם וזהו שאמרו רז"ל אוי לה לאותה בושה אוי לה לאותה כלימה לכן על כל פנים המעלה על לבו דברים אלה לא יבא לידי עבירה:
"And before Whom are you destined to give an accounting - Hashem's creations were created for the sole purpose of fear of G-d. For how can a person sin if he thinks before whom he is destined to give an accounting? And even more so, if he thinks about the punishment and tribulation he will have for his sins, for he will be very shamed. This is comparable to a king, where if someone comes before him, and the king finds that he is being deceitful in his actions, or lying in his words - he will certainly be greatly ashamed. Certainly before the King of Kings, HaKadoah Baruch Hu. Also, when the soul is shamed after it separates from the body, that shame is greater than when it is still there, for the nature of the body is to forget, and when a person does something turpid, and he is embarrassed in front of other people, after a year or two [Now its MUCH less than that] the matter will be forgotten and the shame will dissipate. And even if the matter itself is not forgotten from his own heart, the matter will become stale, and the shame will have subsided somewhat, for the nature of forgetfulness of the body meshes with the nature of the soul, and if it cannot overcome it to forget the matter completely, nevertheless it will overcome it to the extent that it makes the matter old, which is the bit of forgetfulness which removes the majority of the shame. But when the soul is alone, there is no forgetfulness for it, for it is all clear and pure, there is none of the nature of the physical in it. And when it is shamed before G-d, it will retain that same shame that it had at the moment it stands before G-d, for all eternity! And that is what Chazal said "Woe to that shame, woe to that humiliation." Therefore, one who brings these words to his consciousness will not come to sin."

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Shaarei Teshuva IX

והוזהרנו על התשובה בכמה מקומות בתורה, והתבאר, כי התשובה מקובלת גם כי ישוב החוטא מרוב צרותיו, כל שכן אם ישוב מיראת השם ואהבתו, שנאמר (דברים ד, ל): "בצר לך ומצאוך כל הדברים האלה באחרית הימים ושבת עד ה' אלהיך ושמעת בקולו". והתבאר בתורה, כי יעזור ה' לשבים כאשר אין יד טבעם משגת ויחדש בקרבם רוח טהורה להשיג מעלת אהבתו, שנאמר (דברים ל, ב): "ושבת עד ה' אלהיך ושמעת בקולו ככל אשר אנכי מצוך היום אתה ובניך בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך". ואומר בגוף הענין (דברים ל, ו): "ומל ה' את לבבך ואת לבב זרעך" - להשיג אהבתו. והנביאים והכתובים דברו תמיד על דבר התשובה, עד כי באו עקרי התשובה כלם מפורשים בדבריהם כאשר יתבאר.

"And we are warned about Teshuva in a number of places in the Torah, and it is clear, that Teshuva is accepted even if the sinner repents due to his multitude of troubles, certainly if he repents out of fear of Hashem and love of Him, as it says: "When you are in distress, and all these things have befallen you, at the end of days, you will return unto Hashem your G-d, and hearken to His voice."
"And it explained in the Torah, that Hashem will aid those who repent when their natural abilities are unable to achieve, and he will create anew inside them a pure spirit to achieve the level of love for Him (alternatively: to comprehend the great achievement of loving Him) as it says: "And you will return unto Hashem your G-d, and listen to His voice, according to everything that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and all your soul." And it says in the matter (i.e. in the discussion of Teshuva in the Torah there) itself, "And Hashem will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring" - to achieve love of Him. And the Neviim and Kesuvim speak constantly on the matter of Teshuva, to the point that all the fundamentals of Teshuva are elucidated in their words, as will be explained."
Here, Rabbeinu Yonah is continuing to tell us not to despair of Teshuva, even if the conditions to our success seem to be adverse. In the previous section Rabbeinu Yonah told us that even if the depths of sin we have sunk to seem impossible to extricate ourselves from, we still have not forfeited the opportunity.
Now, Rabbeinu Yonah tells us that even if our motivation is not out of true recognition of the need for Teshuva, due to our fear or love of the Ribbono Shel Olam, but, rather, due to distress and suffering, it is still accepted. (This is a nice segui from the Gemara quoted yesterday, how Acher repented at his last breath.)
And, additionally, whatever we cannot achieve on our own, G-d will propel us forward, will give us a Hand. As the well known Medrash (Shir HaShirim Rabbah) states:
אמר הקב"ה לישראל בני פתחו לי פתח אחד של תשובה כחודה של מחט ואני פותח לכם פתחים שיהיו עגלות וקרניות נכנסות בו
"Hashem said to Yisrael, My sons, open for me one opening of Teshuva like the point of a needle, and I will open entranceways for you that wagons and chariots enter through".
However, we must start the process, as expressed in this Medrash. Rabbeinu Yonah says that Hashem will aid לשבים - those who repent. We cannot sit back and wait for Teshuva to just "happen".
In truth, much of this section in the Rabbeinu Yonah is quite a Chiddush. The Pessukim that he quotes seem to relate to: a)Klal Yisrael as a whole, not an individual trying to do Teshuva. b) The end of days. (The first Passuk says this explicitily, and the last two Pessukim, from Parshas Nitzavim, according to the Ramban, are a prophecy of Moshe that we will ultimately do Teshuva before the final Redemption.) Nevertheless, Rabbeinu Yonah opines that these Pessukim are just as applicable to individuals doing Teshuva at any time.
The Satmar Rebbe zt"l asks on a Passuk we read yesterday:
"ארץ אשר תמיד עיני ד' אלקיך בה מראשית השנה עד אחרית שנה"
"The Land upon which the eyes of Hashem are constantly, from the beginning of the year to the end of a year".
Why does it not say "The end of the year"? He answers, because every year at Rosh Hashanah, we decide, we make resolutions, to be better, to be different. This is the year! But, as the year drags on, we, all too often, realize - its just another year.
With Elul around the corner, we cannot afford that Hashem cast His eyes on Eretz Yisrael, once again, and sees that it was just another year.
May Hashem grant us the wherewithal to indeed make this year different. It is not too late:
תהא שנת סוף וקץ (לכל צרותינו) אכי"ר
May Klal Yisrael be Zocheh, indivually and as a whole, to return to their Father in Heaven, and in that merit may all of His, and our, enemies, be obliterated from the face of the earth.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Shaarei Teshuva VIII

ואם הרבו לפשוע ולמרוד ובגד בוגדים בגדו, לא סגר בעדם דלתי תשובה
שנאמר (ישעיה לא, ו): "שובו לאשר העמיקו סרה". ונאמר (ירמיה ג, כב): "שובו בנים שובבים ארפה משובותיכם
"...as it states - 'Return, those who have become deeply enmeshed in turning away'. And it says "Return, children who have rebelliously strayed, I will cure your rebellion."
Here, Rabbeinu Yonah, as is his Mahalach throughout the Sefer, provides Pessukim from the Neviim to support his points. The Pessukim are of a לא זו אף זו (not only x, but even y) construct, as we have seen a few times already (Maaseihem/Pish'eihem; save from punishment/retract anger; callous/rebellious/treason).
The first Passuk refers to the people who are deeply enmeshed in sin. As we said, this is descriptive of the state of mind of a פושע - ("This is as a result of being so ensnared in sin as to develop a cognitive dissonance from the consequences."). They have gone into a deep-freeze in their relationship with the Ribbono Shel Olam, and they are callous. Hashem calls to them to return.
The second Passuk - שובו בנים שובבים - refers to those who are rebellious. The Radak explains the word שובבים as מורדים - even they are given the chance to be healed - ארפה משובתיכם.
But where are the people at the lowest level - the בוגדים? The people who have tasted the Divine experience and rejected it - as we said yesterday, the "Acher"s of the world?
Well, Acher just came into my head last night when I was composing yesterday's post as an example of who might meet this lowly stature, and tonight, I saw the Gemara in Chaggiga (15a):
שאל אחר את רבי מאיר לאחר שיצא לתרבות רעה: מאי דכתיב +איוב כ"ח+ לא יערכנה זהב וזכוכית ותמורתה כלי פז - אמר לו: אלו דברי תורה, שקשין לקנותן ככלי זהב וכלי פז, ונוחין לאבדן ככלי זכוכית. - אמר לו: רבי עקיבא רבך לא אמר כך, אלא: מה כלי זהב וכלי זכוכית, אף על פי שנשברו יש להם תקנה - אף תלמיד חכם, אף על פי שסרח יש לו תקנה. - אמר לו: אף אתה חזור בך! - אמר לו: כבר שמעתי מאחורי הפרגוד: שובו בנים שובבים - חוץ מאחר.
"Acher asked Rabbi Meir after he had gone off, what does it mean when it says - "It cannot be compared to gold and glass, nor be exchanged for fine-gold utensils"? (Rabbi Meir) said to him: 'these are the words of Torah, which are difficult to acquire like utensils of gold and fine-gold, and are as easily lost as a glass utensil'. He said to him: 'Akiva your Rebbe did not say so, rather: just like gold and glass utensils, if they break, they can be fixed, so too a Talmid Chacham, even though he spoiled, he can be rectified.' He said to him - 'You too, return!' He said to him: "I already heard behind the curtain: Return, sons who have rebelliously strayed - except for Acher."
It seems that there is some kind of hint in the Passuk, some kind of מיעוט - which excludes Acher from those who are offered the opportunity to do Teshuvah. Where is this exclusion? Apparently, Acher had heard that this Passuk was limited up to the penultimate level of depth of sin - "מרידה". But not "בגידה".
This is even more explicit in the version of this story as brought in Yalkut Shimoni to Koheles (974)
אמר ליה וכל הדא חכמתא אית בך ולית את חוזר בך, אמר ליה לית אנא יכיל, אמר ליה למה, אמר ליה פעם אחת הייתי רוכב על הסוס סמוך לכותל מערבי של בית המקדש, ושמעתי בת קול יוצאה מבית קדש הקדשים מפוצצת ואומרת שובו בנים שובבים חוץ מאחר שהיה יודע כחי ומרד בי
"(Rabbi Meir) said to him, 'you have all this wisdom and you do not repent?' He said: "I cannot". He said: "Why?". He said: "Once I was riding on a horse near the Western Wall of the Beis HaMikdash, and I heard a Heavenly Voice thundering: 'Return sons who have rebelliously strayed' except for Acher, who knew my power and rebelled against me.
So, we must ask then, how does Rabbeinu Yonah know that even the בוגדים like Acher can repent? Doesn't it say that he could not?
Tosfos in Chagigah there quotes a Yerushalmi, and it is brought down in that Yalkut Shimoni as well, that tells us 'the rest of the story':
לאחר ימים חלה אתון ואמרין ליה לרבי מאיר, אזל לגביה, אמר ליה חזור בך, אמר ליה עד כדו מקבלין, אמר ליה לאו הכי כתיב תשב אנוש עד דכא עד דכדוכה של נפש, באותה שעה זלגו עיניו דמעות, שמח רבי מאיר אמר דומה לי שמתוך תשובה נסתלק
"After some days, Acher became ill. They came and told R' Meir, he went to him, he said: 'Repent!'. He said to him - 'even at this point they accept?' He said: 'Doesn't it say 'You will bring a person until he is sapped of his strength (and You say, return, ye men)' - even to the point of the soul being crushed?' At that time his eyes shed tears. Rabbi Meir rejoiced and said: ' It seems he was removed from the world while repenting."
The Maharsha says in Chagiga there: "(Acher) should not have paid attention to that (Heavenly Voice), as Rabbi Meir told him when he was ill... and we say that there is nothing that stands before Teshuvah."
The Rambam (Hilchos Avodas Kochavim 2:5) says that an Apikores cannot do Teshuvah, and the Kesef Mishneh there brings the case of Acher as a proof. However, the Pri Chadash says that he does not understand why this would be a proof, since obviously Rabbi Meir felt he could do Teshuvah, and we pay no attention to a Bas Kol when it comes to Halachic matters!
The "lomdus" of the debate between Rabbi Meir and Acher seems, then, to revolve around whether Acher's predicament should be classified as a completely new grade below מרידה - and hence excluded from the Passuk of שובו בנים שובבים, which is limited to מרידה, or merely a particularly severe, treasonous, type of rebellion, and included in the term שובבים. While the Bas Kol may have held the former, this was a matter, apparently, in the domain of the Halachic decisors, and Rabbi Meir was of the opinion that it was the latter.
It seems that Rabbeinu Yonah understood that, L'Halachah, the conclusion of the story was that Acher did repent, R' Meir felt it would be accepted, and that even this type of severe מרידה - of the יודע כחי ומרד בי variety, which he terms בגידה , is indeed but a severe form of מרידה - not an entirely new category, and hence included in the opportunity granted in שובו בנים שובבים.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Shaarei Teshuva VII

ואם הרבו לפשוע ולמרוד ובגד בוגדים בגדו, לא סגר בעדם דלתי תשובה, שנאמר (ישעיה לא, ו): "שובו לאשר העמיקו סרה". ונאמר (ירמיה ג, כב): "שובו בנים שובבים ארפה משובותיכם".

"And if they sinned many times, whether through carelessness, or rebelliousness, or treason, still He did not close the doors of Teshuva to them, as it states - 'Return, those who have become deeply enmeshed in turning away'. And it says "Return, children who have rebelliously strayed, I will cure your rebellion."

Rabbeinu Yonah goes through three states of sin of increasing severity:
a) פשע - this is serious in its own right. Of the three grades of sin that the Kohen Gadol refers to in his Vidui - חטא,עון,פשע - this is considered the worst.

We refer to a Shomer who was neglectful of his duty to guard the object as a פושע. Apparently, this word has a connotation of callous ignoring of the duty at hand, to the point of being indifferent to any consequence. This is worse than מזיד - which is intentional sin. That would mean that he is aware of what he is doing but too engrossed in the moment to consider the severity of what he is doing. A פשע is complete indifference - as if the whole matter does not relate to me, I have no responsibilities. He has erased the opening charge of the Mesillas Yesharim from his lexicon - חובת האדם בעולמו.

(This is as a result of being so ensnared in sin as to develop a cognitive dissonance from the consequences. Hence what Rabbeinu Yonah refers to earlier as "פח פשעיהם")

b) מרידה - rebellion. This seems to be someone who is יודע רבונו ומתכוון למרוד בו - "He knows his Master and intends to rebel against Him", as Rashi (Bereishis 10:9) refers to Nimrod and his ilk. These are people who have developed a desire to completely throw off the yoke of Avodas Hashem, and feel like they need to show Him that He has no dominion over them. G-d should 'get off their backs'. He cannot dictate to them what they should do. "I'll do what I want! Do something about it!"

We read about these people in last week's Parshah - ומשלם לשונאיו - "He pays back those who hate Him".

Rabbeinu Yonah (Shaar 3 sections 160-161) describes some of the people who are categorized as G-d haters.

(We can sometimes discern one of these types, cloaked in pseudo-concern for the welfare of the Jewish Nation):

"The category of G-d haters can be found sometimes also among people who do the Mitzvos and they are careful not to do any Aveirah in act and deed. If their soul feels bad, and in their heart it is difficult for them, when their friends learn Torah, and it is bad in their eyes when people serve G-d and fear Him - so just as you would say that a person who does not want that people should honor the king and serve him, that he hates the king, certainly if they've acted upon their evil thoughts in discouraging the heart of people from learning Torah and doing Mitzvos; and so too the people who do not "fargin" (untranslatable Yiddish word- it means they can't stand when others have something that they themselves don't) the honor accorded to Talmidei Chachamim who are upright and righteous, and they hate their crown of glory, or their hearts feel bad when unto them is given dominion over the generation... and certainly if they seek to denigrate their honor or humiliate them... all these are truly שונאי השם"

These people rebel against G-d. They seek to see a world in which His service, and the honor accorded His loyal servants, be diminished.

c) בגידה - treason. This is the lowest level. This is a person who was given a certain closeness to the King, had built a relationship of trust with Him, and turned around and stabbed Him in the back. This is being showered with love and bounty, and reciprocating with a slap in the face.

This is descriptive of a person who has tasted that sublime bliss, that elusive experiential element of Yahadus which propels us to greater heights, and has abused it. People like Acher - who were granted great talent and were blessed with achievement, and turned around and threw it away.

Yet, even these people have the opportunity to do Teshuvah.

Shaarei Teshuva VI

ולמדם והזהירם לשוב אליו כי יחטאו לו, לרוב טובו וישרו כי הוא ידע יצרם, שנאמר (תהלים כה, ח): "טוב וישר ה' על כן יורה חטאים בדרך"
"...And he taught them and warned them to return to Him when they sin toward Him, because of His goodness and uprightness, because He knows their Yetzer, as it says (Tehillim 25:8): 'Good and upright is Hashem; therefore He guides the sinners on the path'"
A number of comments:
1) I translated למדם as "taught" them, but I think that perhaps a more apt translation would be "prodded". This is based on what the Navi (Shoftim 3:31) calls a מלמד הבקר - a cattle prod.
[This gives us a clue on what the ultimate role of a מלמד - a teacher - is. It is to prod the student to take the path that we place before him.]
Rabbeinu Yonah is expanding on the idea of תכין לך הדרך which we talked about earlier - this prodding, cajoling, is another dimension of guiding us on the path toward Teshuva.
2) Along the same lines, הזהירם was translated as "warned", but, in reality, this word comes from the word זוהר - illumination. [זהירות - being careful, really means to be mindful - to illuminate your mind - 'to turn your brain on']. Hashem provided lampposts for us to illuminate the road to repentance even when it would have remained dark due to our wandering into some of the gloomiest parts of the forest of sin.
Those lampposts are saying -"Here! This is the way to go! Take this path!"
This is what is meant by Hashem "warning us" - it is a huge neon sign, blaring: "THIS WAY!"
3) We understand how Teshuva is an expression of the "goodness" of Hashem - but how is it part of his Yashrus? Don't we normally associate Yashrus with following the letter of the law, and "goodness" with the willingness to go beyond it? And haven't we said that Teshuva is something which is not really part of what our 'just desserts' should be?
Yerushalmi to Masseches Makkos, second Perek:
אמר רבי פינחס טוב וישר למה הוא טוב שהוא ישר ולמה הוא ישר שהוא טוב על כן יורה חטאים בדרך שמורה דרך תשובה
"R' Pinchas said - why is He good - for He is upright, and why is He upright - for He is good, 'therefore he guides sinners on the path' - that He teaches the path to Teshuva."
The Gemara seems to say that these two elements mesh, and the boundaries blur, when it comes to Teshuva. Yes, we know that we are undeserving of this opportunity. But at the same time, as Rabbeinu Yonah says - הוא ידע יצרם - He knows that our Evil Inclination provides with challenges each moment anew, and that it is a formidable foe. Yet, we are not given tests we cannot pass. Then again, there is no Tzaddik who goes through life sin-free.
It is an expression of Hashem's goodness, in that He considers it the "right" thing to do, to give us this opportunity.
This sentiment is, in essence, the Netziv's portrayal of the Avos in their role of Yesharim, in his famous Preface to Bereishis:
"היו עמם באהבה וחשו לטובתם באשר היא קיום הבריאה"
"They were with (the Nations) with love, and they were concerned for their well-being, as that maintains the existence of the world."
This is how Hashem relates to Teshuva - it is goodness, pure unadulterated goodness, that Hashem considers it, K'vayachol, the upright thing to do - as it is, ultimately, Kiyum HaB'riah.
4) Finally, fascinatingly, Rabbeinu Yonah quotes the Passuk from Tehillim above as the proof text for his first idea in the Sefer - of Hashem kindly guiding us along the road to Teshuva.
That same Yerushalmi, immediately prior to that statement of R' Pinchas, says -
תני ר' ליעזר בן יעקב או' מקלט מקלט כתיב בפרשת דרכים כדי שיהא הרוצח רואה את הכתוב והולך אמר רבי אבון כמין יד היתה מראה להן את הדרך
"A Beraisa: R' Eliezer ben Yaakov says, 'Miklat','Miklat' it would say on the crossroads, so that the murderer will see what is written and go. Rabbi Abun said - a form of a hand would show them the way"
The Yerushalmi is saying that this Passuk of טוב וישר ד' על כן יורה is referring to:
a) The guiding of a murderer to the city of refuge
b) The guiding of a sinner on the path to Teshuvah.
(Rashi on that Passuk in Tehillim quotes these two explanations.)
All of this is encapsulated by Rabbeinu Yonah's words, echoing what the Torah writes in regard to an Ir Miklat:
הכין להם הדרך
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