web analytics
March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sponsored Post

Home » Judaism » Parsha »

May One Transgress To Restore Shalom Bayis?


In this week’s parshah, Parshas Naso, the Torah discusses the halachos of a sotah. The Torah’s prescribed process includes grinding a scroll that has the parshah of the sotah written on it, mixing it with water, and having the sotah drink from it. Hashem’s name is included in the parshah. Generally there is an issur de’oraisa to erase Hashem’s name, but here the Torah explicitly permits it.

The Gemara says that Hashem allows His name to be erased for the sake of peace between a man and his wife. The Gemaras in Makkos 11a and Sukkah 53b relate that when Dovid HaMelech began to lay the foundation for the Beis HaMikdash, the waters of the deep began to flood the world. Dovid HaMelech was unsure whether it was permitted to write Hashem’s name on a plank and throw it into the waters so that they would subside. Achitofel then made this kal vachomer: if, for the sake of peace between a man and his wife Hashem allows His name to be erased, then surely He would allow his name to be erased for the sake of saving the entire world. Dovid HaMelech did so and the waters subsided.

The question has been raised whether it would be permitted to transgress other prohibitions for the sake of restoring peace between a man and his wife. The Rashba (Teshuvos 1:854) discusses whether one who swore that he would divorce his wife must keep his oath, or may he break it in order to restore peace between himself and his wife. The questioner argued that since we see that the Torah allowed one to transgress the prohibition of erasing Hashem’s name for the sake of peace in the home, perhaps other prohibitions would similarly be permitted as well.

The Rashba answered him this way: only regarding a scenario relating to a sotah is it permitted to erase Hashem’s name for the sake of restoring peace between a man and his wife. Permission is not granted to violate any prohibition in the Torah – including erasing Hashem’s name – under any other scenario that would bring about peace between a man and his wife.

The Rashba explains that this exclusive permission is granted because the Torah is “removing doubt and preventing issur.” Conversely, in the case whereby one swore to divorce his wife, we would enforce his oath and compel him to divorce his wife.

The Rama (Teshuvos, siman 100, os 10) quotes from Rav Hai Gaon, who says that it is only permitted to erase Hashem’s name in the cases of 1) a sotah and 2) saving the world, while it is impermissible to transgress any other aveirah in the Torah. Rav Hai Gaon uses the same terminology as the Rashba: by sotah it is “removing doubt and preventing issur.”

The Rama explains this as follows: According to some, the prohibition of erasing Hashem’s name only applies when it is done in a destructive manner. According to these views, one may erase Hashem’s name in order to fix it, for this is not destructive. Erasing Hashem’s name in order to restore peace between a man and his wife, or to save the world, is a constructive purpose. Therefore, under these circumstances, erasing Hashem’s name does not even fall under the prohibition. But one may never transgress any other prohibition, even if it will restore peace between a man and his wife. Thus one may not defy his oath in order to restore shalom.

In a different Teshuvah (11), however, the Rama says that we may apply this logic to transgress the aveirah of motzi shem ra (slander) in order to restore peace between two communities. In other words, one may disobey the aveirah of motzi shem ra if it will result in restoring shalom between others. He explains that this is because erasing Hashem’s name is a greater aveirah than motzi shem ra – and since one may erase Hashem’s name for the sake of shalom, he can surely transgress the aveirah of motzi shem ra. This seemingly contradicts what the Rama wrote explaining Rav Hai Gaon.

Perhaps the Rama does not rule in accordance with Rav Hai Gaon. Additionally, I would add that the Gemara in Chullin 141a applies this logic in order to give preference to performing one assei instead of another. The Gemara says that since we see that the Torah allows Hashem’s name to be erased for the sake of restoring shalom between a man and his wife, the assei of a metzora should outweigh the assei of shiluach hakan – since the performance of the metzora’s assei will constitute shalom bayis.

This Gemara indicates that the explanation of the logic behind why the Torah allowed Hashem’s name to be erased is not because the erasing is constructive; rather, it is because restoring shalom between a man and his wife is superior to other mitzvos.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “May One Transgress To Restore Shalom Bayis?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Megillat Esther
The Origins of Purim
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

To the glee of all Israel haters it was Netanyahu who was accused of endangering US-Israel relations

Ki Tisa_lecture

Over and over, the text tells us about “keeping” Shabbat, about holiness, and a covenant – but why?

Aaron and  The Golden Calf by James Tissot

Aharon’s guilt with the golden calf is not clear-cut. What if Moshe were in his brother’s place?

Rabbi Sacks

The Sabbath is a full dress rehearsal for an ideal society that has not yet come to pass-but will

When Hashem told Moshe of the option to destroy the people and make him and his descendants into a great nation, Hashem was telling Moshe that it is up to him.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

An Auto Accident
‘All Agree That They Are Exempt’
(Kesubbos 35a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Why would the exemption of women from donating the half shekel exempt them from davening Musaf?

This concept should be very relevant to us as we, too, should be happy beyond description.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

One can drink up to the Talmud’s criterion to confuse Mordechai and Haman-but not beyond.

“The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav” gives great insight to Purim

Purim is the battleground of extremes, Amalek and Yisrael, with Zoroastrian Persia in between.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.


The Aruch Laner asks: How can Rashi say that the third Beis Hamikdash will descend as fire from heaven when every Jew prays several times a day for the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash?

The Ohr Hachayim rules that one may not manipulate the system; rather he must state his opinion as he see the ruling in the case; not as he would like the outcome of the verdict to become.

He suggests that the general admonition only dictates that a father may not actively enable his son to perform an aveirah.

Rather than submit to this fate and suffer torture and humiliation, Shaul decided to fall on his sword.

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

The Brisker Rav suggests that the barad, in fact, only fell on people, animals, and vegetation.

Why is it necessary to perform an aveirah punishable by lashes in order to be deemed a legal rashah and be pasul l’eidus m’d’Oraisa?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/may-one-transgress-to-restore-shalom-bayis/2014/05/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: