web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Merit Of Others


The-Shmuz

“And Hashem spoke to Moshe saying, “Go down, for your nation that you have brought up from Egypt, has sinned.” – Shemos 32:7

Moshe Rabbeinu was the greatest human being who ever lived. The Rambam tells us that of all the prophets he alone was able to speak to Hashem directly. Normally, a prophet must go into an altered state of consciousness to experience Hashem. Otherwise the experience would cause sensory overload, and he would die. Moshe was able to speak to Hashem in a totally clear, conscious state of mind. At any time, he could approach Hashem and speak, experiencing Hashem as I do a neighbor or friend. Moshe was also granted access to the entire Torah, in all its depths and secrets.

Right after the sin of the Golden Calf, Hashem told Moshe, “Go down.” Rashi explains this didn’t simply mean, “Go down to see what the nation is up to. Rather, Go down from your greatness. You have lost access to the upper worlds. The ability to enter the Beis Din of Heaven has been taken from you. I only gave you that access because of Klal Yisrael. They are no longer worthy, so you must go down.”

This Rashi becomes difficult to understand when we take into account that Moshe was on a fantastic level because of his actions and ways. He spent his life dedicated to serving Hashem. Clearly, this access to the upper worlds and his ability to perceive and understand Torah were things he had earned. So why should they be taken from him?

The answer to this can be better understood by focusing on the relationship we have to one another.

Two Systems in the World to Come

Chovos HaLevovos explains that there are two systems of measurement in the World to Come, the internal and the external. The internal system is based on my personal growth: improving my character traits, increasing my awareness of Hashem, learning Torah, etc. The external system is based on merits outside of myself: how much I affected others and the influence that I had on people. These are accomplishments that don’t directly change my state of spirituality, but because I was the cause of them, they are credited to me.

As an example, Chovos HaLevovos describes two individuals. The first has sterling character traits, is steeped in Torah knowledge, and is so great that he can be compared to the angels above. The second individual is a plain person. He’s nowhere near as developed in his service to Hashem as the first man. Yet when they both come to the World to Come, the second individual will tower over the first.

Why? Because the first person brings with him his own merit while the second toiled to improve others. Therefore, he has his own merit plus the merits of all of those whom he helped.

A mashol to this would be looking at how people become wealthy. In 2001, Microsoft Corporation reported 40 billion dollars in excess cash. That means money that was not needed for operating expenses, research and development, or marketing – extra money. Bill Gates, as the largest single shareholder of the company, had become one of the richest men in the world with billions of dollars in discretionary income. It would take a successful lawyer, doctor, or account 10,000 years of hard work to earn that kind of wealth. The question is, how does a person acquire so much money?

The answer is that he cannot. No single man can ever earn that type of prosperity. The secret to building wealth is to have other people on your payroll. A successful dentist can drill, fill and bill, but he is only one man doing a job. Bill Gates had 20,000 workers in his employ. In a good market, with a good product and a team of thousands churning it out, your profits will be multiplied exponentially, and you can realize that which no single individual can even dream of.

This is how the Chovos HaLevavos explains these two individuals. The first person may have been great, but he was working for himself. He was a one-man operation. While he may have attained prominence, it was limited. The second man had many people in his employ. Because of him, many people grew closer to Hashem. And since their growth came about because of him, he is credited with it, so he is fantastically rich in merit.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of the Shmuz.com – The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at the www.theShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


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 “The Merit Of Others”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressing Congress.
The “Esther Moment” and Why There is Nothing “Random” About This Day
Latest Judaism Stories
wine

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

Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

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

Esther Denouncing Haman

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

Niehaus-022715

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

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

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 avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

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)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

The-Shmuz

While it may appear that man is in charge, Hashem orchestrates every activity on the planet

Hashem placed this world at man’s disposal. In a real sense, man is the steward of Creation.

He is fully aware that who he will be for eternity is in his hands.

How can the Da’as Zekeinim say this was Hashem’s plan to allow them to become the Torah Nation? We know it was actually a punishment.

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

It is exactly like that of an animal, with all of the passions and desires necessary to drive man though his daily existence.

How did their hatred toward the Jews make their own lives disgusting? It’s the Jews they hated, not themselves.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-merit-of-others/2013/02/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: