web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Middah Of Rachamim

The-Shmuz

“[Hashem] pays back His enemies in their lifetime to destroy them.” Devarim 7:10

 

Rashi explains that this pasuk means Hashem pays back His enemies in this world so that there will be nothing owed to them in the World to Come, and then they can be destroyed.

The Rishonim tell us that one of the worst punishments a person can possibly suffer is to be given his reward in this world. Since our stay on this planet is so fleeting, if a person is paid the reward for his good deeds in this world rather than in the World to Come, it is to his eternal misfortune – and something Hashem will only do in retribution for wickedness.

This concept is difficult to understand. If this person is an enemyof Hashem, why does Hashem have to pay him any reward at all, whether in this world or the Next? Why not simply destroy him?

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement. I am entitled to every benefit under the sun. I am entitled to life, health, and well-being. That is a given; that is the starting point. It’s all coming to me. And even if I grant that you have done something for me, what have you done for me lately? This attitude of entitlement strains many relationships, and creates many difficulties in our serving Hashem.

The Chovos Ha’Levavos explains that one of the realities of life is that a person isn’t entitled to anything. A person has to earn what he enjoys. We are the recipients of much good – not because we are entitled, not because anything is coming to us, but because Hashem gives freely. Hashem owes us nothing.

In reality, we are deeply indebted to Hashem for everything He does for us. If a person ever wanted to enter into judgment with Hashem, comparing what Hashem has given him versus what he has given back, even the greatest tzaddik would fall woefully short and would have no reward waiting for him. However, as long as a person lives in accordance with the Torah, then what he receives in this world remains a gift, free to him without expectation of anything in return, and his reward remains intact in the World to Come.

Therefore, this question is powerful. If the Torah describes someone as an enemy of Hashem, then Hashem should simply act with strict justice, charge him for all he received in this world, and there would be no reward left. Why does Hashem have to bother even paying him back with reward in this world?

Why Did Hashem Create This World?

The answer to this question lies in understanding why Hashem created this world.

The first, most basic understanding a person must come to if he wants to relate to Hashem is that Hashem lacks nothing. Hashem is complete. When Hashem created this world, it wasn’t for Him. It was for us. It was to give of His good to others. We are the recipients of that good. When Hashem put us on the planet, it was so that we could earn our reward in the World to Come – the ultimate good for man. There we can enjoy Hashem’s presence, there we can bask in His glory, and there we can enjoy the ultimate happiness that man can find. There is nothing in it for Hashem. Hashem is the Giver.

Hashem also recognized that man will likely veer of course during his lifetime. According to strict judgment, man should then immediately lose his lease on life. The King of kings created you and told you not to do something, but you had the audacity to violate His will. The punishment should be immediate and severe. However, man will inevitably sin, so the world cannot survive strict judgment. Therefore, Hashem created the world with the system of rachamim. Now when man fails, the middah of rachamim calls out to forgive him and overlook what he has done. According to strict judgment, of course, he is completely guilty. But rachamim says, “There were mitigating factors that influenced him – environmental, social, and personal factors.” And so Hashem has mercy.

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.

One Response to “The Middah Of Rachamim”

  1. Donald Dogan says:

    Dear Jewish Press,

    A demonstration will be held in downtown Toronto on August 9, Saturday at 12.00
    pm noon time to 3.00 pm afternoon in support of Ezidi Kurdish population who are
    subject to a genocide in the Mountain Shingal, Holy Kurdish Territories.

    The crowd will march to the American Consulate between 1.00-3-00 pm and
    disperse there depending on
    the crowd and anticipation…

    The Event is broadcast-ed as a joint demonstration supported and sponsored by
    All
    Kurdish organizations in Toronto. We also hope to see our Jewish brothers
    supporting us and standing us shaming history….

    Please invite all Kurds to Unite in the face of enemy threatening our very
    existence and the humanity….

    On Behalf of Toronto Kurdish Community Center
    Dogan Dogan
    416-938-0017

    Social Media broadcasting page for the event on Facebbok:
    https://www.facebook.com/events/445412355599605/

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Kreshnik Berisha is not Jewish but played for a German soccer team - before joining ISIS.
German Man on Trial for ISIS Membership Played On Jewish Soccer Team
Latest Judaism Stories
15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

The-Shmuz

A replica reminds a person of the original. Granted it is in miniature, and granted no one would mistake it for the original, but it carries, almost in caricature form, some semblance of the original.

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement.

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

We may not recognize the adverse affect of eating forbidden foods, but they leave an indelible imprint.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-middah-of-rachamim/2014/08/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: