web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



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
Ferguson, Missouri: rioting against racism, encouraging murder
The Foul Stench of the Ferguson Fallout
Latest Judaism Stories
Dante's Vision of Rachel and Leah

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

The-Shmuz

What happened was that Frank Jr. stopped being the little babe looking with love into his father’s eyes, and the relationship took on a very different nature.

Is it possible a man could be standing in a burning building, knowing this life is in danger, and be too lazy to move?

Avram’s father was not impressed with the cleverness of his son. In fact, he was so unimpressed that he took him to Nimrod the king, who pronounced him an enemy of the state and attempted to execute him.

Strict din demands perfection. There is no room for shortcomings and no place for excuses; you are responsible.

I, the one who is housed inside this body, am completely and utterly spiritual.

When Hashem formed man, He gave him the keys to Creation. As the Midrash tells us, Hashem said to Adam, “This is your world now. You are in charge of it; take care that you don’t destroy it.”

Imagine a man who, after having a few too many drinks, gets into his car and begins driving. It takes a while before he is pulled over, but finally the police arrest him, and he stands trial for driving while intoxicated.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: