Sunday, February 1, 2009

Whence the sin?

I heard a really good vort from a bochur here in Morristown today that he heard from Rabbi Melech Zweibel over shabbos. Why is Avraham Avinu called that? There's a Rashi that says that he was oleh v'shuv constantly, which means that he traveled all over the holy land of Israel. Chassidim explain it to mean that he sinned and repented constantly, which is why he's our father. It's not that he was perfect, but he always picked himself up and got going again.
All right, you'll have to excuse me because that doesn't sound as good as the way I originally heard it. I guess my memory isn't what it once was. Oh well. Happens. This also brings up something which Crawling Axe commented a couple nights ago which was also really good.
Basically, the Friediker Rebbe was sitting in a sukkah that had been built for him by some incredibly rich guy, and when the guy came in the Rebbe said, "Next time, groan before you sin."
Good shtuff, eh? Reminds me of the R' Levi Yitzchak story which I have told everyone on the blogosphere ad infinitum, but it's relatively apropos and it's a nice story, so why not?
Basically, a bochur came to Reb Levi Yitzchak and said that he needed a tikkun for a most heinous crime. Turns out he and his girl friend had relations which are generally reserved for those of a maritial persuasion. The great defender of Israel was all ready with a tikkun when the bochur mentioned one extenuating circumstance: he had made sure his girl went to mikveh before the hanky-panky happened. The Rabbi was not impressed, and he told the bochur that he had no tikkun for him. "Whyever not?!" cried the bochur, "I did much less than other people you have given tikkunim too! I tried to do the right thing!" R' Levi Yitzchak responded that he could give no tikkun because the couple had waited a whole week to do their deed. "I can understand if you had done it right away, when she was a niddah, but to have a whole week to meditate on the enormity of your sin and still go through it?! You I can not help."
We also find this in the holy books, where it mentions that someone who says he will sin and then repent is not given the opportunity to repent. Why? Because if you think you're going to sever your relationship with G-d and then just fix it up as if nothing happened...well, you've got another thing coming. Your sin will certainly be sincere, but will your teshuva be so? Still, as the Alter Rebbe explains in Tanya, though this person is given no help, he can nevertheless repent if he truly shakes the proverbial heavens with his sincerely-felt teshuva.

I'll end off with a nice story of R' Levi Yitzchak which I have also told ad infinitum, but which might come in handy for someone or other. The great Rabbi had a son who was of marriageable age, and who consequently got many offers of marriage. His father turned all these down, but curiously enough he gave all the shadchanim who suggested matches the traditional shadchanus gelt which is usually only given when a match works. The shadchanim realized that the Rabbi had no money, and they felt bad about taking it. Besides, they figured, he doesn't seem to like our suggestions anyway, so it's really not fair to him.
When R' Levi Yitzchak noticed that no one was coming with suggestions for junior he called the head of the shadchanim and asked him what was up. The matchmaker explained, and R' Levi Yitzchak said, "Do you know how it works in heaven? You read in the Gemara that forty days before the guy is conceived (or born or something) it's announced by the angels that the son of this one will marry the daughter of this one, but then there's also the gemara which says that since the creation Hashem has spent his time arranging matches. Really, the process is that a guy's name is brought up, and angels start to scream out potential girls. Sometimes there's only one or two mentioned before the right one is found, and sometimes it takes hundreds. But until each and every single name that is supposed to be mentioned is mentioned, there's nothing doing. The same thing happens down here. Shadchanim come with potential names, and until each name that was suggested by the angels is suggested down here, there's nothing doing. That's why I pay you each time, because each potential name brings the real one a little closer."

And with that I say good night.

39 comments:

LE7 said...

Sin sin sin sin sin sin. What are we here? Snags?

The Real Shliach said...

Chas V'Shalom! I just couldn't think of anything, um, appropiate to write.

LE7 said...

Nor could I. Sinners.

The Real Shliach said...

Me? Or the snags?

LE7 said...

All of humanity.

EndOfWorld said...

thoughts of marriage in the air....

The Real Shliach said...

Well, most TRS readers seem to be pretty blameless.

Dovid said...

good stuff TRS.

LE7- Nothing snagish about it, Snags wouldn't talk about niuf.

LE7 said...

I was joking.

Dovid said...

As was I

LE7 said...

Ahhhhhh. Got me.

The Real Shliach said...

Niuf?

shmulie said...

There you go again. Using that snooty variation on appropriate.

"Ki sheva yipol tzaddik v'kom". I learn it from Dwayne Wade: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80dQekTAmIE

shmulie said...

"those of a maritial persuasion"

Like married folks? Why use five words incorrectly when two will do a better job?

The Real Shliach said...

Explain me-which snooty variation did I use?
Re: dwayne wade: I don't watch videos of the national boring association.

shmulie said...

Apropos. While giving me the attention I crave on Friday night you explained that "apropos" is just a fancy way of saying appropriate. Use of fancy when plain will do = snooty.

The Real Shliach said...

I thought that was a neat turn of phrase.

The Real Shliach said...

Truth is, apropos is more than appropriate. Appropriate can mean that something works, but it's not the only acceptable option. Apropos implies that something is fitting, that it belongs.

shmulie said...

Nothing neat about it. Cumbersome and semi-literate.

Crawling Axe said...

What’s the point of going through all the names? Why not go directly to the correct one?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Mussar without hypocrisy is not mussar

The Real Shliach said...

Shmuelie: oh please, you're just jealous.
CA: it has to be as difficult as splitting the reed sea.
Modeh: lav davka. Devarim hayotzim min halev nichnasim el halev.

e said...

Maybe I'm just stupid. I didn't get the story with the Frierdiker Rebbe and the Sukkah. What did the guy do wrong? And what did the Frierdiker Rebbe mean?

e said...

subscribing

Crawling Axe said...

They guy went to a theater (I thought it was obvious from the story). Then he came back and saw chassidim sitting and farbrenging, and inspired and overwhelmed by the contrast, sighed. To which FR answered: “You should’ve sighed before you sinned.”

Crawling Axe said...

(If going to a theater is not pas nisht enough for you, say that he went to a cabaret.)

The Real Shliach said...

e: see what CA said.
CA: I didn't know that was the story. Cool.

sarabonne said...

I didn't get either till now, glad thats in the clear, it means I can use it

e said...

wtf? Am I the only one who finds this absurd? Dude, you bloody left out a major chunk of the story.

That's like the Baal Shem Tov story when the Besh"t got into his wagon on Motzaei Shabbat and then the barren woman had a child.

sarabonne said...

So whats the bloody chunk of the story?

Crawling Axe said...

I don’t know. Seems pretty clear to me. Warsaw. Sukkos. Sigh. Theater.

Crawling Axe said...

Also, who cares how he sinned?

Have you never read Chechov?

sarabonne said...

So far it makes sense, once the theater/cabaret is included...kind of. One man goes to theater, comes back and only then, after then "sin", does he sigh. He should have groaned first (thought about what he was doing)...

sarabonne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Real Shliach said...

First of all, I only in the beginning, I didn't know the part about the theatre. Secondly, I don't think it matters. The point is the Rebbe's line.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Yeah but it's completely out of context without the theater part.

The Real Shliach said...

The theatre part adds a lot of flavor, but the story is understood without it. Obviously the guy had sinned. Obviously the guy regreted it.

Cheerio said...

those were some cool stories. although read altogether, they felt a little depressing for some reason.

The Real Shliach said...

That was the point. Kind of.