Wednesday, December 2, 2020

AG Barr Breaks With Trump On Voter Fraud Allegations | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Bill Barr bashed in right-wing media after election fraud comments: 'He is either a liar or a fool or both'

Since he was confirmed as attorney general, William Barr has been somewhat of a hero in the right-wing media universe. He has assailed the Russia probe. He has talked a big game about cracking down on Antifa. He has sharply criticized the news media. On and on it goes.
But his celebrity status took a hit on Tuesday when he undercut President Trump's brazenly false contention that there was massive voter fraud in the 2020 election. Speaking to the Associated Press, Barr said that, "to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."
The statement from Barr, which merely recited a simple fact, not only cut against what Trump has been saying, but also what Trump's propagandists and allies in right-wing media have been feeding their audiences. For weeks, these media personalities have strung their audiences along, suggesting that damning proof of fraud was just around the corner. Which is why the comment from Barr stung so bad.

Greater the person the greater his lust

Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 246:6): Greater the person - the greater is his yetzer

Sukkah (052a): Abaye explained that the yetzer harah is stronger against sages than anyone else. For example when Abaye heard a certain man say to a woman, “Let us arise and go on our way.” Abaye said that he would follow them in order to keep them from sin and so he followed after them for three pasarangs across a meadow. However they simply parted from each other and he heard them say, “The way is long and the company is pleasant.” Abaye said, “If I were in that situation I could not have withstood temptation.” He went and leaned against a doorpost in deep anguish. An old man came to him and taught him: To the degree that a person is greater than others, to that degree his yetzer (evil inclination) is greater than theirs.

R’ Tzadok (Takanas HaShavim #5): The term yetzer is merely the desire of the heart while the yetzer rah is referring to those desires which are sinful.

Rav Tzadok (Resisei Layla #13): According to the degree of perfection that a person has, there is a corresponding potential for imperfection. From the time of the sin of Adam, good and evil have become intertwined and there is a direct correspondence of one to the other. Whoever has a great imperfection has the means to acquire a great perfection—if he merits it. We see this in the words of the Zohar (3 216a) that in generation of the Flood—that was destroyed because of their sin—they had the potential to be the ones to receive the Torah. Similarly Sukka (51a) states that proportional to one’s greatness is his lust which is called foolishness… Thus the greater the person’s wisdom is also the greater is his potential for foolishness. Consequently, at the time when idol worship existed we find that prophecy also existed. Just as there were revelations of the light of prophecy to see spirituality with the eye there was a lust for other G-ds that were visible to the eye. Therefore it says in Yoma (69b) that when the Men of the Great Assembly nullified the desire for idolatry they said we don’t want it or its reward. The meaning of its reward is the perfection that results from it. That is because from the time they uprooted the desire for idolatry prophecy was also uprooted. That means when there isn’t the deficiency caused by idolatry there isn’t the perfection to perceive the presence of the true G d. What is left is the concealed awareness of G d from the process of the sage is superior to the prophet which is through ruach hakodesh which is always through concealment. [Look at the Ramban to Bava Basra 12a] This is an accord with Shir HaShirim Rabbah (7:8) that G d said that a person who guards himself against the desire for sexual immorailty I will consider it as if he guarded himself also against the desire for idolatry. Nonetheless the protection from the desire for idolatry is concealed so that is why the corresponding perception is also concealed.

Rav Tzadok (Tzedkas HaTzadik #248): The essence of man is the desire he has in his heart and this is his superiority over the angels. This desire is called yetzer – and it manifests its self as the good yetzer (yetzer tov) and the bad yetzer (yetzer rah). When he strengthens his desire for good that is good and if not… Our Sages say that whoever is greater his yetzer his greater. That is because the superiority of one person over another is only according to the strength of his desire for good. That is the yetzer. The yetzer tov and the yetzer rah are balanced in strength against each other corresponding to the two chambers of the heart. The desire on the right side is for good and the left side is for evil. Therefore the yetzer rah is correspondingly as great as that for the good…

Panim Yafos (Bereishis 2:7): Our Sages (Sukka 52a) state that a person’s yetzer grows stronger everyday. Thus corresponding to the strength of the yetzer tov, the yetzer harah grows to match it. The gemora there also says whoever is greater than his fellow man his yetzer his greater than theirs. Note that it doesn’t says that he is simply greater. This is in accord with Megila (6b) that he is great only relative to others but that he is not actually a great person. In such a case his yetzer harah grows. However if he was truly a great tzadik then his yetzer harah becomes totally good…

Alshich (Vayikra 19:1-2): People have a yetzer harah. To the degree which they control it and sanctify themselves it increases in power. This is expressed by our Sages in (Sukka 52a): “Whoever is greater his yetzer is greater.” Therefore someone who is becoming spiritually great G d adds to his holiness - at first “ruach”. Later as he becomes even greater and his yetzer harah becomes stronger, he is given soul to help him…

Rav Tzadok (Pri Tzadik Parsha Parah #6): If a person realizes that he is not free of lust and his yetzer harah is growing stronger – nevertheless he should not give up and should strengthen himself as it says in Sukka (52a). Abaye was depressed because he didn’t think he could withstand sexual temptation until Eliyahu came and told him that who ever is greater than others his yetzer is greater. In fact to the degree to which a person protects himself against the yetzer harah there is a growing strength of the yetzer harah to maintain a balance. However G d doesn’t leave a person in its control since G d is always fair (Avoda Zara 3a). The yetzer harah of each and every person is not given greater strength the person has to resist and he always has the power to overcome it. Therefore a person should never give up and should resist and strengthen himself not to become depressed…

Avnei Milium (Introduction):… Our Sages say that whoever is greater his yetzer is greater. That is because there is no comparison of one who has bread in his basket to one who doesn’t. When the spirit is closed in, it makes a greater effort to break through the restrictions and escape. Therefore one who holds to the path of Torah without letting his lust to express itself – does not have bread in his basket because it is highly unlikely for him to do a really disgusting sin. Therefore his yetzer harah becomes stronger and the power of his lust which is being restrained is aroused to escape the restraints and act. It is different with a person who is not a tzadik since his yetzer harah has bread in its basket. Meaning the yetzer harah has the ability to influence through lust. Since the yetzer harah is not locked in, it doesn’t make efforts to go out. This is what Tosfos (Kiddushin 31a) concerning that the one who is commanded has a greater yetzer. That is the one who is not commanded to do the mitzva has bread in his basket because if he wants he can ignore the mitzva. However it is known that one who gets habituated to constant pleasure that it is no longer pleasing to have the same thing every day. Therefore the power of lust and its strategies change every day as is known that the way of drunkards is to search new ways to get pleasure…

Rav Tzadok (Pri Tzadik Parsha Teruma 8): Sotah (3a) says that a person doesn’t sin unless a spirit of insanity enters him… The issue of lust is that it is in fact insanity and foolishness because that which is desired is in fact something disgusting. This is mentioned in Shabbos (152a) that a woman is like a pitcher full of filth and her mouth is full of blood. Thus we see that the focus of lust is in reality repulsive and yet the sinner desires it for himself in order to fulfill his lust for a moment. By giving into his lust he is actually losing the good in the World to Come – and there is no greater stupidity and foolishness than that… Sukka (52a) says that a talmid chachom is most pressured by his yetzer harah as it says that whoever is greater than others his yetzer is greater than theirs. Why does the yetzer distress a talmid chachom more and why is his yetzer greater than others? We said before that yetzer refers to ones desire as in the verse “The desire of the thoughts of the heart.” G d created man with a yetzer, which is inextricably, entwined with desire. However the choice is given to man to desire holy things or the opposite – G d forbid! In the generation of the Flood it says “and all the desire of the thoughts of his heart was only for evil all day.” Thus we see that they chose to have desire and want only evil… It says in the Zohar (1:137a) that in the future the yetzer will be nullified but not entirely… As it says that if it weren’t for the yetzer harah there would not be any joy of learning. This in fact is the purpose of the yetzer that there should be desire and longing for the Torah. That is why it says in the gemora that if you meet the yetzer harah you should drag it into the study hall. In other words you should transfer the desire and lust so that it will be for Torah. Therefore one who is greater than others is because he has put his lust more into desire for Torah. Since there is a principle of balance it also means that there is a growth of desire in the opposite direction. In contrast some one who has not made himself great by increasing his desire and lust for Torah, his desire for the bad has also not grown…

Baal Shem Tov (Parshas Noach): When the guest sees that the father gets pleasure from this activity and the guest wants the father to have more pleasure – he challenges the son further. He asks more questions which are even stronger and involve new issues. The son responds to the challenge and answers all the questions. This is what is meant that whoever is greater than his fellow he has a greater yetzer. Our Sages (Bava Basra 16a) say that Satan works for the sake of Heaven. The parable is obvious that when the tzadik controls the yetzer harah, G d receives pleasure from it. The yetzer harah responds by offering increasingly greater challenges - to which the tzadik responds by defeating it. This is the meaning of Megila (18a) that G d called Yaakov “ail” (a divinity). The term “ail” is a language of strength and might (Yevamos 21a). … This is also why a tzadik is called a gibor (hero) in that he conquers his yetzer (Avos 4:1). And in the future the tzadikim will see that their yetzer harah is like a mountain (Sukka 52a). At that point the power of the tzadikim will be obvious to all since they have conquered this great mountain. It is also possible that in the future that everyone will call tzadikim “ail”.

Ksav Sofer (Vayikra 22:27): Our Sages say that whoever is greater than his fellows his yetzer is greater. It is very difficult for a tzadik to do a mitzva and to control his yetzer. But according to the trouble is the reward and their reward is very great because of this… It is know that there is much greater effort involved to plow and to seed on steep mountains rather than on level ground. But corresponding to the effort the fruit is much better. That is because the rain and snow falls on them and the are closer to the sun which causes them to grow and ripens them.

Ben Yohoyada (Sukka 52a): An old man taught him that whoever is greater than others - his yetzer his greater. There is an obvious question. How was Abaye comforted by these words? If in fact his yetzer harah was greater than the young couple - who didn’t give into temptation – he also had greater power than they to break and conquer it. Why did Abaye assume that he would not have been able to resist temptation as they did? In fact it was so insignificant to them that they didn’t even notice that they had withstood temptation. It seems to me that his assumption that he wouldn’t have withstood the temptation is simply because he never had been exposed to such a situation. He had never even thought about it before. Therefore he wasn’t speaking from experience but just assumed that he would not have withstood temptation. However this situation happened to them regularly and therefore it was not surprising to them.

Maharsha (Kiddushin 81a): There is no question that the yetzer harah has greater effect on great people as the gemora says that the greater a person is the greater is yetzer. But the Torah protects from suffering and saves from sin as it states in Sotah (21a).

Me’or V’Shemesh (Parshas Re’ah): All the days of a man’s life he has a great battle with his yetzer harah who wants to make him fall and sin. Therefore a man has to strengthen himself against it and to encourage his yetzer tov over his yetzer harah. Even great tzadikim have a great battle with their yetzer harah. Even though the yetzer harah cannot get them to do a disgusting sin such as adultery or theft or murder, nevertheless he can succeed in sublte matters. That is because the greater a person is his yetzer harah is greater to cause him to stumble in a subtle and small point – and it will be considered as a major sin for him. Thus in fact small and great people are equal in their need to strengthen themselves and guard themselves from the seduction of the yetzer harah their entire life. However in the Future the yetzer harah will be nullified. At that time the tzadikim will be at peace and secure in enjoying G d…

Nefesh HaChaim (3:4 42): A person need to be exceedingly careful in these matters and things similar. Our Sages (Sukka 52a) stated that the greater a person is the greater is his yetzer. That is because the yetzer harah searches for tactics against all men according to their nature and level in Torah and serving G d.  If the yetzer harah sees that because of the person’s greatness - that if he tries to persuade him to not act according to his level and to do a sin he would not be listened to. Therefore the yetzer harah searches ways to appear as if he were the yetzer tov (good inclination). He tries to blind the intelligence and to inject his poison and to cause the person to err according to the person’s high level. The yetzer harah will show the person a path which at first glance will appear to be the way of righteousness and spiritual elevation. The person will fall into the net like a bird in a trap without too much thought. He will not be aware that he will pay for his actions with his life and that he is on the way to spiritual death – G d forbid!

Rav Tzadok (Machshavos Charutz #8): This that it says in Chagiga (15a) and Sotah (22a) and Bava Basra (16a) that G d created tzadikim and He created the wicked, seems to contradict Nida (16b) which says that it is not predetermined whether someone will be wicked or righteous? However Berachos (48a) says that “every pumpkin can be known from its stalk.” It is possible to recognize even in children whether there is the beginning of a good nature of a person who will go in right way while there are other children who have the opposite tendencies. These tendencies are included in “whether he will be a wise man or a fool.” This is not whether he is wise in secular knowledge but rather in the true wisdom of Torah. In other words whether he will conduct himself according to what is right from the aspect of wisdom. This is not the issue of free will of being a tzadik or wicked. That is because someone who is by nature a tzadik, still has an evil inclination which grows everyday and he can change into a wicked person (Kiddushin 30b) through his free will. Similarly a person who is naturally wicked has the free will to control his evil inclination and return to G d and to merit the status of a baal teshuva. G d doesn’t deny anyone the opportunity for reward. That is why the greater a person is the stronger is his evil inclination (Sukka 52a). This is why the yetzer harah is seen as a mountain by the tzadikim – because in fact their yetzer harah becomes incredibly powerful corresponding to the their natural tendency to good that they were born with. That is why the tzadikim cry in the future when they see the yetzer harah and they will say how is it possible to conquer so a powerful force… But why do they cry – shouldn’t they rejoice that they overcame this great mountain? The reason is that the tzadikim thought that they succeed through their own efforts but now they realize the truth. They would not have been able to overcome this great mountain if it weren’t for G d helping them. Thus they realize that it all was dependent on G d’s help. Therefore they cry because of their error - that in this world that they didn’t merit to recognize the principle which is the recognition of the place where the baalei teshuva stand.