Tuesday, January 19, 2010

EJF:To prevent Chillul HaShem - transgressing Torah & even idolatry are permitted

Concerning the chillul hashem resulting from the Tropper scandal - it is important to note how seriously Chazal view chillul hashem. In Yevamos (79a) it is noted that Dovid executed Shaul's sons and left the corpses hanging for a long time to avoid the chillul hashem caused by Shaul's indirectly causing gerim diffulty. In Sanhedrin (107a) it describes that Dovid was apparently willing to become an idolater to avoid the chillul hashem that would result if his son killed him.

While both gemoras clearly require much more study, the message of our Sages is clear. Chillul hashem is worse than violating the Torah and it is worse than idolatry. The fact that there are those  whose "solution" to this international chillul hashem is "don't talk about it and it will go away" is simply incredible.

And Ritzpah took sackcloth and spread it on a rock for herself - from the beginning of the harvest until the rainy season began and she did not allow the birds to rest on the corpses by day or the wild animals at night (Shmuel 2’ 21:10). But how could it be that the corpses of Shaul’s sons remained hanging on the gallows day after day? This is specifically prohibited by the Torah (Devarim 21:23). R’ Yochanon said in the name of R’ Shimon ben Yehotzadak, “It is better that one letter of the Torah be uprooted in order that the name of heaven be publicly sanctified. Those passers-by who saw the corpses hanging would ask what type of people were they? They would be told that they were princes. They then asked what did they do that they were executed? They would then be told that their punishment was related to harm done to gerim. When they heard that they said, “There is no other nation that is more worthwhile to join than the Jewish one because if they punish princes for the mistreatment of gerim then surely they will punish commoners and if they do justice for gerim then surely they will do it for Jews from birth.

Sanhedrin(107a): Dovid wanted to worship idols [so that people would think he was wicked]… However Chushi the Archite came to meet him with his coat ripped and dirt on his head. He said to Dovid, “Shall people say that a king like you has worshipped idols?” Dovid answered, “But should a king like myself by killed by his own son [causing people to question G‑d’s justice]? It is better that I worship idols [and I alone sin and lose my reputation] than the name of Heaven be profaned [because many will become idolators if I don’t].” Chushi asked, “So why did you marry a marry a yofas to’ar [non-Jewish woman captured in battle]? Dovid replied that the Torah permits it. Chushi said, “Don’t you make Torah interpretations based on the proximity of verses? The permission to marry a Yosef’s to’ar is in proximity with the discussion of a rebellious son and we learn from this that the offspring of a yofas to’ar will be a rebellious son.”

Vayikra Rabbah(22:6): ...We find that G-d showed indulgence towards idolatry but that He never condoned chillul Hashem...


  1. Very good, and what if Rav Druckman's backers cite this argument too, vis a vis those who annuled his converts and shattered their lives?

  2. Would this also apply to this very enterprising israeli who promised a Ger a job where he would be able to keep shabbat (since the Ger just lost his employment because of Shabbat issues) and then cheated him out of most of his savings? Of course, the job never existed...

    I don´t think so. I think those are just tales of ancient times...

    They do not apply any more, neither in the frey, nor in the frum world.

  3. This is related to "Es la'asos l'Hashem, heferu Torasecha" which has not been applicable since the early Gemara times. So it's nice to recall but has no practical relevance today.

  4. The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

    This is related to "Es la'asos l'Hashem, heferu Torasecha" which has not been applicable since the early Gemara times. So it's nice to recall but has no practical relevance today.
    Not so. Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 2)is based on this as is many practices that are deemed necessary.

  5. The turning over and execution of Shaul's sons caused me tremendous pain when I was younger and had time to think about such things. Can anyone out there explain to me what really went on?


  6. Does Shulchan Aruch permit idolatry?
    I bet you $50 that if Rambam saw this post, he would mock you, and dismiss this aggadic text as non halachic.

  7. Who decides what a "Chilul Hashem" is, and when it reaches such a level that Torah should be disregarded in order to either avenge for it or prevent it from further being spread?

    The Chilul Hashem of what scum like Tropper or Kassin or Mondrowitz have done is puny in comparison to the Chilul Hashem of the silence each person who presents himself as "Rabbi"...ie someone who claims via his very name to represent what Judaism stands for.

    Unless there is a strong, dramatic, public stand by all of our leaders against these people and all who are like them, then the gentiles will know they are right when they say we are a nation of moral degenerates.

  8. Perhaps the biggest chilul hashem of all is narcissism of our communities and manhigim.

  9. Eddie said...

    Does Shulchan Aruch permit idolatry?
    I bet you $50 that if Rambam saw this post, he would mock you, and dismiss this aggadic text as non halachic.
    Rambam (Hilchos Mamrim 2:4): The courts have the power to uproot these Rabbinic laws for a temporary suspension – even though it is a lesser court than that which created the Rabbinic decrees. That is because these rabbinic decrees should not be treated more strictly than the words of Torah itself. Because concerning the words of Torah, every court has the ability to uproot them for a temporary suspension.
    For example if a court sees the need to strengthen religion and to make a protective decree to prevent the people from transgressing Torah law – they can hit and punish not according to the law. However their decrees can not be established permanently for all generations and they can not say that this decree is the halacha – rather than just an emergency measure. Similarly if they see the need for a temporary measure to nullify a positive mitzva or to transgress a negative commandment - in order to bring the masses back to religious observance or to save the masses from some other violation – they can make temporary measures for the needs of those times. Just as a doctor amputates a hand or foot in order that the person recover – so too beis din is allowed to rule for a particular society to transgress some of the commandments on a temporary basis in order that the society be preserved. This is what our Sages said, “Violate one Shabbos in order that the person will be able to observe Shabbos on many other occasions.”

  10. To Beel,

    It's not just the gentiles who will talk. Today's Jewish youth get all the news they need. I'm sure more will continue to be disgusted with the dishonesty of their world and choose to leave it behind unless the leaders stop acting in such a cowardly manner.

    After more and more scandals have broken and been ignored, silence concerning tropper could be the final nail in the coffin of their frumkeit for many. They need to witness frum who live as they are taught to live in yeshiva.

    The bystander effect here is glaringly obvious among the Jewish clergy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect). The more people who witness this horror, the more an individual Rabbi will justify his silence. He will say, "With so many people aware of this, surely somebody will step forward to condemn them. Why should I risk anything?"

  11. Yes, Daas Torah = however, I am pretty sure that neither a Court nor a Prophet can ever allow idolatry. My analogy is that Idolatry is always Yehareg v'lo Y'avor, whatever the circumstances. Is there a source that permits it?

  12. Daas Torah you think your causing a kiddush hashem???

    so twisted!!!

  13. משפט כהן (ענייני ארץ ישראל סימן קמד:יב). וע"ד האגדה דסנהד' ק"ז א', בקש דוד לעבוד ע"ז, שנדחקתי לומר דבמסקנא לא קאים הכי דוד, ושחושי הארכי חלוק עליו בזה והודה לו, ומ"ש מ"ט נסבת יפ"ת א"ל גם לפי שיטתו, ובאמת הוא דוחק, אבל מוטב להכנס בדוחק מלחשוב לדבר של קיום, שיש בעולם איזה צד של היתר לע"ז, אפילו בשביל שום דבר גדול שבעולם, מאחר שראינו הדלת הזאת נעולה היא ג"כ בפני כל נביא, ואפילו בשביל למגדר מילתא. ומסתברא דגם משום הסרת חילול השם, וכמו כן משום שום ענין של קידוש השם, אי אפשר שיהי' צד היתר על ע"ז, חלילה, אפילו לשעה אחת, ואפילו למגדר מילתא. ואין לך קידוש השם גדול מאלי' בהר הכרמל, וע"ז שנינן ביבמות צ' למגדר מילתא שאני, ומ"מ הכל הוא בגדר הנביא המוחזק, שעל כל עבירה לשעה שמע לו חוץ מע"ז, שאפילו אומר היום עבדוה ולמחר בטלוה אל תשמע לו, ומבואר דהיינו כעין אליהו בהר הכרמל, דהוי ודאי קידוש השם. והרי כשם שאנו אומרים ביבמות שם מוטב שתעקר אות אחת מה"ת ולא יתחלל ש"ש בפרהסיא, כן אמרינן שם מוטב שתעקר אות אחת מה"ת ויתקדש ש"ש בפרהסיא, ובירושלמי קדושין פ"ד ה"א איתא גדול הוא קידוש השם מחילול השם, א"כ משמע שמצות קידוש השם גדולה יותר מהעבירה של חילול השם, וכיון שבקידוש השם אמרינן דלגבי ע"ז ל"מ שום היתר ע"פ נביא, גם למגדר מילתא, ק"ו שאין מועיל שום היתר בזה כדי שלא יתחלל ש"ש, וכבר ביארתי שנביא וחכם הם שוים בזה מסוגיא דיבמות צ' הנ"ל, וא"כ ל"ה שום היתר לדוד בזה. והארכתי בכ"ז, כדי שלא נדחוק לומר דדוקא בסתם ענין של מגדר מילתא לא מצינו היתר בע"ז לשעה, אבל משום קידוש השם דרבים או להסיר ח"ה אולי שאני, וממש"כ מבואר שהוא יסוד מוסד, שאין שום צד היתר בזה. ומתוך כך נדחקתי לומר, דעכ"פ חזר בו דוד מהוראה זו, כי היכי דלא לאוקמי את דוד וחושי הארכי דלא כהלכתא בענין עקרי כזה. ולא בחרתי בתירוצו של כת"ר, שכתב שלא בקש לעבוד אלא לשמים, שחוץ ממה שהוא נדחק הרבה בלשון אין זה מחוור ע"פ הדין, דנהי דהיכי שאינו יודע שהוא ע"ז, וסבור ביהכ"נ הוא והשתחוה לה, אין כאן איסור ע"ז כלל, כיון דלבו לשמים, ומה שהפעולה היתה פעולת השתחויה לע"ז אין זה כלום, כיון דלא ידע מזה וסבור שביהכ"נ הוא. אבל כשידע שהוא ע"ז, הלא ע"ז שנינו: הפוער עצמו לפעור זוהי עבודתה, הזורק אבן למרקוליס זוהי עבודתו, אע"ג דמתכוין לבזויי ולמרגמא, כסנהדרין ס"ד א', ומסתמא כמו שבעבודות, שהן דרך עבודתה, אין משגיחים על מחשבתו, אלא כיון שעשה את הפעולה של העבודה חייב, כיון שידע שעושה פעולה זו לעומת הע"ז שדרכה בכך, כן הדבר נוהג בהשתחואה שהיא מד' העבודות שחייבים עליהן גם כשלא כדרכן, כדאמרי' התם ס' ע"ב, וכמו דמכוין לבזויה חייב, משום דכל שיודע שהוא עושה את פעולתו בפני ע"ז אינו דומה לסבור ביהכ"נ הוא, מסתבר דה"ה כשמכוין לשמים חייב, דלא בתר מחשבתו אזלינן כ"א בתר מעשיו, כ"ז שיודע שהיא ע"ז.


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