Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Use of deception to get mitzvos & spiritual perfection

Shaarei Teshuva(482:2): It says in Bava Metzia (62a) that your needs come before that of other people even in a matters of life and death. This is learned by R’ Akiva in the case of two people in the desert with a single container of water from the verse of “Your brother shall live with you” - which means that his life is secondary to yours. So if this principle is true in physical issues then surely it is true in spiritual issues. (This is written in Igros Shmuel to Megila Ruth. He says that Boaz knew by ruach hakodesh that Ruth would be the ancestress of the Davidic kings and therefore he described her as a Moabite in order that she would be rejected for marriage and he could marry her and he would merit having the royal descendants. Even though it is prohibited for someone to deceive others even to take that which is rightfully his. But that prohibition is in monetary matters but not concerning mitzvos. Even though it is impossible to take a mitzva away from someone who already has obtained the rights to it such as mila, nevertheless if no one has actually claimed the mitzva yet then it is viewed as a wilderness and available to all and everyone has the obligation to perfect his soul and merit having mitzvos. We see this principle also with Yaakov and how he took the rights of the first-born and the berachos since he knew that Esav was headed to do evil and Yaakov needed them to reach spiritual perfection as is explained by the Akeidas Yitzchok…).


  1. I don't understand the source - isn't ST organized by shaar?

  2. This is not the mussar sefer by Rabbeinu Yona but the commentary found in the Mishna Berura

    R. Chaim Mordechai Margulies was born to a well-known rabbinical family ca. 1780, and died in 1820. He studied in the yeshiva of Brody, and was later appointed as the rabbi of Dubna, where he served until his death. His brother, too, was a noted Torah scholar (R. Ephraim Zalman Margulies, author of Yad Ephraim on the Shulchan Aruch). R. Chaim's Sha'arei Teshuvah was printed in Dubna in 1820. This work anthologies more than 100 works of responsa, and thus serves as an extension of the Be'er Hetev. Sha'arei Teshuvah is frequently used by halakhic authorities, and since its initial printing it has appeared in most editions of the Shulchan Aruch.

  3. doesn't this gemara prove that your life comes first ONLY in matters of life and death??

    otherwise why would one ever be chayav to do chesed?


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