Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Free-will & Compulsion

Rav Tzadok(Tzedkas HaTzadik 43):
There are times when a person is presented with such a great test that it is impossible that he should not sin. This is described in Berachos (32a): “How could the son not sin?” This is considered an overwhelming force and the Torah says he is exempt. Also there are times when the yetzer harah seduces with such overwhelming force that it can’t be defeated. This is also described as beyond free‑will (onas). If G‑d twists a person’s heart so that he sins - that is not considered a sin at all since it was G‑d’s will. Look at what it says in Kesubos (51b) in reference to a woman being raped and she protests strongly but at the end she says that the experience was so pleasurable she would have even paid for it. Nonetheless the gemora says she is still permitted to her husband because her lust was aroused so strongly she had no free will. She is not punished even though it is prohibited – because she was forced. However a person cannot testify on himself that he didn’t have free‑will. That is because it is still possible that he did have the power to control his desires. I heard this in regard to Zimri who erred in this matter.


  1. I guess the nisayon in these cases is to not lose heart and realize that it was not your fault.

    Otherwise, this is in contradiction to "ain HaKadosh Boruch Hu ba betrunia im briyosav".

    Perhaps Esther Hamalka herself is an outstanding example of this situation.

  2. Izhbitz (including R' Tzadoq) have a very idiosyncratic view of bechirah, cheit, and aveirah lishmah.

    From :"Hakol biydei Shamayim chutz meyir'as Shamayim" hu raq lefi gevul tefisas seichel ha'adam, aval be'emes hakol biydei Shamayim ve'af yir'as Shamayim veraq be'olam hazeh histir Hashem darko.

    In Izhbitz, the only real sin is the thought that one is acting despite Hashem rather than everything being according to His Plan.


  3. Daas Torah said...

    micha said...

    Izhbitz (including R' Tzadoq) have a very idiosyncratic view of bechirah, cheit, and aveirah lishmah.
    This piece does not seem to be idiosyncratic


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