Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Forced to sin?

 Avoda Zara (04b) R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: David was not the kind of man to do that act,[concerning Batsheva] nor was Israel the kind of people to do that act.[of the Golden Calf] for it is said, O that they had such a heart as this alway etc. Why, then, did they act thus? God predestined it so in order to teach thee that if an individual hath sinned and hesitates about the effect of repentance he could be referred to David, and if a community commit a sin they should be told: Go to the community.

Avoda Zara (53b) But inasmuch as the Israelites worshipped the Golden Calf, they revealed their proneness for idolatry, so when the idolaters came and worshipped Asherim they acted according to the Israelites’ bidding….But perhaps the proneness was only for the Golden Calf and for nothing else! — No; Scripture states, These be thy gods, O Israel, which proves that they lusted for many gods.


  1. it wasn't me who stole the money, it was my hand!

  2. So by sinning we emulate our holy forefathers and give ourselves the opportunity of the mitzvah of teshuvah.
    McDonald's, here I come!

  3. That is not what the gemora said!
    There is no attempt to promote sinning in general - only an explanation for two unusual sins

  4. i.e. to let off the hook the grand sins committed by our ancestors, and which are recorded in the Torah. The Golden calf was bad enough to warrant genocide of the nation, and to build a new one from Moshe alone. the sin of david was bad enough for it to cause a split in his kingdom, and for the sword to never leave his house.
    Also it says elsewhere that if a T'H sins, in the morning he is no longer a sinner. Of course, that is not to promote sinning, but to just give a carte blanche to whatever frum people choose to do.


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