I am free, therefore I am.
Hands pulling on rope during game of tug-of-war by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt. The second Torah ideal is to avoid speaking negatively about another — Lashon Harah. And yet perhaps even more jarring, are the words of the Panim Meiros on the Yerushalmi in Horios 3: The Panim Meiros states as follows: Gedaliah caused his own death.
He was, himself to blame, not only for his death but for the deaths of many others. When people erroneously forbid information from being disseminated on account of thinking that it is Lashon Horah — terrible tragedies result. When people think that it is absolutely forbidden to pass on necessary information, people cannot take protective measures.
At times this too can be quite devastating. It is a perhaps little known fact, but he was also a Navi. Rarely if ever do we find such testimony as to the stature of any individual.
Hashem himself is his character witness.
The future of Klal Yisroel was in the hands of this great Tzaddik and Gadol. His decisions were of paramount importance. Notwithstanding his greatness and piety, and the fact that he was a prophet of Hashem, Chazal tell us that he made a crucial error in halacha and in its application.
The consequences were quite grave indeed. Gedaliah and all his men were brutally murdered Yirmiyahu Indeed, the repercussions of his error are still felt to this day. The repercussions are felt in two ways. Firstly, they are felt in exact ramifications of his miscalculation — that the nation of Israel ceased to be an independent nation.
But secondly, we still have not learned from his example. To this day, there are many well-meaning people who misapply the notion of Lashon HaRah in ways that can cause Klal Yisroel to err and err again.
We thus violate the Torah Mitzvah of lo Saamod al dam rayacha. This is not to say, Chalilah that we should ignore the halachos of Lashon HaRah.
But we must realize that there are times when we should and must sound warning bells.
We may not exaggerate, but we must warn. This is a remarkably thought- provoking notion.
The conclusions from this are quite clear. Firstly, the greatest of our leaders can and have erred in regard to this fine line between protecting Klal Yisroel and violating lashon Horah. There are times that it is crucial and imperative that information be given to ward off potential harm to others.
At the same time, there are situations where it is forbidden for people to believe the information, even though they may act upon it to protect themselves. There are also times when the information should not disseminated. No matter what, however, the decision should be made in consultation with Talmidei Chachomim who are attuned to the need to protect others.
The unfortunate reality is that history repeats itself. In the past various Jewish media have responsibly reported information to warn others.
The information ranged from warning about financial charlatans who prey on people in our community, about molesters who prey on children in our community, and about other dangers that can and have resulted in Chilul Hashem. Today, is a day instituted by Chazal about avoiding the tragic error of ignoring warnings and shooting the messenger.
Certainly, there is a profound lesson for all of us to be learned from here. Chazal place the blame of the tragedy on Gedaliah himself.
We should all take heed of this important lesson. The author can be reached at yairhoffman2 gmail.According to Jewish law, a sefer Torah (plural: Sifrei Torah) is a copy of the formal Hebrew text handwritten on gevil or klaf (forms of parchment) by using a .
Every year, we endeavor to re-experience the spiritual transformation the Jewish people underwent years ago from the moment they left Egypt to the moment they received the Torah at Sinai.
Dec 03, · Having discarded the Torah observance of her youth to intermarry, she still feels drawn to this one last vestige of Jewish practice.
Sarah confesses that she feels like a hypocrite, and she wonders whether she angers God by standing before Him on the Day of Atonement when she is not even fasting, and when her whole life is a rejection of His. The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals and Lincoln Center Synagogue are proud to present a panel discussion on Conversion to Judaism with Rabbi Hayyim Angel, Rabbi Yona Reiss, and .
Jewish Ideals in the Torah and Nevi'im Both the Torah and the Nevi'im are important texts in Judaism that each illustrates different aspects of Judaism. The Torah specifies a number of the commandments and rules to be followed. To truly acquire Torah wisdom, the student of Torah must commit himself to the internalization of Torah values and must allow the Torah to transform his character.
Although Jewish history does provide examples of charlatans who learned enough to exploit their Torah knowledge, these are .