Wednesday, March 07, 2007

"Your Kasha Is Really Not A Kasha At All"

(Painting by Zalman Kleinman)

Rabbi Lazer Brody commenting on Bricks & Yishmael - Seeking To Resolve A Troubling Midrash

Your kasha is really not a kasha at all. Yishmoel was a non-Jew from a non-Jewish mother (Hagar), while the babies in Egypt were Jews. A non-Jew is not tried on midas ha'din - he gets it lenient in this world, and then pays heavy in the next world (See Avoda Zara 2a&b). "Ba'asher hu shom" is therefore not necessarily in the non-Jew's best interests, because Hashem is allowing him to accrue an enormous spiritual debt that he'll have to pay for.

On the other hand, Jews live tough lives so they won't have severe judgments in the future. Hashem preferred to let the babies die as martyrs, granting them eternal bliss in Gan Eden, rather than letting them grow up to be Avoda Zora junkies like Micha that deserve the death penalty a thousand times over. So, in the case of the babies in the mortar and cement, it was loving-kindness and ultimate compassion on Hashem's part. Hashem doesn't do the same favor for a Bin Ladin or an Achmedinejad.


At March 7, 2007 at 5:08:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

HELP!!! Nice try, Reb Lazer, but then I looked up the Gemara that ASJ cited -- Rosh Hashana 16b. There it says,
ואמר ר' יצחק, אין דנין את האדם אלא לפי מעשיו, של אותה שעה, שנא' כי שמע אלוקים אל קול הנער באשר הוא שם
[Rabbi Yitzchak says, A man is only judged by his deeds at the present time, as it is written, "For G-d heard the voice of the boy from where he was." Genesis, Ch. 21].
Furthermore, Rashi makes it clear that this type of judgement applies to EVERYONE, as he concludes, [G-d says,] "I only judge the world at its time."
Please clarify this for us!

At March 7, 2007 at 7:43:00 AM EST, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

"Ba'asher hu shom" is a frequent theme of derashos on Rosh Hashanah, being in the Torah reading. The derashos always portray this as a lesson for us Jews as we stand in judgment.

Still left open is why other Jews in Egypt, also likely to sin later (as we see some actually did) were not bricked up in walls.

I can live with no explanation, if we can't find one that fits all the data, since HaShem has perfect knowledge and we don't.

At March 7, 2007 at 12:27:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

This question is more serius than it seems. You can't come to conclusion by logic alone. Make more research. Look in sifrey Chasidus for some clues.

(Look up this Gemoro or that Medrash in Talmidey Baal Shem Tov and talmidey hoMaggid).

At March 7, 2007 at 12:29:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I plan to. Thanks for the suggestions.

At March 7, 2007 at 3:23:00 PM EST, Anonymous Yaakov SHalom said...

Mi Kamcha Yisrael Goi Echad Baaretz!

Is iz Gut tzu Zein A Yid!

At March 7, 2007 at 7:33:00 PM EST, Anonymous Simcha said...

The question of the apparent contradiction between "baasher hu shom" - that Hashem judges "l'fi maasov shel osa shaa" and the din of a ben sorer u'moreh - who we judge "al shem sofo" is already considered by peirush Mizrochi on Rashi in prshas Vayero. He writes "mipnei she'kvar hischil bidrochim ha'm'viim l'maasim horoim she'b'sofo" - The ben sorer u'moreh has always begun to go on a path which will bring him to those aveiros for which he will ultimately be chayav miso - therefore we judge him al shem sofo - whereas Yishmoel - though guilty of many aveiros - had not yet begun on the path to that sin about which the angels were m'katreg.
Please see the Mizrochi inside for a clearer understanding.
(Just a comment meant in only the best way - I tell myself often that less blogging - more learning - less seemingly difficult contradictions.

At March 7, 2007 at 9:29:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simcha: But it doesn't help with the medrash about children in the wall. Ben sorer is a different case as you can see from these meforshim.

At March 8, 2007 at 2:11:00 AM EST, Blogger avakesh said...

nN the case of the babies, some babies, lo alaynu, had to be caught up in the Egyptian decreee. As a kindness, Hashem arranged for them to be future evildoers. As such, they benefitted and all benefitted - this is Middas HaChassed. In the case of Yishmael, there was an actual judgment of one individual and the rules for MIddas Hadin applied.

At March 9, 2007 at 5:20:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

I asked a Rav/Talmid Chacham in shul this morning. He pointed out that Yishmael actually was okay when he was judged, and also did teshuva at the end of his life. The claim on him was in regards to his *descendants*. Let's remember that the Torah tells us that children aren't punished for their father's sins, nor are fathers punished for those of their children.

At March 12, 2007 at 12:49:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another interesting thing that would surely come into the discussion on the medrash of the Egyptian babies is the question of previous gilgulim.

Does Hashem's focus on their future rishus, suggest that these were "new" gilgulim with a perfectly clean slate? Or perhaps not, and Hashem's answer to Moshe was only according to what Moshe had to understand about the matter?

Ma amku machvosh'secho Hashem!

At March 12, 2007 at 12:52:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Indeed! Since I am not well versed in these matters, I would not even no where to begin to look.

Perhaps someone else has some insight on this.

At October 2, 2007 at 10:39:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Me'am Lo'ez on Bereishis 21:9 states that Sarah became aware that Yishmael had committed the sins of adultery, idolatry, and murder while he resided in Avraham's home. On Bereishis 21:14 it states, "Knowing that Yishmael would grow up wicked, he [Avraham] did not wish to give him [Yishmael] money or valuable items."

As for the reason why he was not punished and left to die of thirst when he was later banished from Avraham's home, Me'am Lo'ez commenting on Bereishis 21:17 states, "Although Yishmael had committed three of the most terrible sins, he was not punished from on high, because one less than twenty years old is exempt from divine punishment. Since Yishmael was only 17 at the time, he was allowed to live."

However, this last question once again begs the question about Micah.


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