[Avodah] A question for the chevre

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Fri Feb 15 11:48:21 PST 2013

On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 04:23:05AM -0800, R' Martin Brody replied to R'
Akiva Miller:
:> A Jew was drafted into the Russian army, and went to the Chofetz Chaim with
:> the following shailah: They had given this Jew his choice of two units, one
:> where he could eat kosher but would have to be mechalel Shabbos, and
:> another where he could keep Shabbos, but would have to eat treif. Which
:> should he choose? ...                             The Chofetz Chaim
:> explained that he could always hope to be Shomer Shabbos again some day in
:> the future, but once one eats the treif, it becomes part of him and it is
:> impossible to *totally* cleanse oneself of it.

: Of course it's not a true story. What does it mean" impossible to
: *totally* cleanse oneself of it."?

It means "it's very very hard". Your problem comes from taking "impossible"
literally, and "totally" as less than literally. But we call many difficult
but possible things "impossible" -- it's common guzma.

With acknowledging that idiom, the CC is no longer denying the possibility
of teshuvah. Just acknowledging how hard total teshuvah can be for certain

Al derekh hateva, once someone puts something in their mouth, they
either have to be disgusted or convince themselves it's not so bad. After
all, non-Jews too say "you are what you eat" -- it seems to be natural
psychology. When it comes to maakhalos asuros, "naaseh lo keheter" is
even more pronounced. A naturalistic explanation to timtum halev.


Micha Berger             A person lives with himself for seventy years,
micha at aishdas.org        and after it is all over, he still does not
http://www.aishdas.org   know himself.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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