[Avodah] The Sad Downfall of a ... Rabbi

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Tue Jan 11 14:54:15 PST 2022

(I deleted a word from the title because it's not like the movement the
rabbi was affiliated with makes this particular sin more or less likely.
Why drag them through the mud?)

On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 06:42:59PM -0500, Prof. Levine wrote:
> At 04:16 PM 1/10/2022, Harry Maryles wrote on Areivim:
> >This is the result of a mentality that holds that one can cheat 
> >Goyim if they can get away with it. A mentality that stems from 
> >European antisemitism that was so strong that Jews had to pull these 
> >shenanigans just to survive. Add to that the concept of [Eisav] 
> >Sonei  L'Yakov- and that's all you need to do something like this if 
> >you can get away with it.

Here is a digression the Semag makes when discussion the mitzvah of
hashavas aveidah (aside #74) and the fact that it only applies to Jews'

    I already expounded to the exiled from Jerusalem who are in Spain and
    the other Roman exiles that now that the exile has gone on far too
    long, it is appropriate for Israel to separate from the vanities of
    the world and grab onto the signet of the Holy One, blessed be He,
    which is truth, and not to lie neither to Jew nor to gentile. Not
    to mislead them in any way. To sanctify themselves even in what
    is permitted to them, as it says, "The remnant of Israel do not
    commit sin, do not speak lies, and one won't find a false tongue in
    their mouths." (Tzefaniah 3:13) And when Hashem comes to save them,
    the nations will say, "It was done justly, for they are a people
    of truth and the Torah of truth is in their mouths." But if they
    act with the gentiles with trickery, they will say, "See what the
    Holy One, blessed be He did, that chose for His portion thieves
    and con-men." Also, it says, "I will plant her [the Jewish People]
    for myself in the land..." (Hosheia 2:25) A person doesn't plant a
    kur [of seed] but to produce numerous kurim. So too the Holy One,
    blessed be He, planted Israel among the lands so that converts will
    join them (Pesachim 87b) and every time that they conduct themselves
    with trickery, who will attach to them?

To elaborate on his perspective...

The central problem isn't the chilul hasheim. It's the lack of vehalakhta
bidrakhav. The chilul hasheim is a consequence.

And if we keep our culture in a place where we only worry about bein adam
laMaqom, including the message that robbing others is only as big of a
problem as the BALM fallout, there is no way we will be strong enough
to resist temptation BALC.

(Aside from recently experiencing people who think that minimizing chillul
hasheim is a valid reason to let serious harm to individuals go on for
decades rather than risk public exposure.)

Theft is evil because it's theft. Full stop. People don't internalize
this, none of the rest will make a roshem.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 If you won't be better tomorrow
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   than you were today,
Author: Widen Your Tent      then what need do you have for tomorrow?
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF            - Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

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