[Avodah] Tochacha Limitations Purpose

Rabbi Meir G. Rabi meirabi at gmail.com
Mon May 13 07:49:53 PDT 2024

If I may begin with R Micha’s concluding comment
  since the gemara severely limits the situations where tokhachah is
  given our skills at saying things the first time in a way that would be
I believe this is entirely incorrect
There is no such exemption or limitation
There is no such Gemara
Mutav - as explained by R Yona,
[and no other interpretation ought to be accepted unless it is founded upon
the words of a Rishon]
means when the sinner is one who is well established as despising the words
of his teachers
In other words he once was a Yeshivah Bochur but has now turned his back on
About him we say Mutav,

If the sinner would possibly listen to his teacher
then EVERY SINGLE YID has a duty, is commanded
to help that sinner
Even when we can all be absolutely certain that the sinner
will pay no heed to our words of encouragement.

We can discuss WHY such a command exists
But it is not yet germane

=  =  =  =  =  =  =  =

We have a rule
Do not try to out-think, to be smarter than, HKBH
The righteous king did not have children because he foresaw they would be
terribly evil
he meant well - but he was wrong
And for that, the righteous king deserved to die
He did not because he accepted the rebuke of the Navi and repented
As the prophet said to him
Do not seek guidance from those things that are supposed to be concealed
You just follow HaShems instructions
Get married and have children

Similarly, At that moment Yishmael was righteous
Then he ought to be saved
No matter how much suffering, trauma and brutality
He and his descendants will inflict upon the Jews

Therefore, I fail to follow the Hava Amina argument of R Micha
That one not offer Tochacha
Because it might make matters worse
HKBH did not ask us to go figure out what is the best course of action
HKBH commanded us to provide rebuke/guidance/healing to stop the sinner
to reverse the damage
And we are commanded NOT to be harsh AT FIRST [RaMBaM DeOs Ch 6]
But if the sinner refuses to change to repent to pay reparations
We must become harsh

The simplest answer to the Q –
Choosing an Esrog is PREPARATION for the Mitzvah
Blowing Shofar is the means by which we accomplish the Mitzvah
One thousand blowings, one thousand Passul Esrogim
Is a fantastic effort
But there is still no Mitzvah
So of course one must continue

But the Mitzvah of Tochacha may not be to FIX the sinner
Perhaps it is just the duty to reveal that we are opposed to his behaviour
THAT is the HAmina
And so once is enough

When the Torah reveals it is ongoing and indefinite
It is revealing that as long as this sinner is in the slightest way
tethered to his community
Even if he will only perhaps listen to his Rosh Yeshivah
But will certainly not listen to anyone else
The COMMUNITY has a duty to broadcast to publicise
Its utter rejection and absolute protest against this behaviour
It may well not be in the main to bring the sinner to repent
But to shore up the community
That the community must know must broadcast
what is right and what is wrong

=  =  =  =  =  =  =  =
 As for goading the sinner into perpetrating another evil
Cursing or even hitting another Yid
The Gemara says – place it before the sinner let him eat it and suffer the


Meir G. Rabi

0423 207 837
+61 423 207 837
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