[Avodah] Tochacha Limitations Purpose

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Mon May 13 13:44:19 PDT 2024

On Tue, May 14, 2024 at 12:49:53AM +1000, Rabbi Meir G. Rabi via Avodah wrote:
> If I may begin with R Micha’s concluding comment
>   since the gemara severely limits the situations where tokhachah is
> appropriate,
>   given our skills at saying things the first time in a way that would be
> heard,
> I believe this is entirely incorrect
> There is no such exemption or limitation
> There is no such Gemara

Lehalakhah (MB 608:9), contrary to what we have assumed, giving tokhachah
more than once is prohibited.

Yevamos 65b:
    R Ilaa said in the name of R Elazar beR' Shimon:
    Kesheim shemitzah al adam lomar davar hanishma
    kakh mitzvah al adam slo lomar davar she'eino nishma.

    R Abba said:
    It's mandatory, as it says "do not rebuke a leitz lest he hate you,
    rebuke a chakhahm and he will love you." (Mishlei 9:8)

The above MB uses R Ilaa's language.

And the Beir Halakhah (s"q 2) cites the MA who in turn, cites Seifer
haChassidim #413) holds like R Abba that there is no obligation to give
tokhachah that would only foment hatred, unless "libo gas bo" already.

Meanwhile, over on the AhS, se'if 5, he has that any mitzvah not spelled
out in the Torah (even if deOraisa via derashah or halakhah leMosheh miSinai)
you do not give tokhachah even once for because "mutav sheyihyu shogegin".
Whereas those that are spelled out
    mochin beyadan.
    Ve'im yodeia' she'ein devarav nishma'in
    lo yomar berabim lehokhichan raq paam echad.

Then he explains in se'if 6 "venir'eh li" that when people err in the
din, and think something is mutar, if you know for sure they will not
accept [the emes] from him, he should stay quiet.

When there is doubt whether they will listen, you are chayav to let them
know it's assur. Hashem knew that had the tzadiqim of the generation
of the churban given tokhachah, the resha'im wouldn't have listened. So
the mal'akhim asked Him, why then did He punish the tzadiqim for letting
evil flourish? Hashem answered: because the tzadiqim didn't know.

And even something mefurash baTorah, where you have to give tokhachah
when you know they won't listen, you have to tell them a few times and
show them it's explicit in the Torah.
    Akh achar kakhm
    keshemichah kamah pe'amim velo pa'el me'umah

There are indeed limits.

Eiruchin 16b:
    Tanya: R' Tarfon said "I would be astounded if there is someone
    in this generation that can accept rebuke; were one to say 'remove
    the splinter from between your teeth', he would respond 'remove the
    beam from between your eyes'."
    R' Elazar ben Azariah said "I would be astounded if there is someone
    in this generation that knows how to give rebuke"...

Combine the two, and you get that it is prohibited to rebuke someone
who won't listen, and none of us know how to rebuke productively, so...
It makes sense for many to conclude that they won't be heard.

Leaving tokhahah to be something you do when (1) the halakhah being
violated is not explicit in the Torah and you are sure they wouldn't
listen, or (2) it is explicit, and you tried giving tokhachah only for
them to show that they won't listen.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Today is the 20th day, which is
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   2 weeks and 6 days in/toward the omer.
Author: Widen Your Tent      Yesod sheb'Tifferes: What role does harmony
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                 play in maintaining relationships?

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