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Friday, September 29

The Weekly Shtikle - Haazinu

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my dear Zadie and Bubbie, HaRav Chaim Yaakov ben Yitzchak and Yehudis bas Reuven Pinchas.

    In the beginning of this week's parsha in the song of Ha'azinu, HaShem is praised (32:4) as "Keil emunah v'ein avel," a God of trust with whom there is no wrongdoing. R' Eilyahu Lopian asks, in Lev Eliyahu, what should be an obvious question. What kind of praise is this? If we were to praise a dignified individual, would it be fitting to say that he was "not bad?" What is the meaning of this praise?

    He answers that when a court of humans pronounces a judgement upon an individual, it may be what he himself deserves. However, it is possible that this judgement could be a wrongdoing for others. It is possible that this judgement could affect someone else in an adverse way which he does not deserve. This man's friends and family may be righteous individuals who don't deserve to have to suffer through the hardship of this verdict. Nevertheless, the judgement must be made. However, when HaShem passes judgement on an individual, He takes into account how it will affect everyone around him. Someone who is deserving of a certain punishment may actually be saved from it due to the effect it will have on an undeserving friend or relative. It is for this reason that it is said that one who wants to merit a good judgement should make himself needed to the public. The saying goes, "Ish haklal, nidon kiklal," a man of the community is judged as a whole community. Thus, with HaShem's judgement there is no wrongdoing - not for the judged one, and not for anyone else to whom he is close.

    With this concept he explains the gemara (Rosh HaShanah 18) in reference to the mishnah which states that all of us pass in front of HaShem on Rosh HaShanah like a herd of sheep, in a single file line. Rabba bar bar Chanah states "vechulam niskarim biskirah achas," all are marked with one marking. The marking of the sheep symbolizes the passing of judgement, but it is one long marking that marks all of us. With every one person's judgement, the effect on the rest of the community is considered.

Have a good Shabbos and Gemar Chasimah Tovah!

Eliezer Bulka

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