Friday, August 8, 2008

Tisha Baav: Avoiding heresy

Hashem said to Adam ayeka, where are you, which the Medrash interprets as Eichah. The Gemara in Sanhedrin states that Adam was a min, a heretic. Rashi interprets the word ayeka as on nata libcha, where has your heart turned. The word lev symbolizes the intellect, i.e. the leaning towards serving HaShem or Heaven forbid, heresy. We find this idea in Shema when we say vilo sasuru acharei livavchem, do not stray after your hearts, and the Sifri states that livavchem is minus, heresy. The Gemara in Sanhedrin states that Moshiach will only come once the entire world is transformed to minus, and proof of this is from what it states regarding a metzora, kulo hafach lavan tahor hu, his body has completely turned white. Rabbeinu Bachye writes that in derush one can change the vowels of a word. The word lavan in that passuk can be read as liban, i.e. their hearts have all turned to minus. Thus, besides for sinas chinam and all the other maladies that we bring upon ourselves, we have to be aware of the possible minus in our hearts. The Medrash states that HaShem sent Adam out from Gan Eden, apparently because of his display of heresy. Hashem also sent us away from his home, apparently also because of our heretical attitudes. HaShem should be mitaheir libeinu liovdo biemes and bring the Final Redemption, speedily, in our days.

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