Vol 24.30 - Yom HaKippurim Spanish French Audio Video
1. At the conclusion of Tractate Yoma in the Talmud Yerushalmi, there is a debate concerning the Viduy (Al Chet, the confessional prayers) of Yom Kippur:
Subsequently the Talmud Yerushalmi continues (and concludes the Tractate) by stating:
“It is written: ‘The L-rd who is the source of the hopes of Yisroel’ (Heb: ‘Mikvei Yisroel HaShem’) - just as the Mikvah purifies the impure, so too the Holy One blessed be He purifies Israel. And it says: “I shall sprinkle pure waters upon you and you will be purified. I will purify you from all your impurities and from all your abominations!” (Mishna Yoma 8:9; Ezekiel 36:25)” (מִקְוֵ֤ה יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ ה כׇּל־עֹזְבֶ֖יךָ יֵבֹ֑שׁוּ יסורי וְסוּרַי֙ בָּאָ֣רֶץ יִכָּתֵ֔בוּ כִּ֥י עָזְב֛וּ מְק֥וֹר מַֽיִם־חַיִּ֖ים אֶת־ה )
One must understand:
What is the connection between the two things – The debate whether “one needs to specify his deeds” and the subsequent Drasha (homily): “It is written: Mikvei Yisroel . . just as the Mikvah purifies . . and it says: ‘I shall sprinkle. . I will purify you’” that the Talmud Yerushalmi cites in conjunction with one another?
Plainly, one learns that the conclusion of the Tractate: “It is written: Mikvei etc.” is in conjunction to the Mishna and comes to conclude (the Tractate) with a positive thing.
(However, this has no connection to the previous section that immediately precedes it)
However, as mentioned many times: Since everything in Torah is precise, it is more straightforward to say that the reason that the Talmud is specifically ending with this “good thing” is because it has a connection and relevance to that which is close to it.
In the conclusion of the Tractate itself, one must understand:
The Drasha: “It is written: Mikvei Yisroel etc.” was cited, as aforementioned, in the Mishna, and this is the wording of the Mishna:
“Rabbi Akiva said “fortunate are you, Yisroel, in front of whom do you get purified, and who purifies you? Your Father in heaven, as it is written “and I will sprinkle pure water upon you and purify you etc.” and it states: “The L-rd who is the source of the hopes of Yisroel (‘Mikvei Yisroel’)” – just as a Mikvah purifies the impure, so too G-d purifies Yisroel.”
However, there are two (major) differences in the wording of the Talmud over that of the Mishna:
Since the Gemara changes from the wording of the Mishna, it is understood that in the Drasha of the Gemara there is a different intent than that of the Mishna. One must, therefore understand – what is this difference between the Mishna and the Gemara?
One could say that the reason for the change in the Drasha of the Gemara is connected to that which the Gemara‘s (conclusion) follows the debate whether “one must specify his deeds”.
2. (To understand this) one must preface by explaining the reason for the debate whether one is “required to specify his deeds” or “one need not specify his deeds”.
The Gemara cites verses (to support their views):
However most (commentators) hold that this is not a Divine Decree (Gezeiras haKasuv). One could further say that, this is like many similar instances, namely that the debate in the homily (Drasha) of the verses is connected to a debate in reasoning (sevara).
Tosafot explains their debate (according to a Talmud Yerushalmi):
One could say that the reasoning of the debate in this itself, namely whether shame or suspicion is more important, is:
The concept of “being ashamed of one’s sins” concerns the present, the Teshuva itself. When one feels intense shame for one’s sins, his remorse over the past and his positive resolve for the future, is deeper and truer.
Conversely, the “loss” that results from suspicion - that they “not suspect him of other sins” – concerns primarily the future, the loss of trust etc.
(Perhaps one could say that when one suspects him of other sins, it could be that they would sometimes throw this at him (ridicule him). Like the prohibition of saying to a Baal Teshuvah: “remember your previous deeds?”)
Accordingly their debate is dependent upon the well-known question:
Whether one must consider and concern oneself now, with a situation that will (or might) occur in the future:
3. According to this reasoning in the view of R’ Akiva, there is an actual difference. For the view that “one need not specify his deeds” is specifically when it involves verbally (that another person can hear) confessing them. However, if they were silently confessed, even R’ Akiva would admit that one must “specify his deeds”,
However, from the plain wording of R’ Akiva, it appears that even if it is said silently, one must not specify his deeds.
One can also say another explanation in the view of R’ Akiva – which is also connected with the general opinion of R’ Akiva that the future affects the present.
There are many levels in Teshuvah. In general, they are divided into two levels (in the wording of the Talmud):
One could say that the aforementioned aspect, namely whether there must be mentioning of one’s deeds, is dependent on the difference between the two modes of Teshuvah:
Therefore, "one must specify his deeds" since if does not specify the sin, the fear of the person is lacking the feeling of the severity of the sin. Therefore, his remorse is not complete.
4. According to this one can explain the debate between R’ Yehuda ben Besaira and R’ Akiva.
As has been spoken about many times, all aspects of Teshuvah have the same primary theme. Even in the lowest mode of Teshuvah, the aspect (like its name Teshuvah – to return) is to turn to G-d. This is the revealed aspect of Teshuvah from love, where a Yid does Teshuvah in order to become attached to G-d. When Teshuvah is just out of fear of punishment, it is because of the influence (פארשטעל) of the Yetzer – “his inclination overpowers him“, and its nullification. However, the Pnimiyut of even this Teshuvah – is that his soul turn to G-d.
Therefore , according to the view of R’ Akiva that the future affects the present –R’ Akiva “sees” in the present one’s Pnimiyut, which will come out in the future. He also sees the Pnimiyut from the aspect of Teshuvah . Namely that even though he is just at the low level of Teshuvah (- from fear), nevertheless, there exists, in “potential” and Pnimiyut, an aspect of Teshuvah from love (in which it does not matter (so much) what the actual sin is, as aforementioned). Therefore he holds that “one need not specify his deeds”, as aforementioned.
5. According to this explanation in the view of R’ Akiva – namely that the reason he holds that “one need not specify his deeds” is connected with his general view that the future affects the present – one can explain an additional aspect in this case:
Ramban rules: “one must specify the sin”, which is not the view of R’ Akiva . The commentators ask: it is a maxim that “the Halacha is in accordance with R’ Akiva in disputes with any individual Sage”. Therefore why does Rambam not rule like R’ Akiva?
The Kesef Mishneh (R’ Yosef Karo) answers that since in the Talmud (Bavli) it brings a statement of R’ Yehuda ben Besaira in the name of Rav:
“(Rav raised a contradiction): It is written: “Fortunate is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is hidden” (Psalms 32:1), and it is written: “He who hides his transgressions shall not prosper” (Proverbs 28:13). He resolved the contradiction as follows: This is not difficult. Here it is referring to a publicized sin. There, it is referring to a sin that is not publicized”.
This statement of Rav can only fit according to the view of R’ Yehuda ben Besaira (that one must “one must specify the sin”) for “according to R’ Akiva, even if it is publicized, he does not need (to specify his deeds). And “since Rav holds like him, this is how we rule”.
According to this explanation it comes out that according to the view of the Talmud Yerushalmi - where the aforementioned statement of Rav is not cited, that the Halacha is like R’ Akiva (for “the Halacha is in accordance with R’ Akiva in disputes with any individual Sage“).
According to the aforementioned, the reason of the dispute between the Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi, namely whether the Halacha is like R’ Akiva, or not, is understood, for:
As has been spoken about many times, one finds in many places that the view of Talmud Bavli is that the present affects the future. Whereas according to the Talmud Yerushalmi, one considers how one deals with the present situation, according to what may be in the future.
(This is connected with the difference between the manner of study of the Talmud Bavli versus that of the Talmud Yerushalmi:
Talmud Bavli is called: “in the darkness” since the mode of study in Talmud Bavli is like one who is found in darkness. One comes to a conclusion through debate and questions etc., which cloud the truth. Whereas in the Talmud Yerushalmi, it is like someone who is in a condition where it is “light”. There is not a lot of debate and one immediately sees the true conclusion.
Therefore, in Talmud Bavli - a condition of “darkness” - it is concerned mainly with the present condition and not with the future. For the future is obscure. It is not seen in (the “darkness” of) the present. Whereas in Talmud Yerushalmi, where everything is “illuminated” – one already sees in the present, the future and therefore the future affects the present).
The same is in our case:
According to the Talmud Bavli, which maintains that the present is more important, the Halacha is like R’ Yehuda ben Bava, namely that one must specify the sin. Whereas according to the view of the Talmud Yerushalmi, namely that the future affects the present, the Halacha is like R’ Akiva that “one need not specify his deeds”.
6. According to all of the above, one can also understood the conclusion of Tractate Yoma (in the Talmud Yerushalmi) that states:
“It is written: ‘The L-rd who is the source of the hopes of Yisroel’ (‘Mikvei Yisroel HaShem’). And it also says: ‘I shall sprinkle pure waters etc. I will purify you’
(As well as its connection to the dispute whether one must specify his deeds his deeds):
The difference between the two verses – “Mikvei Yisroel HaShem“ and “I shall sprinkle pure waters upon you“ can be explained (according to the foundational explanation of many commentators) as follows:
Accordingly, the order of the Mishnah is understood:
It first brings the verse “I shall sprinkle pure waters upon you etc. “, and afterward “Mikvei Yisroel HaShem“. For this is the order of Teshuvah:
Before one does Teshuvah, one is distanced from G-d, as it states: “your sins separate” – his sins separate him from G-d. In such a condition it is not so much relevant that he should awaken himself with Teshuvah. Therefore, the order in this is that it begins with help from Above – “I shall sprinkle pure waters upon you“. G-d showers a Yid from Above with thoughts of Teshuvah.
However, the intent in this is not that he should remain just at the level of Teshuvah that comes to him from Above. Rather that this should bring him to endeavor on his own to purify himself. And this is why the Mishnah continues: “and it states: ‘Mikvei Yisroel HaShem’“. For this is the purification through the Mikvah which comes through the person’s own Avodah.
According to this it is understood why the Mishnah records (in the first verse) just the words: “I shall sprinkle pure waters upon you“ and not the words (in the conclusion of the verse): “and you will be purified etc.“.
For the emphasis in the first verse is on the awakening from Above (“I shall sprinkle“) and not so much on the “and you will be purified etc. “ which mainly refers to the purification of a Yid. This aspect, namely that he alone must purify himself - is stated in the verse: “and it states: ‘Mikvei Yisroel HaShem’“.
7. From this it is understood that the Gemara’s reversing of the order of the verses, represents a change in the context:
(Which is why the Gemara cites the entire verse, even the words “and you will be purified etc.“, which emphasizes the Avodat HaTeshuvah of the Yid).
And on the contrary, this is even a higher mode of Teshuvah than the Teshuvah of “Mikvei Yisroel“, in and of itself. Which is why it is cited after “Mikvei Yisroel“.
One could say that the explanation of this is:
“I shall sprinkle“ represents the purification that comes from the sprinkling (הזאה). This is connected specifically with living waters (מים חיים)-the highest form of purification (which has the power to purification from the impurity of a corpse).
This is what the Gemara is alluding to:
After a Yid does his Avodah, as much as he is able to do in his personal Avodah, (Teshuvah similar to immersing in a Mikvah), G-d lifts up a Yid to the highest completeness in Teshuvah (which resembles the purification of “I shall sprinkle“, living waters).
And this is the connection from this aspect to the previous dispute:
Beforehand, the Gemara cites the dispute between R’ Yehuda ben Besaira with R’ Akiva, whether one must specify his deeds.
The reasoning of R’ Akiva in this is (as aforementioned Par. 4) that since in every form of Teshuvah, even in the lowest manner of Teshuvah, it possesses in potentiality the highest level of Teshuvah- Teshuvah from love – there must not be any specifying of the sin.
And to bring out this aspect, the Gemara cites the Drasha:
“It is written: ‘The L-rd who is the source of the hopes of Yisroel’ ( ‘Mikvei Yisroel HaShem’) And it says: “I shall sprinkle pure waters upon you and you will be purified. I will purify you from all your impurities and from all your abominations!”
From this one sees that from the beginning of the Avodah of Teshuvah, one attains the completeness of Teshuvah – “I shall sprinkle etc.“
For, in Pnimiyut, all of the modes of Teshuvah are one aspect – to return to G-d.
MSichas Vav Tishrei, Yud-Gimmel Tishrei 5742
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