Wednesday, Feb 8, 2023

Chagigah 13: A Trace of Chometz

On this daf, we find teachings about chashmal.

When some chassidim were waiting for Rav Aharon Hagadol of Karlin, his son, “the Young Rebbe,” spoke with them about Pesach: “In the holy works, we find that teshuvah usually doesn’t help for the four sins whose initials form the acronym ‘chashmal.’ The four are: even a bit of chometz; sheker, or falsehood; mirmoh, or duplicity; and leitzonus, or cynical mocking.

“We can readily understand the last three sins. They are insidious and one gets so used to living with them that it can be virtually impossible to correct them. For that reason, regular teshuvah is not enough. But why is chometz included?

The answer can be understood in light of the Arizal’s teaching regarding avoiding chometz. He revealed that one who avoids even a trace of chometz for the sake of heaven will be protected from sin for the entire year. Even a person with these three problems who avoids any chometz on Pesach will perceive the horrible damage caused by these traits and will be assisted from heaven to correct these failings. But if he is not careful, he becomes prey to their evil influence” (Mateh Aharon, 19:5).

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