Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Moed Koton 16: Request to Obtain

On this daf, we find that Dovid made teshuvah easier for us.

The Shinover Rov once gave a characteristically brilliant drosha: “The Medrash Eichah brings a dispute between Hashem and Klal Yisroel. Hashem says, ‘Return to Me and I will return to you.’ Initially, there must be an arousal from below to teshuvah. Only then does Hashem return to us. Yet, Klal Yisroel petitions the exact opposite. ‘Hashiveinu Hashem eilecha venoshuvah — Return us to You and we will return.’ We ask that Hashem first inspire us to do teshuvah. Only then will we repent.

“It is possible to explain this apparent contradiction by differentiating between different instances. When it comes to prohibitions that we don’t understand, we need help from above first. These mitzvos are unnatural to us, and without an arousal from above, we will not be able to fulfill them as is fitting. But regarding monetary matters and other things that one understands intellectually—who doesn’t know that he should not touch his friend’s money? We are expected to do the initial step to teshuvah.

Rav Nosson of Breslov explains that turning to Hashem is easier than many are likely aware: “Although there is an apparent argument, in truth both are different sides of the same coin. Hashem tells us to first draw near him. But how are we to do this? By crying out: ‘Hashiveinu Hashem eilecha venoshuvah chadeish yomeinu k’kedem!” (She’airis Menachem, Part I, p. 339; Otzar Hayiroh).

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