Thursday, May 30, 2024

Yevamos 30: Parts of a Whole

On this daf, we find that Rav Ashi holds that there is zikah, a spiritual bond between the widow who hasn’t undergone yibum or chalitzah and her deceased husband’s brothers.             Spiritually speaking, every Jew is connected to his friend like two parts of one organic whole.

Rav Zalman Sorotzkin expands on this: “There is a very special connection between the actions of one Jew and the actions of his fellow. Our mission as a nation is to be a light unto the nations, and we can only do this if we are united. Whether we know it or not, every Jew is part of one collective Jewish soul. This explains the unreasonable tendency of the non-Jewish nations to blame all Jews for heinous acts done by unworthy individuals. It is surely strange that they do not judge other nations this way. But when we consider that every Jew is part of a single whole, this begins to make a strange kind of sense, at least on a cosmic level…”

When Rav Chaim Vital noticed the Arizal saying a tearful, heartfelt vidui during davening, he wondered about this. “Why are you saying vidui? Surely you have never violated any of the heinous sins mentioned.”

The Arizal admitted that he had not violated the sins listed. “Nevertheless, I must at least repent for all of them,” he said. “Although I have never transgressed, what about my fellow Jews who have? Since every Jew is part of a single whole, it is as if I have transgressed all of them…” (Oznayim LaTorah, Sha’arei Mitzvos, Parshas Kedoshim).

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