Friday, May 20, 2022

Yevamos 37: Genuine Emunah

On this daf, we find some discussion about one’s inheritance.

Rav Nosson of Breslov explains that the laws of inheritance stem from passing on our mission in the world to our children. This is also relevant to a non-Jew, since he, too, has a part in the Divine plan. His main contribution may be only to erect an edifice that a tzaddik will eventually require, as the Rambam famously writes, or he may have a more intricate task to fulfill. Either way, he halachically bequeaths his property to his child for the same reason, as our sages explain.

He writes further, “The main yerusha of the Jewish people is emunah peshutah. People who lack a vibrant emunah lack inner tranquility. Shaken by the smallest incident that is not according to their will or needs, they lead a bitter existence. Without emunah, one often feels that life is hardly worth living.”

True emunah contradicts ga’avah.

“Slightly before his petirah, the Baal Shem Tov let go of all his hasagos, his great spiritual levels, and said, ‘I am like a na’ar, a simpleton, and I believe with simple faith.’

“His purpose in doing so was to avoid arrogance. When our sages say that anyone who is greater than his friend has a greater yeitzer hara, a big part of this is the arrogance that comes naturally with new levels. The Baal Shem Tov would completely ignore his spiritual accomplishments, thereby neutralizing the greater yeitzer hara that came with them.

When Chassidim asked the Maggid of Koznitz why he did not allow them to be present when he did various Yom Tov-related mitzvos, he explained: “Our sages say that it is forbidden to look when noshim (women) do laundry.’ We can explain this in light of the Tikkunei Zohar that noshim alludes to the neshomah. When a Jew cries out his heart to Hashem to launder his soul from any blemish, it is forbidden for people to watch” (Likkutei Halachos, Hilchos Nachalos; Sichos HaRan; Yisa Brocha, Part II, p. 189)

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