Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022

Yevamos 7: Reaching Down

On this daf, we find that the burial of a meis mitzvah overrides avodah.

The Bais Yisroel of Gur was known for his powerful words of chizuk. He breathed life into countless Holocaust survivors, giving them a will to live and waking up their emunah despite the unimaginable horrors they had endured. Many of them became his chassidim. Even those who did not become his followers looked up to this sharp yet gentle giant in Torah and middos.

He would encourage every Jew to reach out to his friend, explaining the benefits of this: “It is plausible that one who is mashpia on his friend gets more from it than his friend does. Even if he feels that he has no strength, he can force himself and works to help his friend. If he does this, he will be blessed and he will attain dveikus with Hashem.”

He once imparted a powerful lesson from the halacha to bury a meis mitzvah even if one will not be able to bring his Korban Pesach: “In spiritual terms, a meis mitzvah alludes to a person who is dead to mitzvos, since he is divorced from Torah. It is a mitzvah for one who can to lower himself and gently nudge this person onto the straight path of Torah.

“No Jew is really irredeemably disconnected, no matter how far he has wandered. He can always return, but he requires assistance; someone must show him the way. The Torah promises, ‘L’nefesh lo yitama b’amo’—although we normally read this as an instruction not to defile oneself, it can also be read to mean that helping friends and students will not harm the one who lowers himself to assist them: ‘For the sake of a soul among his people, he will not become impure.’ Even though he must lower himself greatly, he will not come to spiritual harm. One accrues tremendous spiritual gains from lowering himself to assist his fellow” (Pe’er Yisroel, Part III, 165).



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