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Shabbat Parashat Mishpatim 5773

Ein Ayah: Quiet Acceptance and Fervent Prayer

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:245)

Gemara: Our tradition of how to deal with yisurin (torment, anguish) is: with quiet and by requesting mercy.


Ein Ayah: Patience and a negative type of lowliness of the spirit are two extremes that touch one another, even though they contradict each other.

Patience is a good trait, which emanates from trust in Hashem. However, it is not good when as a result of patience, one develops an apathetic state of lowliness in which he is content with remaining in bad situations, without taking steps to extricate himself from them. Such an approach is a bad illness. The natural tendency with which Hashem bestowed people, to vigorously oppose bad situations – illnesses of the spirit and of the body and all sorts of lacking – is one of the means for a person to end his troubles.  Who will be willing to have mercy on the foolish person who does not have mercy on himself?

For this reason, the correct approach to yisurin is the holy two-sided coin, which covers both areas. One is quiet, which is a form of patience and acceptance of the divine judgment. Along with this comes a belief, and indeed a knowledge, that the bad situation that is transpiring is for the good. On the other hand, one is supposed to request mercy, to show that he has a real interest to get beyond the bad situation and experience a more positive life. When a person fulfills both of these conditions, he will improve his emotional state and will not be depressed by the pain of his yisurin, and his spirit will search for a way to leave the upheaval behind him. Then the moral goal for which the torment was sent will make its mark in the proper way and the time will come for heavenly mercy and for the afflictions to be removed.    



Picking the Correct Animal to Avoid Becoming Like One

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:246)


Gemara: Abaye’s mother raised a sheep with him to accompany him to the facilities. Why didn’t she raise a goat? Because a sa’ir (one of the names of a goat) can be confused with the sa’ir (the name of the demon of the facilities). 


Ein Ayah: When a person is in an animalistic type of setting, it is proper for him to be in the company of an animal, but not a strong animal, as from a physical perspective, man is a weak animal, like a sheep. Being around a sheep at that time will remind him not to give up his intellectual side, which gives him dominion over the animal kingdom, and not to focus on the animalistic side, in which he has little to offer.

He should not prefer to be accompanied by a goat, which represents a more vocal and more assertive animal, because that might make him think that he can choose a more free-spirited animalistic life. Then he could get confused and not see the clear advantages of preserving his human intellectual side. 


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