Hebrew | Francais

Search


> > Archive

Shabbat Parashat Vayikra 5777

Parashat Hashavua: Sinning against those Closest to us and Sinning against G-d

Harav Yosef Carmel

At the end of the parasha, the Torah brings the following case: “If a person sins and acts deceitfully against Hashem, by denying his friend’s (claim) regarding an article that was deposited by him…” (Vayikra 5:21).

The opening words of the pasuk imply that the sin is within the realm of “between man – and G-d.” However, the specific description is of a sin between man and man.  Chazal sensed the seeming contradiction. We will bring Rabbi Akiva’s explanation in Midrash Halacha, cited by Rashi.

“When someone gives another a loan, or does a business deal, it is done with witnesses and a document. Therefore when one denies the action – he denies the validity of the witnesses or document. But when one deposits something with his friend, he does not want many people to know about it – only the third party (=Hashem). Hence when one denies the deposit, he is also denying the third party.”

According to the Midrash, when one deposits an object, we are most probably talking about a friend whom the depositor trusts. The depositor doesn’t want other people to know, as this heightens the risk of theft or for other reasons. Therefore when the guardian denies that the act took place, he abuses the situation where there are no other witnesses other than G-d.  Therefore the denial of the deposit is simultaneously a denial of G-d, and not just an abuse of their friendship.

This seems to be the reason that the Torah uses the word “me’ila (taking deceitfully)” even though this is usually used only in the context of taking from sanctified donations. The word me’ila comes from the root word me’il (cloak). Similarly the word begida (unfaithfulness) is related to the word beged (garment).

The cloak and garment are used to protect oneself. One also shares his clothes with friends. Hence any unfaithfulness by close friends or family is described as me’ila or begida – a misuse of the close bond that was meant to protect oneself. Similarly his friend (amit) becomes his opponent (immut), as the Ibn Ezra points out.

A person who does such a sin is obligated to bring a sin offering over and above returning the stolen article. The Mishna brings an interesting halacha: “If one brought the stolen article but not the sin offering, he fulfilled his obligation. If he brought the sin offering but did not bring the stolen article, he does not fulfill his obligation” (Bava Kama 110a). In other words, one cannot bring the sin offering to sort out the sin “between man and G-d” and only afterwards fix the injustice between man and man.

Rabbi Elazar Ben Azarya taught that Yom Kippur atones for all sins other than those between man and man, which require appeasing the victim (Mishna, Yoma 8:9). The simple explanation is that on Yom Kippur one can only ask forgiveness from Hashem regarding sins between man and Hashem, but sins between people need a request of forgiveness. Based on our words above, we can explain that Rabbi Elazar stated a novel idea. Even regarding sins “between man and man” there is an element of “between man and G-d.” One cannot gain atonement from G-d for even this element before he has asked forgiveness from his friend.

Let us pray that we are all able to remain faithful even to those closest to us and not sin against them, or Hashem.

Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend


Dedication

We daven for a complete and

 speedy refuah for:

Yehoshafat Yecheskel ben Milka

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Emanuel ben Rachel Tamar

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

 Hemdat Yamim

is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell

in wars

for our homeland

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l

whose yahrtzeit

is the 10th of Iyar

Rav Reuven Aberman

z"l

who passed away

on 9 Tishrei, 5776


Mr. Shmuel Shemesh 
who passed away on

Sivan 17, 5774

R' Eliyahu Carmel, 

Rav Carmel's father,

who passed away on

8th of Iyar 5776


Yechezkel Tzadik,

Yaffa's father,

who passed away on

11th of Iyar 5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

who passed away on

10  Tamuz  5774


Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

who passed away

on

Kislev 9, 5769

R' Meir
ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld

o.b.m

R ' Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

Hemdat Yamim

is endowed by

Les & Ethel Sutker

of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and

Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

site by entry.
Eretz Hemdah - Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. | Terms of Use.