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Shabbat Parashat Vayechi 5773

Ein Ayah: Internal Self-Awareness

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:223)

Gemara: Rava said: A person knows about himself whether he is a tzaddik (righteous person) or a rasha (evil person).


Ein Ayah: Admittedly, we have said that a person’s nature has great influence, to the extent that it determines how he will analyze matters and decide whether certain actions are morally good or bad. Therefore, we would think that a rasha would not be able to judge himself because he is so surrounded by his wickedness that he thinks that his ways are good ones.

However, the aforementioned self-deception exists only in regard to matters of deciding what to do. In that regard, the tzaddik believes in that which is good, the rasha believes that it is good to do that which is actually bad, and the average person will see things in a non-consistent way. Yet there is a general understanding that every person has, which is not impacted by his characteristics and actions. The problem of the rasha is that this understanding does not connect properly to the specific action that is before a person; rather he forgets the moral truth when needed at the opportune time. Internally, though, even the rasha possesses a feeling of straightness and truthfulness that his Maker endowed him with. This sense is able to discern that which is absolute good, and, with it, he is able to see whether he is good or evil.



The World Was Created for the Powerful

 (condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:224)


Gemara: Rava also said: The world was created only for complete tzaddikim and complete reshaim.


Ein Ayah: Man was created with the characteristic that he has free choice to choose his path and actions. This general rule is true for reshaim as well, just that it is a pity on the rasha who chooses to use this free choice for bad things, which will cause damage to himself and others. Fortunate is the tzaddik who chooses for himself the straight path that is full of light for him and for the world.

Either way, it is a basic goal of creation that the world should contain righteous and wicked people. Certainly the world was intended to have people who have powerful spirits, with tremendous will power to do far-reaching things. When these people will be tzaddikim, they will do great things and will be a blessing in the land. When these powerful people will be reshaim, they will shake the foundations of the world in their wickedness. Yet, they will be “great and active people” in their own way. That is the true way the world was created.

The world was also created in such a way that its full power would only be actualized by but a percentage of its inhabitants. Many creations emerged as less than actualizing the divine intent, and they will be completed as time goes on. But the main purpose of the world is that there should be great people with powerful desires and the ability to do momentous things. Given that there is free choice, there is no choice but that this includes both tzaddikim and reshaim. It is the fully righteous and the fully evil who epitomize this idea of there being people of great strength. The average people, who sway in the wind like a stalk, lack the completeness of creation. The fact that they sway back and forth is a sign of weakness, and the smallness of their spirit. These people are not the main purpose of creation.

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This edition of
Hemdat Yamim

is dedicated
 to the memory of
R' Meir

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld



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