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Shabbat Parashat Shelach 5776

Ein Ayah: The Marketplace Where Human Weakness Is Found

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 2:206)

Gemara: When a person goes out to the marketplace, he should view himself as one who was given over to a judge.


Ein Ayah: Life is presently flawed, and the fact that there are flaws shows that things need to be fixed and that stumbling blocks are nearby. All of this is because of man’s sins and his proximity to seriously harming his path in life. This makes it necessary for him to suffer afflictions, especially in connection with matters that are part of the corruptive elements, which resemble a battlefield.

Hashem demands of us a style of life that is based on honesty and divine light. The marketplace is the place where the war of life is waged in its full intensity, with its deceit, coarseness, and haste. When one is forced to go out to the marketplace, he is forced to become a soldier in that war, where man’s soul is dragged down to the dirt and trampled on by bad character traits and all that comes along with them.

The fact that one is forced to go out to the marketplace is testimony to his connection to the joint sins that are natural for mankind and cause people’s problematic status. This is why one who goes to the marketplace should view himself as one who was given over to the judge. On the other hand, once he knows that the marketplace contains traces of man’s sinfulness, that realization itself is a sign that he has not reached the lowest levels. He should just be careful not to be trapped by the dangers as he walks before Hashem in the land of the living, which refers to the marketplaces (see Yoma 71a).


Signs of Being Caught Up in Sin

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 2:207)


Gemara: One whose head hurts should view himself as one who was put in a kolar (jail for those awaiting strict punishment).


Ein Ayah: When a person feels that he is included in the shortcomings of the human race as a whole, this is a reliable sign of his being impacted by sin and that he has the tendencies toward evil like other humans have. Then he needs to be subjected to the cleansing experience of needing to toil with difficulties to sustain himself, which removes sin from those with a natural tendency toward it.

When a person feels a unique personal affliction, this is a sign of a personal shortcoming which is beyond a tendency but is a sign of a sin that has actually come to fruition. This sin caused damage to the soul which required the person’s strength to be reduced, which is why his head started hurting him. In that state, he is considered as one who is incarcerated, as he cannot use all his physical and spiritual powers. The full use of powers is worthwhile for one who is righteous and can use them for proper activities and accomplishments. One who has deteriorated should be restrained from doing all that he wants. The kolar is a sign of this restraint, as it is a place that prevents a dangerous person from doing damage in society.

In contrast, internal tendencies can be fixed even if they are somewhat distorted, and a person can keep his full strength for a variety of activities, which require vitality. "I am Your servant the son of Your maid-servant, You released my bonds" (Tehillim 116:16).

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