Hebrew | Francais


> > Archive

Shabbat Parashat Nitzavim Vayeilech 5777

Ein Ayah: Despising Evil from the Root of the Tribe

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 5:45)

Gemara: [We continue with the question of whether Reuven literally slept with his father’s concubine or not.] It was said in a baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar said: That tzaddik (Reuven) was protected from sin, and the sin [as described literally] did not come his way. How is it possible that his offspring were destined to stand on Mt. Eival and pronounce, “Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife” (Devarim 27:20), and he would come to perpetrate that sin itself?


Ein Ayah: Sins are violations of the foundations of ethics and are firmly entrenched in the nature of the internal sanctity of the Israelite soul. Hashem bestowed upon us this legacy that we inherited from our forefathers that enables us to abhor such sins. 

Hashem commanded the performance of the ceremony at Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Eival, [in which the nation declared the consequences under which the people would be worthy or blessing or, Heaven forbid, curses]. This was in order to cause the Jewish internal nature of a foundation of justice to emerge from the hidden potential into actuality. The idea was that in the beginning of the nation’s entering the Land, they should strongly declare their general opposition (i.e., before anyone necessarily sinned) to those who ignore morality and do abominations. This is in addition to the great step of accepting all the laws of the Torah, both in terms of their general principles and their details. Thus, this event at Mt. Eival demonstrates the recognition of the nation’s deep spiritual moral tendency, which is the reason that the whole nation was commanded to answer “Amen” (ibid.).

The natural tendency to despise evil and abominations comes as an inheritance, and it is a legacy from our holy forefathers. This demonstrates that the forefathers must have had a nature of purity that was set firmly in their hearts to hate evil, lowly, and objectionable behavior. Such bad things are an insult to the soul of the upright, godly individual. Such a person would never have, at any time, a tendency to be attracted to such disgusting things, let alone to perform them.

There is a great goal, based on divine wisdom, according to which, the nation chosen to be sanctified for the service of Hashem, should excel in a natural tendency toward sanctity that is passed down by its forefathers. This requires that the individuals who served as the roots of the sanctity of our nation were pure enough that they would not cause a blemish in the goal of placing the nation on good footing. If the tribe of Reuven was on the level that its members could declare on Mt. Eival that whoever sleeps with his father’s wife is despicable and cursed, it is inconceivable that Reuven himself could have come to such a horrific sin. To the contrary, his spiritual tendencies were very strong and they found expression in his tribe, in a powerful and deep manner.
Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend


We daven for a complete

and speedy refuah for:

David Chaim ben Rassa

Lillian bat Fortune

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Yehoshafat Yecheskel ben Milka

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

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


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

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


R ' Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha


Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l


Mrs. Doris Moinester

who passed

away on the
23rd of Elul


Rav Benzion Grossman
who passed away
23rd of Tamuz 5777

Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
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.