Monday, September 15, 2008

Din V'cheshbon

Here are the explanations of Din Ve'cheshbon. This is something that should be attended to carefully or not at all, so please set aside a little time, and focus.

A. Gaon— What you failed to accomplish.
Din is the judgment for the mitzvos and aveiros. Cheshbon is the accounting of what good the person could have been doing if he hadn’t wasted the time doing the aveiros. This is based on the Gaon that says that a person who does any aveirah is judged not only on the aveirah but also on the time he was doing the aveirah for bitul torah. The Gaon is brought down in Reb Meir Simcha in his Meshech Chochmoh, Devorim 32:51, on "al asher me’altem bi/al asher lo kidashtem." He brings this ‘dual sin’ idea from Rashi in Bamidbar 20:12, but I don’t see it any more than from this passuk. And Reb Meir Simcha also discusses this at greater length, and with attribution to the Gaon, in Breishis 18:28.

B. Evidence from your behavior that you had the ability to do better.
Someone told me that R’ Shach was asked, what does Cheshbon mean? If Cheshbon means an accounting for time that you wasted, not-learning shouldn't be separate from other aveiros, because it’s an inherent aveirah, and it is just another element in the din. He answered that if a person does nothing and doesn’t learn, he could claim that he had no koach and no aptitude for anything requiring thought and effort. But if he managed to plan and do so many other things, he was successful in his business, he managed to find the time to plan and do aveiros, Hashem demonstrates from his own behavior that he had plenty of koach, plenty of aptitude for doing what he liked to do. This is called cheshbon.

This is what the Beis Halevi says on the story of Yosef and the brothers. Chazal say that when Yosef revealed himself to his brothers, O, what a tochaca this was to them! This is because Yoseph rebuked his brothers when they said they were worried about Yaakov’s health. When the brothers asked Yosef for clemency because Yeish lonu ov zokein, the first thing Yosef asked them when he revealed himself was ha'od ovi chai, meaning "Your anxiety about the effect of your not coming home on your father, the effect on his health that losing a child would have, is very touching. And where was your concern when you told him I had been ripped apart and eaten by a wild animal?" His idea is that our own behavior will be proof that our rationalizations for bad behavior are knowing lies.

Similar answer: Evidence from your behavior that you knew that what you were doing was wrong.
You couldn’t come up with tzedakah or tuition, but you managed to scrape together enough money go to the mountains for a couple of months (Oy, I couldn't survive in the city! It was mamesh pikuach nefesh!); you can’t shut up in shul (don't give me mussar! If you had kavana, my talking wouldn't bother you!) but at the movies, or at a concert, you read the riot act to someone who whispers to his friend or whose cell phone goes off.

C. Rav Rudderman— the effect on other people.
Din is his personal aveiros. Cheshbon is the effect his behavior had on other people, and if it had influence on them, the ripples continue to spread throughout history. For example, if a respected person does a bad thing, and an observer says that he, too, can do such things, or he loses his respect for Torah, then when he raises his own children he will not instill in them a love for Torah and Mitzvos, and the children will be less then they could have been. All this is on the head of the person who did the aveirah. (Remember, though, that the proper reaction when you see a choshuveh person doing an aveirah is not "if he can do it, the whole thing is a fake," but instead "even great people are not perfect, all humans are frail. May Hashem help me to overcome my evil inclination!"

Along these lines: the Tanchuma in Parshas Ha’azinu toward end of Ohs Aleph, that says that "kapeir le’amcho Yisroel" is for the living, and "asher podiso" is the meisim, and the Tanchuma brings this idea that meisim need a kaporo, and can be niskaper by the maisei tzedoko of the living, from a Toras Kohanim. The Gemora in Horyos 6a indicates that if some of the tzibbur are alive and getting a kapporo, then the meisim also get a kapporo, and it’s not called a chattos for a meis, but this is only in the context of a korbon chattos. Evidently, even the dead need kapparah. How can this be, if they were judged when they died? It may be that their behavior when alive continues to have ramifications in the world of the living, both for the good and for the bad, and for this they continue to be judged.

This, Rav Rudderman said, is what Chazal mean when they say that the Sifrei Chaim and the Sifrei Meisim are opened on Rosh Hashanna. In fact, the Brisker Rov brings down from Reb Chaim that this is pshat why when Shaul raised Shmuel from the dead, Shmuel was afraid-- lamah hirgaztani, and he brought Moshe Rabbeinu along as witness that whatever he did was justified ahl pi hatorah.

D. Judgment according to what you specifically knew.
People are judged according to what they know in Torah. Knows more— judged more strictly. Also, people are judged according to the skills and opportunities they had. This is a pshat in "techilas dino shel odom al haTorah," (although the Gemora that says this in Sanhedrin 7a means for not bothering to learn Torah.) So first a person is judged on his actions. Then there is a cheshbon of what the person knows. The judgment is re-visited on the basis of the level of understanding the person had. Rav Rudderman says this as pshat in "Atta yodei’a es kol hamif’ol, vegam kol yetzur lo nikchad mimeko, that this is what gam kol yetzur means.)

This, by the way, is also the pshat in the tefilla "Ma’asei ish ufekudoso." Pekudoso refers to his purpose in this world, and the talents he was given to accomplish some specific work in life. Each person is judged by a general standard, and also by the standard of what he would have and should have accomplished if he had used his abilities as Hashem intended them to be used. In a similar vein, Pekudoso can also refer to the pikodon he was given, the wealth that Hashem gave him— it is given to be used for avodas Hashem in this world. If a person just wastes it, or does nothing with it, there is a cheshbon: You were made steward of this wealth for for a purpose; did you use it as you were intended to?

E. R Meir Simcha in Nitzavim– failure to do teshuvoh when you realized you had sinned.
Sort of like the Gaon, that cheshbon is for the failure to do tshuvoh, which can be worse than the underlying aveirah. We may be driven by our nature to do aveiros, but there is no excuse for not doing teshuva. The Cheshbon is, what did you do when you realized you had sinned?

F. I suppose the simplest answer is this: Din is a determination of what you had done that was meritorious and what that was sinful. Cheshbon is the calculation of the relative weight of your actions-- are you rov zechuyos? Are you mechtza ahl mechtza? However, I have not seen this explanation; when the answer that appears most simple and intuitively correct is not given by the gedolim, I have to think about why they did not say it. Maybe it is a valid interpretation, but they don't say it because it doesn't really offer much in the way of a new perspective that would help us to analyze our behavior or improve ourselves.

G. Chaim B of added a pshat; Brisker Rav (P' Braishis): din is doing what is right for the circumstance; cheshbon is whether you should find yourself or put yourself in those circumstances to begin with.

H. Reb Yitzchak Lampronti, the Ramchal’s Rebbi, in his sefer Pachad Yitzchak– deciding whether you have eliminated the result of your sin.
Why is it, he asks, that in Divrei Hayamim, there is a lengthy discussion of the king Menashe’s teshuva, but in Melachim, there is nothing, zero, mentioned except how terrible Menashe was? (Reb Yehuda in Cheilek learns the pesukim in Divrei Hayamim kipshutam, that Menashe did real teshuva.) And the same question can be asked about Yishma'el's teshuva. He answers that teshuva is crippled when the result of your behavior exists in the world. Me’uvas lo yuchal liskon, Chazal say, refers to a man who fathers a mamzer. He may do teshuva, but it is a poor and weak teshuva, maybe no teshuva at all, because the evidence of his sin, the result of his sin, walks the earth. So when Yirmiahu wrote Sefer Melachim, he did not mention Menashe’s teshuva: although he did teshuva, his talmidim, the vast number of Jews whose worship of Avodah Zarah was aided and encouraged by Menashe, and their children and children's children, were still worshiping Avodah Zarah. So his teshuva was like no teshuva at all. But Divrei Hayamim was written by the Anshei Knesses Hagdola after Churban Bayis Rishon, at which point the Yetzer Hara of Avoda Zarah was killed. Thus, the people whose association with Avoda Zarah abandoned their beliefs, and so the results of Menashe’s sins no longer existed in the world– and at that point his teshuva became real and meaningful. The mussar haskeil is that one who does teshuva must carefully think about the results of his aveiros, and he needs to rectify everything that resulted from his behavior.

1 comment:

  1. Honestly I am Not sure if It is any diffrent then the others But the Bnei Yissachar Says When You come Up to Shmayim there Going to ask You if this is the situatuion what would you do?(think Dovid and Batsheva "Poor Man Has one Goat and Person Steals it Schects it and eats it Whats the din :kill Him well Thats you". Din is you Chesbon is What you said about yourself not realsing it is you He says it twice I think once b Pesach Amazingly his point is When you Learn Look For Heterim cause you will eventually Give Judgment on Yourself!