I would like to talk today about some of the Middos with which HKB”H created the world. Specifically I would like to share with you an insight that is brought down in the Sefer Davar Tov regarding the Midda of Sholom.
There is a Chakira in a number of Achronim regarding (חֹשֶׁךְ) Choshech. If darkness is a creation or is it simply an absence of light. Virtually everyone agrees that darkness is a creation. As a matter of fact the GR”A in Aderes Eliyahu on Parshas Beraishis makes the point. They bring a Posuk from Yeshayahu 45:7 (יוֹצֵר אוֹר וּבוֹרֵא חֹשֶׁךְ, עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם וּבוֹרֵא רָע) Yotzer Ohr Uvorai Choshech Oseh Sholom Uvorai Ra. A Posuk from which our Beracha (יוֹצֵר אוֹר וּבוֹרֵא חֹשֶׁךְ) Yotzer Ohr Uvorai Choshech comes. From there we see that (יוֹצֵר אוֹר וּבוֹרֵא חֹשֶׁךְ) Yotzer Ohr Uvorai Choshech that HKB”H created darkness. It was not simply an absence of light.
The Sefer Davar Tov makes a Diyuk from here regarding Sholom as well. Sholom one might think is an absence of Machlokes. But here the Posuk says (יוֹצֵר אוֹר וּבוֹרֵא חֹשֶׁךְ, עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם וּבוֹרֵא רָע) Yotzer Ohr Uvorai Choshech Oseh Sholom Uvorai Ra. It says Oseh Shalom. From here he makes the Diyuk that just as we can say that Choshech is a creation because of the Posuk the same thing, Sholom is a creation because of this Posuk. Mimeila we understand that Sholom is not just the absence of Machlokes but it is a Midda of getting along with somebody else.
With this we understand the Gemara in Maseches Yevamos 62b (12 lines from the bottom). The Gemara there talks about the advantages of marriage. (אמר רבי תנחום א”ר חנילאי כל אדם שאין לו אשה שרוי בלא שמחה בלא ברכה בלא טובה בלא שמחה דכתיב ושמחת אתה וביתך בלא ברכה דכתיב להניח ברכה אל ביתך בלא טובה דכתיב לא טוב היות האדם לבדו במערבא אמרי בלא תורה בלא חומה בלא תורה דכתיב האם אין עזרתי בי ותושיה נדחה ממני בלא חומה דכתיב נקבה תסובב גבר רבא בר עולא אמר בלא שלום דכתיב וידעת כי שלום אהלך ופקדת נוך ולא תחטא). This is a few of the wonderful attributes that we get when we get married. One of the things that the Gemara says is that someone who is Shori B’lo Isha Shori B’lo Sholom. Someone who is living without a wife is living without peace. This is very confusing because as anybody who is married will tell you, the biggest stumbling block to peace seems to be the challenges that marriage presents. Therefore, to say Shori B’lo Isha Shori B’lo Sholom, I would think the reverse. Someone who lives alone is certainly Shori B’sholom.
But according to this we understand. The idea is that when there is no possibility of Machlokes that is not Sholom. That is not the Midda of Sholom at all. Sholom is when there are two Dai’os, there are two opinions and there is Sholom between them and they get along, that is the Midda of Sholom. A tremendous insight.
I remember once seeing a Teshuva in the Maishiv Davar from the Netziv. He brings a Chazal who says that Sholom was created on the second day of creation. The Netziv makes exactly the same point. He says that on the first day of creation when there was an oneness so that is not Sholom. When there is no possibility of Machlokes that is not a Midda of Sholom that is a Mitzios of Sholom. On the second day of creation there there is a possibility of Machlokes when there is a Midda of 2. When there is a Midda of 2 then when there is Sholom there is Sholom. That is Mirumaz in the fact that the Yom of the second day is Tehillim 48 (שִׁיר מִזְמוֹר, לִבְנֵי-קֹרַח). We say the Mizmor written by the Bnei Korach, those who made Sholom out of a Machlokes. Part of the Machlokes of Korach, and at the last minute were able to pull themselves out and make Sholom with Moshe Rabbeinu. So that Sholom is when there are 2. The Midda of Sholom is when there is a threat of Machlokes. This is an insight into the Midda of Sholom.
Let us move from the Midda of Sholom to the Midda of Emes. I would like to share with you a thought that Rav Moshe Shapiro said in a Shiur recently and which the Yesod of this thought is brought here by Rav Schwab in his Pirush on Parshas Beraishis in Mayan Beis Hashoeva (page # 3 on Posuk 1:26).
The Gemara in Maseches Sanhedrin 6b (top of the page) relates that Moshe Rabbeinu never made a Peshara in a Din Torah. Moshe Rabbeinu said (יקוב הדין את ההר) Yikov Hadin Es Hahar. Let the Halacha sort of pierce the mountain, let it conquer all. We go by the strict Halacha. The Gemara goes on (אבל אהרן אוהב שלום ורודף שלום). But Aharon Hakohen Moshe Rabbeinu’s brother had a different Midda. He was (אוהב שלום ורודף שלום ומשים שלום בין אדם לחבירו שנאמר תורת אמת היתה בפיהו ועולה לא נמצא בשפתיו). That Aharon Hakohen had the Midda of making a Peshara. So the Pashtus of the Gemara is that Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon Hakohen argued on this point and that is how the Maharsha explains it. Moshe held not to make Pesharos, (יקוב הדין את ההר) Yikov Hadin Es Hahar, to go by strict law. Aharon Hakohen said no to make a Peshara.
In Pirkei Avos 1:12 we learn (הוי כתלמידיו של אהרון–אוהב שלום ורודף שלום). In Pirkei Avos it encourages to be from the Talmidim of Aharon Hakohen. It brings the Posuk here in the Gemara (אבל אהרן אוהב שלום ורודף שלום). Here we see that even though it is a Machlokes Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon Hakohen, we follow Aharon Hakohen. It is a Davar Pele. Can it be that there is a Machlokes and we Pasken like Aharon Hakohen and not Moshe Rabbeinu? That is a Pliya! It can’t be. Therefore, it needs an explanation.
There is a Medrash in Beraishis which says that when Hashem came to create the world some of the Middos said that the world should be created. Some said it should not. The Midda of Chesed said the world should be created. The Midda of Emes said no, human beings are full of Sheker. The Midda of Tzedek said the world should be created. The Midda of Sholom said man should not be created. There was a Machlokes amongst the different Middos. Cryptically what does the Gemara say? What did HKB”H do? He took the Midda of truth and threw it to the ground. The Malachim were astounded. They said to HKB”H, why are you putting to shame your Midda the Midda of Emes?
The Medrah says Hainu Dichsiv (Tehillim 85:12) (אֱמֶת, מֵאֶרֶץ תִּצְמָח) let truth sprout from the ground. HKB”H threw it to the ground. So the simple meaning of this Medrash is that the Midda of Emes was ignored.
Rav Shapiro said and Rav Scwab says the same, that that is not the Pshat at all. There are two types of Emes. There is an Emes Hashamaimi, there is a heavenly Emes, an Emes which is absolute. Which is totally consistent with the actual facts and the way things are. That is one Midda of Emes. There is another Midda of Emes. (אֱמֶת, מֵאֶרֶץ תִּצְמָח) Emes Mai’eretz Titzmach. Not a heavenly Emes but an earthly Emes that requires compromise in order to go forward. In an imperfect world the absolute truth should not always be said. As the Gemara says in Maseches Kesuvos 17a (top of the page) (ובית הלל אומרים כלה נאה וחסודה אמרו להן ב”ש לב”ה הרי שהיתה חיגרת או סומא אומרי’ לה כלה נאה וחסודה והתורה אמרה מדבר שקר תרחק אמרו להם ב”ה לב”ש לדבריכם מי שלקח מקח רע מן השוק ישבחנו בעיניו או יגננו בעיניו הוי אומר ישבחנו בעיניו מכאן אמרו חכמים לעולם תהא דעתו של אדם מעורבת עם הבריות). If your friend purchases something and asks you what do you think of it? The Gemara says tell him that it is wonderful it is beautiful. If a man is married tell him Kalah Na’eh V’chasuda. You have an absolutely wonderful and beautiful wife. Whether it is true or not is irrelevant. The Emes of Olam Hazeh is an Emes that is not the Emes of Shamayim it is the Emes of an imperfect man. A human being needs to adapt Emes for Sholom. As a matter of fact that is the Emes of Eretz. (אֱמֶת, מֵאֶרֶץ תִּצְמָח) Emes Mai’eretz Titzmach. It is a type of Emes that is not absolute in the sense that it has to adapt to the needs of Olam Hazeh. Of course we don’t just say anything. However, according to the rules of the Torah HKB”H Natal Emes V’zorko Eretz and he said Taleh Emes Min Ha’aretz. Let the earth give forth the Emes. That is the Emes that we have.
Rav Schwab said that he was once standing among a group of people and a young man who was a Shoteh, who was not intelligent as he had some mental disabilities lost his grandfather, his mother’s father and had just come back from the Levaya. The father’s father of this Shoteh was there and this young man went over to him and said why are you alive, mommy’s father died aren’t you supposed to die as well? Of course no normal thinking person would say such a thing. But says Rav Schwab that is the Emes of the thought that is supposed to go through a person’s mind. Chazal say in Maseches Bava Basra 12b (6 lines from the top) (א”ר יוחנן מיום שחרב בית המקדש ניטלה נבואה מן הנביאים וניתנה לשוטים ולתינוקות) that HKB”H took Nevua from Neviim and he gave it to the Shotim. That is the Emes Hashamaimi. That is the Emes that we are referring to before Natal Emes V’zarkah Eretz.
Says Rav Moshe Shapiro from this we understand the Gemara in Maseches Sanhedrin. Moshe Rabbeinu was the only human being who was Mikabeil the Luchos Rishonos, the first Luchos. Moshe Rabbeinu lived on the level of the first Luchos. Of course the first Luchos were destroyed before they were given to Klal Yisrael. The level of the first Luchos is the Navi’s Emes, the absolute Emes, the Emes Hashamaimi, Luchos (Torah) that came straight from the Ribbono Shel Olam. Moshe Rabbeinu made no Pesharos, (יקוב הדין את ההר) only absolute Emes. We are (כתלמידיו של אהרון) Talmidav Shel Aharon Hakohen, our Emes is an Emes of (אוהב שלום ורודף שלום) Oheiv Shalom V’rodef Sholom, that adapts itself to the Sholom. That is why we follow the Hanhaga of Aharon Hakohen not of Moshe Rabbeinu. We follow the Hanhaga that doesn’t say (יקוב הדין את ההר) Yikov Hadin Es Hahar. It says make Pesharos make compromises in order for things to work.
I should add as a PS. When a Din is an absolutely clear Din to a Bais Din it is Assur to make a Peshara. A Peshara in only made when a Din is not absolutely clear. Nevertheless, this idea of settling for a partial Emes is a tremendous lesson. So we have a lesson in the Midda of Sholom and a lesson in the Midda of Emes.
Finally, I would like to share with you a thought regarding a Beracha a blessing of Olam Hazeh. The greatest blessing that HKB”H has given the physical world is the blessing of Geshem, rain. Rain provides free water for humanity, for all of creation. Rain allows everything to grow. Water is the greatest blessing. Yet water always comes with something that is uncomfortable. We say that the Tefilla of Ovrei Derachim is that it should not rain. Someone who is travelling does not it want to rain on him. We have to tar our roof and make sure that our roofs don’t let rain in. In an extreme level rain can sometimes cause flooding and can kill people. So that the idea of Geshem, the Gevuras Hageshem is a blessing. But the blessing comes always with a certain level of danger. That rain, that Geshem that is the greatest Beracha is a Mashal for all Berachos in this world. After the curse of the Cheit of the Eitz Hadas all Beracha comes with something else. HKB”H says (תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם) Tochal Lechem, you can eat bread but as it says in 3:19 (בְּזֵעַת אַפֶּיךָ, תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם). There is a mixture of Beracha with difficulty. You will have children but as it says in 3:16 (בְּעֶצֶב, תֵּלְדִי בָנִים) it will come with difficulty. Olam Hazeh is a place where Beracha comes along with challenges and difficulty. That is an understanding of this Midda, the Midda of Beracha.
So today we discussed 3 Middos, Sholom, Emes, and Beracha. In all 3 we have seen that they are not absolute. Sholom is only Sholom when there is a potential for strife and there is a difference of opinion. Emes is only Emes where accommodations are made with Sholom. Beracha is only Beracha in this world when it comes with challenges. With challenges that have a potential for problems that come cwith it. A person who understands the Berachos of Olam Hazeh will do well in dealing with them.
Let me end with something that came to mind when I was reviewing the Parsha. In this week’s Parsha we have 5 two letter words that appear consecutively. It is highly unusual. It is towards the end of the Parsha in 5:32 (נֹחַ, אֶת-שֵׁם אֶת-חָם). Those 5 words are 2 letter words consecutively. If I recall correctly there is one other place in Chamisha Chumshei Torah where this occurs, however, I don’t remember where. Perhaps somebody else knows. If not, undoubtedly over the year when we are Mavir Sedra each week we will be able to come up with the other one. (Ed. Note – this appears again in Beraishis 35:17 (כִּי-גַם-זֶה לָךְ בֵּן) and in Shemos 17:16 (כִּי-יָד עַל-כֵּס קהּ).
With that I wish everyone a wonderful Shabbos and a wonderful Beraishis a new Haschalah, Shiurim begin anew, Sedorim begin anew, the Zman begins anew. We should all be Matzliach in all that we do.