Friday, June 8, 2007

Haughtiness & Lusting For Money - Where is the Prohibition Written?

The Yid HaKodosh of Peshischa asks: Why don't we find a prohibition in the Torah of haughtiness and lusting after money? These are two things that are the cause of the downfall of many. The Yid HaKadosh says that there is an fascinating allusion to this in this week's parsha, Shelach – something we say twice a day.


The posuk says וְלֹא-תָתוּרוּ אַחֲרֵי לְבַבְכֶם וְאַחֲרֵי עֵינֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר-אַתֶּם זֹנִים, אַחֲרֵיהֶם. The simple meaning of the posuk is: And you shall not run after your heart and after your eyes, which you will use to go astray. However, reading the posuk, the wordsאַחֲרֵי לְבַבְכֶם וְאַחֲרֵי עֵינֵיכֶם , which means after your…, can be interpreted as the letters after the word לב and you get the letters which spell גם, and after the word עין and you get the letters that spell כסף. Talmud Yerushalmi Brochos uses the word גם in connection with haughtiness (I couldn't find the exact location and context inside, but I'll take the word of the Yid Hakodosh), and כסף we all know means money. So, here in the posuk we have all said thousands of times we have an allusion to these two desires that one is supposed to stay away from.


Interestingly, the yahrzeit of the Yid Hakodosh is 19 Tishrei, the same yahrzeit as the Vilna Gaon. They both say something similar which I find very interesting since they share the yahrzeit. The following is what the Vilna Gaon says:


The famous posuk in Mishpatim says עַיִן תַּחַת עַיִן, an eye for an eye. We all know that this doesn't mean that if someone takes out a person's eye then we go and do the same to him. Rather, it means you have to pay with money for the value of the eye. The Vilna Gaon points out an allusion to the fact you need to pay money as opposed to taking out the guilty party's eye. The word תַּחַת also means under. If we take the letters under עַיִן we get the letters of כסף as mentioned above.

No comments: