Monday, April 24, 2017

Aharon’s Silence; Plus Another Possible Message from Hashem

In this week’s parsha, Aharon’s sons Nadav and Avihu die.[1] What was Aharon’s reaction? He could’ve complained. As Gemara[2] says, “A person whose suffering causes him to challenge G-d is not sinful.” No, Aharon did just the opposite! He fell silent.”[3] [4]

What is the value of silence? The Gemara[5] says, “When a person ignores insults, Heaven ignores his or her sins.”[6]

Why is that? One who overcomes his feelings of anger towards someone and acts magnanimously, he is forgiven for all his wrongdoings, since forgiving others at a time when one is angry is elevating,[7] in that it’s an expression of the soul ruling over the body.[8] Rabbi Moshe Cordovero points out that it is far better to achieve atonement for a sin by suffering an insult in silence than to undergo physical punishment which may interfere with one’s ability to perform mitzvos or study Torah.[9]

Here is some food for thought:

A stupid person who is silent is considered to be wise.[10] As the Gemara[11] says, “Silence is lovely for a wise man, all the more so for a fool.” Therefore, “One who guards his mouth and tongue protects himself from trouble.”[12] Avos[13] recommends, “The best medicine[14] that is most beneficial for one’s body,[15] is silence.

The Maharal[16] writes, “The point is that taking into account that a person is a physical being, he gains from silence. Speaking is... a physically based power. Speech is a physical attribute, not a mental one at all. For that reason, speech should be shunned so as not to suffer from an error or mental disintegration. When a person is involved in verbal activity, he is negating his mental resources… One should, therefore [try to] maintain silence and take initiatives with his intellectual features that are not corporeal, as is the power of speech, thus avoiding errors.”

In Tehillim, it says, “Silence is Your [i.e. Hashem’s] praise!”[17] In addition, “Silence is a protective guard for wisdom.”[18] Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says, “All my days I grew up among wise men and I found nothing better for a person than silence.”[19]

We also see that strength of G-d is manifest through His non-reaction to the insult and blaspheming of the wicked.[20] Furthermore, “Those who listen to their shame and do not respond in kind to their insulters,” it is about them that the posuk refers to when it says, ‘and those who love Hashem will shine as bright as the midday sun.’”[21]

The Gemara[22] says that the whole world exists only in the merit of the one who bridles his mouth in a moment of strife.

Want a “segulah” to ignore insults? At the end of shemonah esrei, it says, “My G-d... To those who curse me, let my soul be silent and let my soul be like dust to everyone.”

When saying those words, concentrate on them intently. With Hashem’s help, if someone hurls an insult at you, it will appear to you like a speck of dust on your jacket![23]
[1] See Vayikra 10:1-2.

[2] Bava Basra 16b.

[3] Ibid. 10:3.

[4] Rabbi David Aaron says, “When life gets rough, ask not ‘why’ this is happening to me but ‘what’ this happening is asking of me. In every painful situation choose to find opportunities for growth and humbly reserve judgment of the Master Mind of the universe.”

The Kotzker Rebbe (i.e. Menachem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk) once said, “Man has two eyes with which to see his life from two perspectives - one to see the greatness of the Creator; the other to see his own shortcomings.”

[5] Rosh Hashanah 17a.

[6] In addition, the Vilna Gaon (I.e. Rabbi Eliyahu Kremer) says, “For every moment man keeps his mouth closed (and does not respond at all to a provocation) he earns the merit of receiving a holy radiance (whose benefit) is far beyond the comprehension of any angel or being” [see Shemiras HaLoshon – volume 1, Sha’ar HaZechirah, chapter 11 “גם עבור כל עת ששומר” and Iggeres HaGra, “V’ad yom moso…”].

[7] However, NEVER:

· Speak, criticize or ask forgiveness from someone when they’re angry (See Avos 4:18 and Berachos 7a-b).

· Apologize immediately after your hurtful comments. For Avos D’Rebbi Nosson (41) says, “If you done your fellow man a slight wrong, let it be a serious matter in your eyes…”

If you apologize first, without depersonalizing the impact, you are communicating that you are sorry for what you did, but you are not conveying that you did not mean what you said. When you make your apology after your disclaimer, it is generally received in a better light. (Seek Peace and Pursue It by David J. Lieberman, page 116).

· Admonish a scoffer, lest he hate you… but the wise person will love you (See Mishlei 9:8 and 15:12).

[8] See Yuma 23a and Chovos HaLevovos, chapter 7.

[9] Tomer Devorah, chapter 2, ‘השלישית’.

[10] Mishlei 17:28.

[11] Pesachim 99a.

[12] Mishlei 21:23.

[13] 1:17.

[14] See Megillah 18a.

[15] See Maharal on Pirkei Avos by Rabbi Tuvia Basser, page 57.

[16] Commentary on Avos 1:17.

[17] 65:2. If that’s the case, then why do people talk during chazaras hashatz which is completely forbidden?! (see Shulchan Aruch 124:7 and Mishnah Berurah 131:1). As the Shulchan Aruch HaRav (124:10) says, “One who talks while the shatz is mentioning the praises of Hashem demonstrates that he has no desire to join the chazzan in praising Hashem and thereby creates a chillul Hashem! In the words of Shlomo HaMelech, “[There’s] a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Koheles 3:7). As the Gemara explains, “At times one is silent and receives reward for silence. At times one speaks and receives reward for the speech” (Zevachim 115b). Speaking of silent, Rabbi Pesach Krohn points out that the words silent and listen are spelled with the exact same letters. He says that in shul, you have to be silent and listen to what the chazzan is saying. Whether it is Chazaras HaShatz, Berachos, Krias HaTorah (Orach Chayim 146:2 and Mishnah Berurah 5) or what the Rav is saying.

[18] Avos 3:17.

[19] Ibid. 1:17.

[20] See Gittin 55b.

[21] Gittin 36b, Shabbos 88b and Yuma 23a.

[22] Chullin 98a.

[23] As the Gemara (Sukkah 52a) says, “The yetzer hara seeks to overcome person a person every day and if not that HaKodosh Baruch Hu assists him in his struggle, he could not prevail.” However, “When a person exerts himself in Torah (or in any area of avodas Hashem) to the best of his abilities, then Hashem grants him heavenly assistance and he will attain very great levels” (Chovos HaLevavos, Sha’ar Cheshbon HaNefesh 3:21 “והאחד ועשרים”).

This appeared on YouTube.  I believe it to be of great interest.  The accuracy of the report, I don't know, but it is definitely worth watching.  Of course, the biggest thing to me is whether this is another message from Hashem, especially if you replace Planet X with Nibiru:


  1. condidering the weather in north america since and still un-going, this guy is right on the mark.
    big time flooding in the usa and eastern canada. check out Gatineau, quebec. you'll see

    1. I look at the weather, the great increase in earthquakes, flooding, volcanic eruptions and other phenomenon as very good news. They are all from Hashem, and along with Nibiru getting closer, it is a sign of Moshiach being much closer.

    2. See the video I just posted about the flooding in Gatineau, Quebec in the comment section for Friday's post "In the very essence of the Final Solution."

      Are you from that area Jean-Marie?