Monday, November 20, 2006

Parshas Chaya Sara: Ein HKBH Meivi Takala L'Tzaddikim

This weeks chaburah was on the topic of "ein HKBH meivi takala l'tzaddikim", Hashem will see to it that tzaddikim don't sin.

Machlokes Rashi and Ramban

After Eliezer meets Rivkah, it says in the possuk (24:32) "vayiftach hagemalim". The question is, what does this mean. Rashi explains that Eliezer unmuzzled his camels. Until now the animals had muzzles on so they wouldn't eat grass that didn't belong to them. The Ramban quotes a medrash that asks, why would we assume that the camels would "steal" grass? The gemara in Chullin 7a describes how the donkey of R' Pinchas ben Yair refused to eat tevel and how we see from here that HKBH will prevent the animal of a tzaddik, and kol sh'kein a tzaddik himself from doing an aveirah. Why wouldn't this also apply to Avraham and his camels? Therefore, the Ramban explains that "vayiftach hagemalim" means that the animals were tied together and Eliezer untied them.

Understanding the Machlokes

Shittas Tosafos

Tosafos in Chullin (5B) asks that how can the gemara say that HKBH will prevent a tzaddik from doing an aveirah, we see many cases in the gemara where an amora did an aveirah. (ayin sham for examples). Tosafos answers that this klal only applies by food related aveiras, in other words where the aveirah comes from eating forbidden foods. Since these aveiros are more chamur than other aveiros, Hashem will see to it that a tzaddik not stumble. I saw two reasons given for this. One reason is that ma'achalos asuros is m'tamteim the lev. The second reason is given by the Meromei Sadeh in Yoma that a person's body is made up of the food he eats and Hashem does not want a tzaddik to have this food in his system.

Shitta HaRan

The Ran argues on Tosafos and says that if the tzaddik is posheia-he negligently places himself in a position to do an aveirah, so then he won't be protected. Hashem will protect a tzaddik for any aveirah if he does his best not to do the aveirah.

Shut Marhasham

With this the Maharsham explains the machlokes between the Ramban and Rashi. Rashi holds like Tosafos. Since stealing is not a food related aveirah, Avraham would not be protected and his camels might eat stolen grass. Therefore, they had to be muzzled. The Ramban holds like the Ran that this klal applies by all aveiros and there was no need to muzzle the camels.

Rav Elchanan's Teretz

R' Elchanan in Kovetz Shiurim (Chullin Siman 112) has another answer. He writes that both Rashi and Ramban hold like Tosafos that the klal applies only to food aveiros. However, the question is does a stolen item turn into a cheftzah shel issur. According to the Ramban, the stolen grass becomes a cheftzah shel issur and if teh animals would eat it they would be doing an aveirah with food. Therefore, Hashem would prevent Avraham from being nicshal in this aveirah and there is no need to muzzle the animals. Rashi holds it doesn't become a cheftzah shel issur and it is necessary to muzzle the animals.

Another Nafka Mina

I saw brought down in a sefer Chavatzels HaSharon on the parsha that this question of whether a stolen iten becomes a cheftzah shel issur could have another nafka mina. The Biur Halacha is mesupak over the following case. Reuvein steals tztitzis strings from Shimon and attaches it to his beged. Then he pays Shimon for the stolen strings. Is this a chisaron of ta'aseh v'lo min ha'asoy. L'chorah you can claim that the shailah can only start if you assume the stolen strings become a cheftzah shel issur. (ayin afikei yam chelek 2 siman 31).

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