Monday, January 04, 2010

Parshas VaYichi:Attempting To Do An Aveirah

This week I spoke about an interesting Ohr HaChaim. Yosef told his brothers not to worry about having sold him since in the end it all turned out for the best. The Ohr HaChaim writes that this is similar to someone who tries to poison another person and in the end mistakenly gives that person a cup of wine. Since in the end of the day nothing bad happened the attempted murderer is patur even from dinei shamayim.

The Kli Chemdah among others asks that this is against a gemara in Nazir 23a. The gemara says that if a woman becomes a nazir, and drinks wine not knowing that her husband had previously annulled her vow, that she is still chayav malkos m’d’rabanan. The gemara compares it to someone who eats a piece of meat thinking it is chazir and in the end it turns out to be kosher. We see from here that one is punished for bad intentions even if they did not lead to any aveirah.

The Kli Chemdah answers that there is a difference between aveiros Bein Adam L’Makom and Bein Adam L’Chaveiro. By Bein Adam L’Makom, HKBH knows your thoughts and it makes no difference if you only thought about the aveirah or you did the aveirah. Even though we say you are generally not punished for your thoughts that is only where no action occurred. However, here, since you did an action, albeit a muttar action, you are still punished. By Bein Adam L’Chaveiro, since people only know your deeds and not your thoughts you are not punished for your thoughts.

Another teretz is found in the Beis Yitzchak Siman 8. He says if the end result was a dvar mitzvah then you don’t get punished. But if the end result is a dvar reshus you are punished. He says there is a Ran in Shabbos like this. I did find a rayah to this idea in Shut Sharei Deia Siman 36. The gemra in Sanhedrin says the cemetery workers who bury the bodies on Yom Tov should not get punished because they are doing a mitzvah.

L’halacha the Pri Megadim discusses if a person who thinks he is eating treife and winds up eating kosher, is he posul l’eidus. According to the Rambam (Hilchos Nezirus), such a person should get malkos d’rabanan and therefore he should be posul l’eidus. He writes in Teivas Gema Parshas Mattos that it depends on why we give the malkos. Rashi in Nazir says it is only l’migdar milsa so you would not be posul l’eidus. The Rambam implies it is to punish you for attempting to do an aveirah. In that case you would be pasul l’eidus. Tosafos holds like the Rambam in terms of why we would give malkos, but paskens we don’t give malkos in this case. According to both rashi and Tosafos you would not be pasul l’eidus although for different reasons.


micha said...

Would this imply that while he's off the hook for murder, since that's BALC and chaveiro didn't suffer, he isn't off the hook for contemplating murder?


Chaim Markowitz said...

The point of the Ohr HaCHaim is that you are patur for attempted murder.

micha said...

But R' Chaim, do you really think that the Ohr haChaim doesn't hold that someone who tries to kill another won't get any time (or is that "time"?) in gehenom for it? I find that concept altogether astounding, to the point of not believing it possible.


Chaim Markowitz said...

Read what he says.

He says someone who intends to give someone poison and winds up giving him wine is not chayuv even b'dinei shamayim. His loshon is "Harei eino mischayav klum, harei heim peturim v'zakaim gam b'dinei shamayim". Here is a link to it

His point is that this is what Yosef is telling his brothers-they will not be punished for what they did.
You don't have to understand it, and there are other meforshim who clearly disagree. I'm not saying I fully understand it either but the bottom line is that is what the Ohr HaChaim holds.

micha said...

I'm astounded. I still am unable to be meqabeil that's what he meant. There HAS to be more to the story. The Ohr haChaim himself discusses hirhurei aveirah being worse than the aveirah itself (as per Yuma 29a). Here he is saying that the hirhur without the aveirah is patur???

(Not to mention it being a huge disjoin between the Ohr haChaim and his talmid, the Chida...)


Chaim Markowitz said...

>> The Ohr haChaim himself discusses hirhurei aveirah being worse than the aveirah itself (as per Yuma 29a

Where does the Ohr HacHaim discuss this.

In any event I have two answers.

1) the Ohr HacHaim is discussing onshim-getting punished for doing or thinkiong something. Hirhurei aveirah kasha k'aveira might not mean punishment. It might mean something else.

2) There is probably a difference between hirhur and machshava, just like there is a difference between stam re'iyah and histaklas. Even Without the Ohr Hachaim you can ask that on the one hand we have a concept called "hirhurei aveirah being worse than the aveirah" and on the other hand we have a oncept that HKBH is not mistareif machshava l'ma'seh by aveiros-meaning Hashem won't punish for your intent but only for doing the actual act.

The difference could be that mchshava would be more like intention. Soemone who has a machseves aveirah means that he intends to do an aveirah. When acting on his intention he can either be successful or unsuccessful.

Hirhur would be thinking and dwelling on a ma'aseh aveirah whetehr or not there is intention to do that aveirah. For example, soemone can think all day about z'nus. Now that person has no intention to commit any acts of z'nus, rather all he is doing is fantasizing and being miharheir. In this case, one can even go as far to say that the hirhur itself is in effect the ma'aseh aveirah. In such a case we would say hirhurei aveirah is worse than the aveirah.

However, someone else might not be dwelling/thinking about it but rather he "only" intends to do the actual ma'seh z'nus. He might or might not be unsuccessful. It is this case which the Ohr Hachaim is discussing.