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Emunah = Clarity

R Pesach Siegel

Parshat Kedoshim

Apr 27, 2012

Emuna = Clarity

(Based on the words of Mori VeRabi, Rav Aizik Ausband, z"l)

The Torah in Parshas Kedoshim tells of the repercussions of one who places his trust in the powers of Ov and Yid’oni (Those who bring forth voices through the dark arts). The posuk states, “Venasati es panay banefesh hahi” – I will turn my face towards the offending soul. (Perek 20, posuk 6).

 The Toras Kohanim expands on this. “I will take every spare moment, turn away from all other of My involvements, solely to deal with the offender.” (Rashi, perek 17, posuk 10)

 Rashi in Meseches Sanhedrin (daf 44b) supplies us with an example of “Venasati es panay banefesh hahi.”  He  relates a story, a story of a mix up. A great sage’s coffin was mixed up with that of a wicked tax collector resulting in the tax collector receiving much honor, while the sage’s burial was a disgrace. The sage appeared to his vexed student in a dream. He clarified that this disgrace was his final atonement. The honor that the wicked one received was the payment for a charitable act he had once performed. Now, the wicked man is not enjoying any honor. His ear is placed at the gates of Gehinom and the hinge revolves upon it. He is to stay there until Rav Shimon ben Shetach comes to take his place!!!! There are Jewish women, practitioners of the dark arts, who ply their trade in Ashkelon. Rav Shimon has not yet brought them to justice. Needless to say, Rav Shimon, upon being informed of this decree succeeded in uprooting this evil nest.

 This consequence would only be reserved for something which is cardinal to the entire purpose of creation.

 Let us explore.

 In the Haftorah portion of Parshas Tazria, the Navi relates of the danger the Jewish entity was under from the nation of Aram. Bands of marauders would go out and prey upon the weak. In one of these raids they captured a young maiden and brought her to Na’aman, the general of the Aramian army. She was put into service under his wife.

 Na’aman was stricken with leprosy. The leprosy was not an ailment and it did not weaken him in the least. It was divine justice administered against him for his practice of capturing Jewish maidens. (Malbim)

 The young maiden, seeing her master stricken so, revealed to her mistress the existence of the Jewish prophet Elisha. If Na’aman would only travel to Shomron and approach the Navi, he would surely be healed. And so it was.

How did the maiden know that Elisha would even acquiesce to see the wicked Na’aman? And Elisha, indeed, refused to gaze upon him, as the Torah relates. Na’aman approached his doorway, and Elisha sent a messenger out to convey his words to him.

From whence did she possess the surety that Hashem would give Elisha the ability to heal Na’aman? Even the abilities of a prophet are limited.

One may venture to say that it is the foolish belief of a naïve young girl. But then it would not be included in the Holy Scriptures. Its presence is a sign that we are to learn from her belief.

The young maiden was certain, and her certainty was based on her emunah that there are no coincidences in life. Na’aman sought a cure among his own people and his efforts were fruitless. She is the only one in the whole region of Aram who possesses the knowledge of a holy man amongst Israel. And divine providence placed her in the very place that her knowledge would be of benefit. She didn’t see herself as a mere captive, but as a shliach, an emissary of Hashem. She knew with certainty that the whole point of her captivity was to bring about a meeting between Na’aman and Elisha HaNavi.

 This is the level of the young maidens of the time. She was nothing more than a child, and yet she saw so clearly.

 The King over the Ten Tribes was Yehoram the son of Achav. He believed in the powers of Avoda Zara. When Naaman arrived, he first approached King Yehoram. The king ripped his garments in fear. He knew he lacked the power to heal Naaman from his leprosy.

 One who believes in other powers is constantly in a state of confusion. There is no clarity or consistency in a reality of multiple options. A young innocent child was blessed with the clarity that the king lacked. She saw the hand of Hashem in the events of the time, while he only saw himself. And he found himself wanting.

 In the Haftorah of Parshas Metzora, the Bnei Yisroel find themselves besieged by the camp of Aram. Starvation is rampant within the city walls. Four lepers, forced to live outside of the city lose their source of sustenance as a result. They deliberate amongst themselves. Remaining in their present state spells certain death for them. They would throw themselves upon the mercy of the enemy camp. Perhaps, out of compassion, they would be supplied with food.

Upon approaching the enemy camp, they find it devoid of its inhabitants. Everything is thrown about in a state of confusion. They saw the Hand of Hashem evident. Hashem had performed a miracle for his people. He had caused the enemy to panic and run away before an imaginary host.

They quickly went to inform the king. He saw things through other eyes, convinced that it is a setup, a plot, a ruse by the enemy to lure the Jews out of the city where slaughter awaited them.

The lepers saw and understood. There are no coincidences. One Hand guides all. The evil worshipping king was as the idols he worshipped, “They have eyes but do not see.”

Belief in the existence of other competing powers is the block to Emunah. One can only truly believe in Hashem with the attainment of clarity, the clarity that Hashem is not only the greatest of all, he is the One and Only.

Although we now live in a time when supernatural, mystical powers are not commonly found, competing forces vie for our belief, for our attention.

The very future of our world rests upon the ability to see through the emptiness of everything that stakes a claim to its own power. It is incumbent upon us to pierce through the concealing veil. Redemption will only come at the point when all is clear.

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