Friday, June 30, 2017

Honesty: The Smag

See the amazing Divrei Yonah below at bottom, courtesy of Rabbi Chaim Lando!

In light of current events, the following Smag* should be widely perused and disseminated. Perhaps ironically, I first heard it from Rabbi Matisyahu Solomon shlita (my translation):


Smag Aseh 74:

And I have already expounded to Galus Yerushalayim in Spain (Sefarad) and the other Galuyos under Christianity (Edom), that now that the Galus has lasted too long a Jew must separate himself from the frivolities (Hevlei) of the world and grasp the seal of Ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu, which is Truth, and not lie, neither to Jews nor to non-Jews, nor to deceive them in any matter, and to sanctify ourselves even in that which is permissible to us, as it says (Tzefani'a 3:13): "The remnant of Israel will not commit foul deeds nor speak falsehoods, nor will there be found in their mouths treacherous tongues." And then, when Ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu comes to redeem us the non-Jews will say that He is just in doing so, for we are men of truth and Toras Emes is in our mouths.

But if we conduct ourselves towards the non-Jews with deceit (Rama'us), then they will say: "See what Ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu has done, that He has chosen as His portion thieves and cheats."

Furthermore, it is written (Hoshe'a 2:25): "And I will plant them in the earth." Why does a person plant a measure of grain in the earth? In order to cultivate several measures. So too Ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu planted Yisroel in the various lands so that converts would join us. As long as we conduct ourselves amongst them with deceit who will cling to us? And, we find that Ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu was upset even by theft from evildoers, as it says(Bereishis 6:11): " And the land was filled with theft (Chamas)."

Further, I bring proof from the Yerushalmi Chapter Eilu Metzi'os (Halocho 5), where it says: "The elder rabbis (Rabbanan Savi'ai) bought a measure of grain from non-Jews and found within it a bundle of money. They returned it to them, and the non-Jews said: 'Blessed is the G-d of the Jews.'" Many similar stories of lost items that were returned to non-Jews because of Kiddush Hashem are related there.

(That's the same Yerushalmi cited in the review article in the immediately preceding blog post.)


  1. Courtesy of Rabbi Meir Golberg: Also - Be’er Hagolah in Choshen Mishpat 348:5 (Based on Sefer Chassidim 1074) states “I am writing this down for future generations, for I have seen many who have become wealthy through errors that gentiles have made. But I have also seen how they have lost their money again, and have left nothing for their heirs, as is recorded in Sefer Chassidim. Those who sanctified Hashem’s Name by returning gains made through the errors of others became wealthy and left much of their riches to their children.”

  2. Courtesy of Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky, a highly apt reference to Yirmiyahu 7:8-11.

  3. I had the same reaction after a prior such scandal (Arp '11)

  4. Note 3, Havoth Yair 136 also see the current issue of Mishpacha "The Final Chapter" about Seletzki seforim store if one reads till the end. disturbing.

  5. sorry, my bad. I meant Topic 3, all of it, starting: 3. In my post here I discussed ... R. Yair Hayyim Bacharach.