Torah Thinkers Forum

A Tzadik Decrees

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The following is based on a lecture I heard from Rabbi Eitan Feiner.

In all the plagues of Egypt but one, Moshe was first told from Hashem what plague would ensue if Paroah wouldn't send the Jews free, and then Moshe relayed the message to Paroah. The exception was the plague of Arbeh (locusts).  For this affliction, the Torah does not record Hashem telling Moshe that Arbeh was to come, but it does mention Moshe warning Paroah about it. If Moshe wasn't told in advance of that plague, and how did Moshe know it would happen? 

Rabbi Feiner gave a few answers to that question. The one that intrigued me the most was the one postulated by the Chasam Sofer (Rabbi Moshe Shreiber (Sofer) 1762-1839) . He said that Moshe decided on his own that the next plague would be Arbeh, and Hashem went along with the idea based on the rule צדיק גוזר והקדוש ברוך הוא מקיים (A Tzadik Decrees and Hashem Fulfills)! 

This rule is based on a sentence in Iyov (Job) 22:28 and has many applications in the Talmud and Midrash. I take the rule to mean that the Tzadik is so attuned to the Torah, which is Hashem's will, that what he wishes and what Hashem wishes are one and the same. So here too, when Moshe divined (pun intended) that  the next plaque would be Arbeh, it was so. One reason that Moshe came to that conclusion was that the previous plague, Barad (hail), had destroyed all the strong hard crops, but not the soft ones. So the next plague should inevitably conclude that job of destroying all Egyptian crops.

A story is told of the Chofetz Chaim's son, who was travelling with the son of a great Chassidic Rebbe. The Rebbe's son related that there were always miracles in his father's house that happened  because 'A Tzadik Decrees and Hashem Fulfills'. The Chofetz Chaim's son answered that in his father's household, things worked differently. There life was based on the rule of 'Hashem decrees and a Tzadik fulfills' .  :-)

This week, Jerusalem hosts the annual Agudath Israel Yarchei Kallah (Torah study convention) at the Ramada Hotel. When I still lived in the States, I attended the convention (along with 100-200 others from the States) many times and greatly enjoyed spending a week away from work, steeped in the learning of Torah, and hearing many wonderful lectures. Now that I am privileged to live in Yerushalayim and learn in a yeshiva on a daily basis, I still make it my business to attend one lecture given every year on Wednesday mornings.

Today I once again was at the Ramada Hotel listening intently to Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein. He is a renowned Posek (Torah decisor)  who regaled the crowd with a number of cases that came before him this past year (some of which I may discuss in future blog entries). He discussed what he based his decisions on in each case.

Sitting there I thought to myself that a Torah scholar who decides right and wrong is also fulfilling the dictum of 'A Tzadik Decrees and Hashem Fulfills'. He must be fully versed in Torah and Halacha, and use his knowledge to decide what the Torah's (and Hashem's) will is. Since he lives by the rule of 'Hashem decrees and a Tzadik fulfills, Hashem grants him the privilege of letting the rest of us know what His will is.

May we always live by the rule of  'Hashem decrees and a we fulfill' to the best of our abilities.  

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COM_EASYBLOG_GUEST Thursday, 14 December 2017
Last updated on: 12/14/2017
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