||This was the post & response this person is referring to:
Date: 1/8/2004 6:36:51 PM
Subject: yirat sha'mayim
Message: I feel its is of very important to understand and follow Halacha in its correct way. I also feel it is very important not try a way out. As the Gemorah explains regarding the Mitzvah of Masser. The Gemorah wanted to show a difference in the generations in there observance of mitzvos how one generation Davka brought the food to the house in order to be Chayav in Masser and the how the later Generations tried to Pator themselves. We also learn in Mesilat Yesharim Chapter 14 that regarding Seperation in the Relm of Halacha one should try to always follow the most Chomra side if he can. Also many times the Chafets Chaim feels that a Yirat Sha' mayim should follow both oppinions in Halacha even in a case of a chumra. In all respect please state your opinion. Thank You
Reply: You pick a thing, here and there without reading the whole thing. The Mesilat Yesharim only allows Chumra (extra restrictions) after you are doing everything 100% perfect. Read the whole book, not just bits and pieces.
The Gemara shows a difference in the generations, yet in the later generations the Gemara Rabbis did it the easy way out, did they not?
There are times when we should follow both opinions and there are times that it is not allowed. Carrying on Shabbat even in a city with an Eiruv around it is certainly a time to be Machmir (strict), because 10 or so Rishonim (early Rabbis) say it is not permitted and you would be sinning to an extent that you would deserve capital punishment. That we ignore, but we're real careful about waiting 6 hours after dairy Bliot (absorbed flavor) that doesn't really exist. That we keep?!
He was learning every day Mesilat Yesharim, and is now a Maven (expert) on Yiraat Shamayim (fear of God). He has gotten pretty far along in the book, to Chapter 14, which discusses "Prishut." This means extra restrictions. In this chapter it discusses when and where extra restrictions are allowed and appropriate. The entire book is in sequence. It teaches us the steps to reach the highest levels in our religion. Chapter 13 explains very clearly that Prishut & Chasidut (the extra stuff) is not for everyone. It is only for those special people that have mastered the laws to the letter for a significant period of time, and have accumulated all the relevant Torah knowledge. This Tzaddik (pious person), when ready, can go up to the next levels of Prishut & Chasidut. It is thoroughly explained in Chapter 13. He must have missed it. Oops! When you read a book that you cannot understand, but you want to be "holy," and all the people around can see how special you are, that is not the way God intended it. When a person learned "Mesilat Yesharim for many years," and can ask that question, that is a sign that they have no clue as to what they have been reading. Anyone with a slight ability to read Hebrew is invited to look at Chapter 13, and tell me if that is not exactly the point of the entire Chapter.
He says that he "was asking the question in order to try and grow in my relationship With the Master of the world." But then easily loses it with statements like, "an arogant Baal Gayva who wants to up root Halacha and Minhagim for lav leshame shamayim." All because I did not accept his criticism and say, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I won't do it again."
If you look above at my answer, you'll see that I was probably too lax on this person. I said it too politely. Maybe that's the problem.
Now I would like to make up for that…..
That fool cannot understand the words that he reads. Instead of working on his character, on his ego and on studying a bit of Torah, he picks a Sefer above his head and pores over it for years. He is so confident with his newfound glory that he is comfortable quoting statements that he does not really understand. As the Mesilat Yesharim says right there in Chapter 12, quoting Pirkei Avot, Veloh Am Ha'Aretz Chasid, and an ignorant person cannot be a "Chassid," meaning someone who can go above and beyond the call of duty (not the modern day use of the word).
So you ask yourself, "why is he (AA) lashing out at this poor fool?" Allow me to explain.
When we study Torah, our goal is usually to read these laws and then try to follow them. Some people study just to justify their previous assumptions. This fellow quoted a line in Chap 12. He could have quoted any of the following lines in the few pages around that, but he only saw this line, because that is all his eyes can see. Look at some of the other quotes in those pages:
It is not enough what the Torah prohibited you, that you must add other restrictions?!
The Rabbis in their wisdom already decreed the specific necessary prohibitions needed by society, and why should we create new ones, that they (the Rabbis) did not see fit to create.
And besides, there is no end to this.
And we will become completely detached from this world, and not benefit from anything, and the Rabbis said (Yerushalmi Kedushin 84) that a person will eventually face judgment before God on each thing that his eyes saw, but he would not eat from it, even though it was permitted to him, and he was able to eat it....
And he quotes the Kohelet (king Solomon) who says "Al Tehi Tzaddik Harbeh..." Don't be an excessive Righteous person....
A Majority of people cannot become Chassidim, and it is enough for them to become Tzaddikim, however those special unique ones....
and on & and on & on.....
I posted this Shmoe’s (that’s his last name, no?) arrogance to show you how learning the wrong things, at the wrong time, or for the wrong reasons can bring a complete different look at the same words that another will see, reading it properly.