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What goes around comes around

By Rabbi Aharon Gabbay
July 19, 2019

In this Torah portion we are introduced to a new concept of Galut (exile) regarding one who kills unintentionally; they must flee to a city of refuge where they will be safe and must remain there for a certain amount of time. This will act as an atonement for their deeds.

Based on this, the Gemara in Makkot (10b) shows how Hashem conducts our world. The Gemara brings a parable: In two separate events, Reuven murders deliberately which is punishable by death and Shimon murders accidentally which is punishable by exile. There were however no witnesses to the murders therefore neither can be punished by a court of law. Hashem ‘invites’ both murderers into a hotel. Reuven, who killed on purpose, sits under a ladder and Shimon, who killed by accident, falls off the ladder killing Reuven accidentally; this time in full view of witnesses. Both Reuven, who deserved to be killed and Shimon, who deserved to go to exile now receive their rightful punishment.

The Gemara continues, that when a person chooses a path in this world, Hashem will lead him that way regardless of the consequences. The Gemara even brings an example from one of the most wicked people in Jewish history, Bilam. He wanted to curse the whole Jewish nation bringing sorrow amongst the children of Israel. When Bilam was addressed by Hashem, he was told “get up and go” implying that if that is the path you want to take, so be it.

Rabbi Shmuel Eidels, better known as the Maharshah, goes deeper into this concept. He explains that every thought, speech and action in this world, whether it is good or bad, will create you an angel for yourself in respect to that deed you have done. This angel will in turn aid you further with the very same deed he was created with and lead you to do more of that deed. Subsequently, you will be creating a, so to speak, army of angels corresponding to all your deeds in this world.

This opens up a new understanding to the Mishnah in Avot (4:2) whichstates: “Ben Azai says, one should run to pursue a minor mitzvah, and flee from an avera (transgression). For a mitzvah brings another mitzvah, and an avera brings another avera”. When you bring yourself to do a mitzvah, each component, the thought, the speech and the action will create an angel. These angels will work together for the sole purpose that they were created for and ensure that you do many more mitzvot. However, the aforementioned is also true with averot, even with averot these angels will carry out their task and see to it that you continue sinning.

When you make certain decisions and lead a certain path in your life, it can make a phenomenal impact on your spiritual growth. Each and every deed has a vital contribution and throughout your journey in this world you will build and destroy bridges which can have an endless effect. This will build you as a person and define who you really are. May Hashem bless us only to make the right decisions and choose good in this world.

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