The Salant Foundation via )
to me This is for all mankind!!
Day Forty-Five(כ) אמנם לא רצה לשוב ולכך כל סטרא דשמאלא נמשך משם.(20) However, he (Kayin) didn’t want to return. Therefore, the entire Left Side is drawn from there (Kayin’s transgression). Don’t Preclude YourselfAlthough it was the Almighty Himself Who revealed the Secret of Teshuvah Elyonah to Kayin and encouraged him to repent, Kayin incomprehensibly rejected the overture! How can we possibly understand his refusal to heed the words of the Holy One, May He be Blessed! In a similar light, there is the sorry tale of Yeravam ben Navat. After King Solomon’s death, Yeravam split the kingdom, set up golden calves for his subjects to worship, and prevented them from ascending to Yerushalayim. Indeed, so grievous were his sins he is one of the few notorious individuals noted for losing their entire portion in the World to Come. Nevertheless, he was still granted a golden opportunity: In order to inherit a portion in the World to Come rivaling that of King David himself, all he had to do was engage in Teshuvah! As the Talmud states (Sanhendrin 102a): “Rebbi Abba said, ‘HaShem grabbed Yeravam by his garment and said to him, saying “Repent, and I, and you and ben Yishai (King David) will stroll together in Gan Eden!” Yeravam asked, “Who will be first?” HaShem responded, “Ben Yishai will be first.” Yeravam declared, “If so, I do not wish to [repent]”. Yeravam suffered the “indignity” of settling for second place – and found it too intolerable to bear. What underlay Yeravam’s refusal to repent after hearing HaShem’s explicit promise?The Only Way is JoyThe Zohar sheds light on this enigma with a penetrating insight into human nature. As we quoted in Part Four to the Introduction, “One who ascends before the Sefira of Binah must do so with joy, and with no anguish nor sadness whatsoever.” (Terumah 165a). Kayin and Yeravam were consumed by negative emotions and oversized egos. Kayin was in anguish over HaShem’s having accepted Hevel’s offering and rejecting his; while Yeravam burned with jealousy over his “rival’s” perceived primacy. Their negativity and lack of joy precluded them from accepting even the Almighty’s encouragement to repent!The Saba Kadisha M’KelmAdditionally, the Saba Kadisha M’Kelm (Parshas Balak) advances a concept asserting that there are two forces in man: one the power of the intellect, and the second the power of the will. The intellect is founded on the truth, whereas, the will is founded on desire and devoid of all knowledge of good and evil. If one does not strengthen and sharpen his intellect, his intellect will be nullified because desire will dominate it. Hence, if he doesn’t continuously sharpen his intellect, foolishness and the Negative Impulse will overtake him.We can apply this principle to explain why Kayin refused to repent.From one perspective, Kayin was a genius who innovated the concept of giving a portion of his possessions as a sacrifice to the Almighty. Yet, from the other perspective he did not reflect on how to make an offering that is fitting to honor the Creator. Since he did not exercise his intellect with all his strength, his desire vanquished his intellect and reversed it to foolishness. Therefore, he refused to accept HaKodesh Baruch Hu’s advice to return. Yet there is no doubt that the preeminence of Teshuvah Elyonah is such that it holds the power to transform even the most impenetrable darkness to light – else the Almighty wouldn’t have exhorted them to try. Unlike Kayin, Yeravam and their ilk, may we follow the Eternal One’s inspiration, and experience firsthand His great compassion in revealing the Secret of Teshuvah Elyonah! With His help, we surely will succeed to ascend to our holy roots and “rectify every flaw.”Alacrity is the KeyIn the wake of Kayin’s refusal to repent, the spiritual venom spread to all his offspring throughout the generations, until today. The lesson is clear: if a person neglects to rectify himself, the damage affects not only him, but his descendants as well. It is therefore incumbent upon us to engage in Teshuvah Elyonah forthwith! The more one delays, the more the venom spreads. It is vital for a person who commits a misdeed to repent as soon as he realizes his error, and stop the “disease” in its tracks.For this reason, Kayin is held accountable for the corruption of all future generations, since he didn’t rectify his flaw through Teshuvah – for despite all the (admittedly) formidable obstacles in his path, he still possessed the power to master his nature. It therefore behooves all of us to learn from his mistake, while we yet have the opportunity to do so.It’s All On Us!If this is not enough, consider the following: Our Sages teach (Yerushalmi Yoma 1:1): “Every generation in which the Beis HaMikdash is not rebuilt in its days is considered as having destroyed it.” HaRav Nosson Wachtfogel z”l explains (Kovitz Sichos): “The reason is because it is [always] possible to transform evil to good. Therefore, ‘every generation in which the Beis Hamikdash is not built in its days is considered as having destroyed it’ because each generation has the power to transform evil to good.” Let us grasp the import of this lesson and “transform evil to good,” and thereby build the Beis HaMikdash soon and within our days.May the souls who left this world be remembered for a blessing.R’ Yochanon Mordecai ben Ephraim and Moras Esther Leah bas Yehudah YosephHaRav HaGaon Rebe Mordecai ben Rav MosheMeira Leah bas MichaelBasha Elka bas Moshe HaCohenR’ Maair Ben R’ Yakutiel and Javayeer z”tl HaRav HaGaon Rebe Yisrael ben HaRav HaGaon Zev WolfHaRav HaGaon Rebe Moshe ben HaRav HaGaon YacovMoshe FisherHaRav HaGaon Daniel Zvi ben Avraham ChanuchHaRav HaGaon BZFRefuah ShleimahYochanon Baruch ben Fruma EtttaZivia bas RaizelTzvi ben ChanaAvner Shimon ben ArgamonLeah Hadassah bas Michal ChanaChava Bas Michal ChanahMazal Malkah Mollie Bas SarahNuna bas NunaYakir Efraim Ben Rachel DevoraChaya Leah bas SaraChaya Shaina Chana Bas ItchaNetanel Ilan ben Shayna TziporaShmuel Ben NavatChanah Tauba bat Tzilah.Daniella bat SarahRise bat Faiga