Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rav Moshe Weinberger Shalosh Seudos Drasha - Parashas Mishpatim 5752 - The Shevet Sofer: the disease of jealousy

Below is a write-up of Rav Weinberger's Shalosh Seudos drasha from this Shabbos, Parshas Mishpatim. He has not yet reviewed this version so any mistakes are due to the writer (and NOT Rav Weinberger OR my dear friend Dixie Yid).  You can see past write-ups of Rav Weinberger's Shalosh Sheudos Torahs here and get thousands of his shiurim in mp3 format at

Rav Moshe Weinberger
Shalosh Seudos Drasha Parashas Mishpatim 5752
The Shevet Sofer: the disease of jealousy

(Original text of the Shaarei Simcha (Parshas Mishpatim p.140) is in regular font. Rav Weinberger’s comments are in italics)

This is a torah from the Sefer Shaarei Simcha, written by the Shevet Sofer, the son of the Ksav Sofer and grandson of the Chasam Sofer.

Every generation has had their own characteristic מחלה (disease) and in our generation we also have our terrible illnesses. But there is a disease that runs across all generations from the creation of the world and it will be here until the coming of Moshiach.

The passuk says (Shmos 23:25) ״וברך את לחמך ואת מימיך והסרותי מחלה מקרבך״ (He shall bless your bread and your water, and I will remove disease from your midst). We can explain this according to what has already been said, that when a person dies not even half of his desires have been fulfilled. If he has 100 he wants 200. He looks with an עין רע (an envious eye) when he sees that others have more then him.

When someone has an עין רע he can't tolerate seeing that other people might have more.

As explained by the הפלא״ה, the inability to feel satisfied doesn't allow the rich man to sleep. A person can feel satisfied with the little that he has, but when he sees that others have more it awakens in him jealousy and desire for more.

One would think that rich people are comfortable and calm, having a good time. But some of the saddest people are the rich. Often they are the ones that cannot sleep at night. On the other hand people that feel they have way they need can sleep comfortably.

This is what Shlomo Hamelech said in Mishley רש ועושר אל תתן לי (poverty and wealth do not give me). The Maharam Schiff explains this to mean both at the same time, meaning that the person cannot feel satisfied with what he has, but to the contrary, the more he has the more he wants, becoming rich and poor at the same time.

This is what Shlomo Hamelech asked Hashem not to give him. Instead he asked that together with his wealth he should be given the Middah of feeling satisfied and to not feel jealous of others. So that if Hashem would bless him with riches he would be able to feel happy and satisfied with what he was given.

This is the greatness of the Middah of הסתפקות, of feeling satisfied, of feeling grateful for what one has. That's being שמח בחלקו (happy with ones lot).

As it's written (Mishlei 10:22) "ברכת ה׳ היא תעשיר ולאיו יוסף עצב עמה" (Hashem's blessing brings wealth, there is no sadness with it). This means that one should not feel troubled and upset seeing that others might have more, and that one should feel happy with what he has and not need to ask for more.

Envy and jealousy are a מחלה (disease) for mankind, the constant desire to have more money and wealth. This is what Hashem promises, to bless their bread and their water, by giving them the Middah of being able to feel satisfied. Thereby ויסיר מחלה  מקרבך, removing the disease from their midst, the envy and jealousy that resides deep inside, in the heart of men.  

This time of the year there is a big השפעה of שמחה in the world and this is the time of the Mitzvah of מחצית השקל (the half a Shekel). Because there is no bigger שמחה then to give to those in need. When we can feel happy and satisfied with what Hashem gives us, we can in turn give to others with an open hand.

May the merit of our Tzeddakah and our giving to others bring us to the  גאולה שלימה ואהמיתית במבי״ע.

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