Thoughts from Kollel KLAL

Ki Seitzei

The passuk states “לא תחרש בשור ובחמור יחדיו, do not plow with an ox and donkey together.” The Bal HaTurim explains the reason is because an ox chews its cud whereas the donkey does not. When the donkey sees the ox chewing its cud it thinks that the ox is eating and the donkey will be pained that it does not have food to eat. In truth, both the ox and donkey ate the same meal and had the same amount of food. The donkey is mistaken – it thinks the ox is eating, although in truth the ox is not actually eating, and still the Torah forbids to plow with them together so as not to cause pain. If the Torah is so strict with the feeling of one animal for another, certainly we should be extra careful with another person’s feelings.

I made an appointment with an accountant by calling her secretary. After the meeting, I left and remembered the secretary set up the appointment, and turned around to say thanks. The secretary literally smiled from ear to ear. There are so many small and easy things we can do to cause positive reinforcement to another, and chas v’shalom cause pain.

The Gemara brings a story with Rav; he was saying over pessukim of Navi or Kesuvim before Rebi. Rebi Chiya entered after Rav started the shiur. Rav then returned to the beginning of the section to restart so that Rebi Chiya could hear the entire shiur. Bar Kafra entered, and again Rav started again, and did so again when Rebi Shimon B’Rebi entered. Rebi Chanina Bar Chama entered after them, Rav said, “Shall we return so many times and go back and start over? At this point, Rav did not restart. Rebi Chanina was disturbed that Rav did not restart for him as he did for the others. For the next 13 years, Rav came to Rebi Chanina before Yom Kippur to ask for forgiveness, and he wasn’t appeased. The question arises, why did Rav feel the necessity of going to Rebi Chanina to ask forgiveness? Was Rav indeed at fault for not repeating over the shiur at all, let alone so many times?

The Sefas Emes answers, although Rav was not obligated to restart, he was at fault, since he belittled Rebi Chanina by not restarting for him as he did for the others. Once he restarted for the others it was a disgrace for Rebi Chanina that Rav did not start over for him as well.

Avi Mori shlita said over b’shem the Sefas Emes another explanation: Rav was not at fault, and Rebi Chanina was not rightfully disturbed that he did not restart. Rebi Chanina came late so there was no need for him to restart. However, since Rebi Chanina was offended and disturbed by what Rav did, therefore Rav needed to appease him. Says the Sefas Emes, before Yom Kippur one needs to appease his friends even if the disturbance he caused to another was according to the law, and he is correct. Since another was bothered by your actions you need to appease him and help extinguish the ill feelings. We are expected to make peace and remove any disturbances from one to another.

Let us pay attention to another person’s feelings not to disturb them.

Leave a Reply