Saturday, September 03, 2005

עיר הנדחת and תשובה

In this past weeks parsha we had the dinim of עיר הנדחת. The Rambam in Hilchos Avoda Zara (4:6) writes a very difficult din. He writes that if the people do teshuva the city no longer has a din of עיר הנדחת. The Raavad there asks that we don't find that teshuva ever helps by a punishment of בית דין.

Many acharonim ask why is this so? Why doesn't teshuva help to save a person from a punishment of בית דין? There are many answers, I will mention 2.

The Chida writes that in theory Teshuva would help, but the בית דין can never ascertain whther a person really did teshuva. Only Hashem can, and therefore theבית דין cannot take teshiva into account.

A more fundamental answer is based on the following. We can ask how can teshuva work? After all normally we say לא אתי דיבור ומבטל מעשה, words cannot wipe out actions. The answer is that teshuva does not work with the notmal principles, teshuva is not of this world, in fact, Chazal state that teshuva preceded creation. Therefore, בית דין cannot take into account teshuva because it is not part of the system of this world.

This all strengthens the Raavad's question.

RYBS (printed in קובץ חידושי תורה) explained the Rambam as follows. When the Rambam writes that if they do teshuva they no longer have a din of עיר הנדחת he doesn't mean that the guilty go scot free. He means that the city is no longer an עיר הנדחת and all the various dinim of עיר הנדחת don't apply, however, those individuals who worshipped avoda zara are punished as individuals. Why is this so? RYBS explained that the gemara (based on the pesukim) says that the people of an עיר הנדחת are בני בליעל, reshaim who have no chelek in olam haba. The Rambam understood this as part of the definition of an עיר הנדחת, that the people need to be reshaim who have no chelek in olam haba. Therefore, if they do teshuva, it doesn't absolve them and prevent punishment but takes away the חלות שם of עיר הנדחת because they can no longer be called בני בליעל, Since, בני בליעל is part of the definition of עיר הנדחת the city no longer qualifies, however, they are punished as individuals.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

"The Rambam understood this as part of the definition of an עיר הנדחת, that the people need to be reshaim who have no chelek in olam haba."

See Sanhedrin 45b; two opinions if 'kra kidiksiv' is taken literally. (Interestingly, one of the examples the gemara brings there is from Ir Hanidachas- if there's no road). The gemara does not end up paskening like either opinion ("tnay hi"), but the Rambam seems to pasken that we do not require kra kidiksiv. If that's the case, why would he require "bnai blial" to be taken literally in this case? Does RYBS discuss this?

bluke said...

The Mishna (111b) learns out from the words בני בליעל that the people in an עיר הנדחת have no chelek in olam haba. Based on that RYBS said that the Ramabm held that this is part of the definition of an עיר הנדחת

Anonymous said...

I still dont understand how RYBS answers the question. If a בית דין cannot take into account teshuva because it is not part of the system of this world that should apply to the status of . בני בליעל

If teshuva somehow changes the 'shaim' of someone clapei his status why cant it do so in other chayovei meiso? Ef murder or chilul shabos. If we say in those cases once we pasken, thats it - teshuvah cant stop anything - why is different here?

Anonymous said...

How does the Chidah deal with the following case in the Talmud? If a man asks a woman to marry him on the condition that he is a Tzadik; then the marriage is efective even if he totally evil.

Anonymous said...

Also if someone is a rosho is posul l'eidos. But teshuvah helps there. Also in terms of accepting a psak din from a talmid chochom. If he does some aveiroh that pasels him we find that teshivah helps later on and we can re accept him.

Also Teshuvah helps to count someone in a minyan.

bluke said...

Other aveiros don't have this requirement of בני בליעל. Someone who is mechallel shabbos is chayav even id he does teshuva and becomes a great tzaddik. By עיר הנדחת there is a special gezeras hakasuv that the people need to be reshaim. Once they do teshuva they no longer are and therefore it cannot be an עיר הנדחת.

I believe the case of marriage is only a safek

Pesulei Edus probably are like an עיר הנדחת, there also the Torah exceludes a Rasha from being an עד. If so, when he does teshuva he is no longer a rasha.

In truth, the questions are better then the answers.

Anonymous said...

Re: The question on the Chida from a Rasha being mikadesh an eisha "al minas sh'ani tzadik gamur", if B"D has no authority over tshuva.

The Bnei Yissaschar has a sefer on Chumash called Derech Pikudecha where he asks a similar question (If tshuva is toleh until Yom Kippur or death for some aveiros, how can a Rasha's kiddushin be chal?). RHS brings a beautiful teretz from RYBS in Nefesh Harav 2 (I forgot what that sefer is called): A Tzaddik is someone who does only righteous acts. Teshuva wipes out THE PAST. Someone can be a Tzaddik even though they have not wiped out their past, as long as they pledge to be pious in the future. Thus, a (former) Rasha can be mikadesh an eisha "al minas", and it will be chal, even if his tshuva is toleh until Yom Kippur (or death, etc.) because RIGHT NOW he truly is a Tzaddik. Same thing here.