More Discussions for this daf
1. Rebbi Yishmael Kohen Gadol 2. Age of Avraham Avinu 3. Accountabity for a father's misdeeds
4. Hash-m's anger 5. Acasriel ...Hash-m Tsevakos 6. Tosfos on Avraham Avinu
7. Gezeirah Shavah 8. Chronology 9. What the Kohen Gadol saw
10. The duration of G-d's anger 11. Reuvain -- now you see him... 12. The age of Avraham at Bris Bein ha'Besarim
13. G-ds anger 14. The Shechinah resting on the other nations 15. Recalling a prophecy
16. Dealing with the wicked

Rafi Herzfeld asked:

Iyun Hadaf-

(h) Answer #2: R. Yitzchak also refers to Heavenly matters -- R. Yochanan agrees that one should not confront him when he prospers.


Does this mean whenever the rasha prospers (both in his affairs and in heavenly matters, don't fight him) - meaning the answer depends completely on the rasha

Iyun Hadaf-

(i) Answer #3: Both discuss confronting a prospering Rasha in Heavenly matters;

1. A total Tzadik may confront a Rasha, a Tzadik with some sins should not.

2. (Rav Huna) Question: "B'Vala Rasha Tzadik Mimenu" -- can a Rasha swallow (destroy) a Tzadik?! It says, "Hash-m Lo Ya'azvenu v'Yado"!

3. Answer #1: He can destroy someone more righteous than himself, he cannot destroy a perfect Tzadik.


Does this mean a total Tzadik can fight a rasha (in heavenly matters, fight him) - meaning the answer depends completely on the tzadik? What does this imply about the rasha's affairs (ie. non-spiritual matters)?

4. Answer #2: A prospering Rasha can destroy a Tzadik.


How is this different than answer #2 where everything depends on the rasha (ie. depends if the rasha is prospering or not)? What does this imply about the rasha's affairs (ie. non-spiritual matters)?

Overall: could you supply a chart showing the opinions broken down by tzadik (total, non-total), rasha (prospering/non-prosperin), and also broken down by spiritual and non-spiritual maters.

Thanks!! Hope all is well in Har Nof!!

Rafi Herzfeld, Chicago, IL

The Kollel replies:

Q1) As you say, this means that, according to R. Yitzchak, one should never confront a Rasha who is successful. But who says that he holds all the cards? The Gemara in Gittin (7a) cites R. Elazar, who instructed Mar Ukva to go to the Beis-Hamedrash morning and evening (i.e. Daven) and those who were causing him endless suffering would cease automatically. In fact, 'Go to the Beis-Hamedrash ... ' also implies that he should learn day and night, and that is what will protect him.

Q2) Yes, this certainly means that the Rasha is incapable of destroying a total Tzadik, in which case the latter may take him on, and stands a good chance of winning. And assuming that answers 2 and 3 still conform with answer 1, which gives the Rasha the winning edge over his enemies in his private affairs (answer 3, even if he is not currently enjoying material success), then it means that one should not attempt to break him in his private affairs.

Q3) This is how the Eitz Yosef (in the Ein Ya'akov) explains the second, third and fourth answers.

2. Nobody should start with a successful Rasha, not even a total Tzadik (whereas even a partial Tzadik may start with a S'tam Rasha).

3. A total Tzadik may even start with a successful Rasha (whereas a partial Tzadik should not start even with a S'tam Rasha).

4. With reference to answer 3, even a partial Tzadik may only not start with a successful Rasha, but with a S'tam Rasha, he may. A total Tzadik may even start with a successful Rasha, as we learned in answer 3.

I understand from this explanation of the Eitz Yosef, that according to all the explanations, one may not start with a Rasha in his personal (material) affairs.

The Rif (in the Ein Ya'akov) however, explains that the Gemara's fourth answers negates the first one; in other words, it is only if the Rasha is successful, that one should not start with him in his personal affairs, but when he is not successful, then one may.

According to the Rif, the fourth answer ought to have read 've'Iba'is Eima, Ha ve'Ha be'Mili Dideih, ve'Lo Kashya, Ha be'Rasha she'ha'Sha'ah Masechekes Lo, Ha be'Rasha she'Ein ha'Sha'ah Masechekes Lo', and one wonders why the Gemara did not say that.

Do you still need a chart?

Kol Tuv

Eliezer Chrysler

The Kollel adds:

As I understand it, the various "Iba'is Eima" answers of the Gemara do not argue with each other. Rather, each further step fills in another part of the picture.

Based on this premise, we included a summary of the conclusions of the Gemara regarding when a Tzadik can and cannot confront a Rasha in one of our Insights to Megilah. I include the entire Insight below for your benefit.

Best wishes,

Mordecai Kornfeld


Insights to Megilah 13


QUESTION: The Rabanan say that the families of Yehudah and Binyamin were claiming credit for the miracle of Purim. The family of Yehudah claimed credit because David ha'Melech refrained from killing Shim'i ben Gera, from whom Mordechai descended. The family of Binyamin claimed credit because Mordechai was a member of Binyamin.

Rava argues and says that Mordechai was not to take credit for the salvation, but rather was to blame for the troubles to begin with. According to Rava, K'neses Yisrael was bemoaning what the families of Yehudah and Binyamin caused: since David ha'Melech, who came from Yehudah, did not kill Shim'i ben Gera, Mordechai was born who aroused the enmity of Haman and thus caused the entire Jewish people to become endangered. And since Shaul ha'Melech, who came from Binyamin, did not kill Agag, Haman was born who threatened the Jewish people with annihilation.

According to Rava, how could there be any allegation against Mordechai for provoking Haman's wrath? He was acting according to Halachah by refusing to bow down to Haman, since Haman was deifying himself! Why is there any reason to blame Mordechai?

ANSWER: The Gemara earlier (6b) discusses whether or not a Tzadik may confront a Rasha who is experiencing good fortune ("ha'Sha'ah Mesachekes Lo"). The Gemara concludes that even if the Tzadik is a Tzadik Gamur, a total Tzadik, he should not contend with a Rasha in worldly matters. There is a similar discussion in Berachos (7b -- see TUREI EVEN to Megilah 6b), the conclusion of which is that even with regard to spiritual matters, only a Tzadik who is a "Tzadik Gamur" may contend with a Rasha. If he is not a Tzadik Gamur, he should not contend with a Rasha at all, even regarding spiritual matters (that is, if suppressing his aggravation will not cause him to transgress of a Mitzvah). (See Berachos 7a, a Tzadik Gamur will not bear any suffering in this world; Ta'anis 21a, "If you [Nachum Ish Gam Zu] are a Tzadik Gamur, why are you suffering?" and MAHARSHA there.)

Haman's demand that the Jews bow down to him was clearly a spiritual matter; he was antagonizing the Jews and insisting that they worship him (Megilah 10b). Although it may have been permitted, Halachically, to bow down to Haman, nevertheless by not bowing in order to make a Kidush Hash-m Mordechai was certainly protesting a spiritual matter (see TOSFOS Shabbos 72b end of DH Amar Rava). If so, it could be that the question whether Mordechai is to be praised for what he did, or blamed, depends on whether Mordechai was considered a Tzadik Gamur or not. The families who said Mordechai is to blame for causing danger to the Jewish people maintain that he was not a Tzadik Gamur (see later, 16b), and therefore he should not have started up with Haman. The families who said Mordechai is to be praised maintain that he was a Tzadik Gamur, and therefore he was permitted to start up with Haman!

We see from the way that we commemorate Purim that we rule like the opinion that Mordechai was correct in what he did, and it must be because he was considered a Tzadik Gamur. For this reason, perhaps, the Targum always refers to Mordechai as "Mordechai Tzadika ," "Mordechai the Tzadik," to emphasize that he was a Tzadik Gamur and therefore he was justified in confronting Haman. (M. Kornfeld)