Dear Rav Kornfeld,
I haven't looked at your site for a long time and forgot how wonderful it is. You and your staff get a big yashar kochacha (or perhaps kochacheim) on all the gadlus you bring to every blatt Gemora.
When discussing Shimshon (Sota 9b http://www.dafyomi.co.il/sotah/insites/so-dt-009.htm) you explain his kavona in the dubious conversation of his wife. You never mention the concept "aveira lishmah" and I wanted to know if that was a conscious omission or not. Was this b'geder aveira lishma?
Chanoch Oppenheim, Charlotte, NC
Shalom, Rav Chanoch, and thank you for your kind words.
Perhaps it is better to leave "Aveirah Lishmah" out of the discussion, because it is so often misused and misunderstood. The only time it appears in Chazal is with regard to Yael. She was permitted, and perhaps even obligated, to do what she did. Her action was referred to as "Aveirah" only because it would be an act of Aveirah had it not been for Piku'ach Nefesh.
The story of Shimshon is more comparable to the story of Tamar. The Gemara tells us (in the same Sugya as that of Yael, Nazir 23b) that although she was Mezaneh, she begat kings and prophets. What she did was not forbidden, but it was an act that is normally considered to be immoral. She did it Lishmah, in order to build up Klal Yisrael, and for that purpose it may be done l'Chatchilah. That has its parallel in the Shimshon story, as we explained.
Kollel Iyun Hadaf