More Discussions for this daf
1. Lechem on the Shulchan too early 2. Thinking Of Aveira 3. Logical Problem
4. Re-learning old information

Jeremy Kanzen asked:

Rav, forgive my limited knowledge but I have the following question:

In today's daf we learn that thinking about an aveira is worse than performing an aveira.

I believe that I heard from Rabbi Tatz in London that HaShem counts a person's intention of performing a mitzvah even if he could not actually perform it. I'm sure he also said that intending to do an aveira but not going through with it, through HaShem's mercy, is not counted.

If I understood correctly, how can these conflicting opinions be resolved?

Kol tov,

Jeremy Kanzen, London

The Kollel replies:

You heard correctly. The general rule is, as R' Tatz stated, is that someone who plans to sin but does not carry out his plan is not punished. There are different explanations regarding our Gemara. Rashi (DH Hirhurei) says that our Gemara is specifically talking about illicit thoughts about women, and is not referring to the punishment aspect of planning to sin with them, but rather that these thoughts make him more physically sick than if he would actually sin (which would also weaken him to a certain extent). The Tosfos Rid says that our Gemara is saying that one who lusts after women does so in a stronger fashion when he cannot do the sins he is imagining than when he actually does these sins.

All the best,

Yaakov Montrose