Day 16: Sticks and Stones

Day 16: Sticks and Stones

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 English Translation Follows


כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מֵאַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים אֲנָשִׁים אֵלּוּ שֶׁמָּנִינוּ–אַף עַל פִּי שְׁהֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֵין לָהֶן חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא.  וְיֵשׁ עֲבֵרוֹת קַלּוֹת מֵאֵלּוּ, וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁהָרָגִיל בָּהֶן אֵין לוֹ חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא, כְּדֵי לְהִתְרַחַק מֵהֶן וּלְהִזָּהֵר מֵהֶן.

וְאֵלּוּ הֶן:  הַמְּכַנֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ, וְהַקּוֹרֶא לַחֲבֵרוֹ בְּכִנּוּיו, וְהַמַּלְבִּין פְּנֵי חֲבֵרוֹ בָּרַבִּים, וְהַמִּתְכַּבֵּד בִּקְלוֹן חֲבֵרוֹ, וְהַמְּבַזֶּה תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים, וְהַמְּבַזֶּה רִבּוֹתָיו, וְהַמְּבַזֶּה אֶת הַמּוֹעֲדוֹת, וְהַמְּחַלֵּל אֶת הַקֳּדָשִׁים.

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁכָּל אֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ אֵין לוֹ חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא, בְּשֶׁמֵּת בְּלֹא תְּשׁוּבָה.  אֲבָל אִם שָׁב מֵרִשְׁעוֹ, וּמֵת וְהוּא בַּעַל תְּשׁוּבָה–הֲרֵי זֶה מִבְּנֵי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא, שְׁאֵין לָךְ דָּבָר שֶׁעוֹמֵד בִּפְנֵי הַתְּשׁוּבָה:  אַפִלּוּ כָּפַר בָּעִיקָר כָּל יָמָיו, וּבָאַחֲרוֹנָה שָׁב–יֵשׁ לוֹ חֵלֶק, שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר “שָׁלוֹם שָׁלוֹם לָרָחוֹק וְלַקָּרוֹב, אָמַר ה’–וּרְפָאתִיו” (ישעיהו נז,יט).

כָּל הָרְשָׁעִים וְהַפּוֹשְׁעִים וְהַמְּשֻׁמָּדִים וְכַיּוֹצֶא בָּהֶן שֶׁחָזְרוּ בִּתְשׁוּבָה, בֵּין בַּגָּלוּי בֵּין שֶׁחָזְרוּ בְּמַטְמוֹנִיּוֹת–מְקַבְּלִין אוֹתָן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר “שׁוּבוּ בָנִים שׁוֹבָבִים” (ירמיהו ג,כב):  אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן שׁוֹבָב הוּא, שֶׁהֲרֵי בַּסֵּתֶר בִּלְבָד חוֹזֵר וְלֹא בַּגָּלוּי–מְקַבְּלִין אוֹתוֹ בִּתְשׁוּבָה.

Each one of these twenty-four people that we have listed, even though they are of Israel, they have no share in the World to Come. There are also lesser sins than these that the Sages have warned that habitual transgression also removes a person from the World to Come, and therefore a person should take special care to distance himself from them.

These are they: one who creates a disparaging nickname for another, and one who calls another by such a name. One who embarrasses another in public, and one who seeks honor through the downfall of another. One who disdains the scholars, and one who disdains his teachers. One who disdains the holidays, and one who desecrates holy things.

What sort of circumstance are we discussing that each one of these people would not have a share in the World to Come? When such a person dies without repenting. If he repented of his wicked ways before he died, however, he is a Master of Teshuvah, and he is among those who have a share in the World to Come, for nothing can stand against teshuvah. Even one who denies the essence of Judaism all his life, and at the end he repents, has a share, as it is written (Isaiah 57:19), shalom, shalom to the far and to the near, says God, and I will heal him.

All of the wicked and the sinners and the apostates and their like who repent, whether publicly or privately, are accepted, as it is written (Jeremiah 3:22), return, returning children. Even though he is still returning, for he is only returning in secret and not in public, his teshuvah is accepted.

Translation from Maimonides on Teshuvah (5th edition 2017)

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