Wednesday, October 25, 2006

creating a b'dieved - din v'cheshbon according to the brisker rav

Following their cheit, Adam and Chavah made "kosnos or" to wear to cover themselves. When Adam heard Hashem approaching he hid himself, claiming to Hashem that he was embarrassed because of his nakedness. Hashem rebukes Adam, asking, "Who told you you were naked...".
It seems, asks the Brisker Rav, that Hashem’s rebuke overlooks a major failing of Adam and instead opens by seizing on a minor point. Why does Hashem rebuke Adam for Adam’s feeling of embarrassment and overlook what seems the far more damning behavior of his ludicrously attempting to hide from G-d’s presence?
The gemara tells us (Brachos 24b) that if one is clothed from the waist down, one is permitted to recite kerias shema, but not tefila. Rashi explains: during tefila one is standing before the King, which obligates a more dignified mode of dress.
The Brisker Rav explained that Adam’s "kosnos or" sufficed as a covering when not in Hashem’s presence, but in the presence of the King himself, more significant dress was needed – Adam ran into hiding not to flee G-d, but to cover himself more fully as befits the King’s honor. Given the situation, Adam’s action was technically the best thing to do. However, Adam was still open to rebuke. Only ex post facto of eating the eitz hada’as and being aware of his nakedness could Adam come to such a halachic conclusion. Adam’s actions may have suited the circumstance, but, rebuked Hashem, Adam still bears the fault of creating those very circumstances by having eaten the eitz hada’as.
According to the Brisker Rav, this is the meaning of "din v'cheshbon" – “din" is judgment on whether our actions were appropriate to our circumstances – the b’dieved solution is often appropriate for the b’dieved circumstance we face; "cheshbon" is judgment on our responsibility for creating those less than ideal situations through our own choices. More on this to come, bl"n...

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