Monday, May 29, 2017

toras chessed

We are approaching the completion of our counting of the omer, the preparation for mattan Torah, during which time we have been mourning the death of Rabbi Avika's students.  The gemara (Sota 21) tells us that the study of Torah is greater than all other mitzvos in that a mitzvah protects one from sin and harm only when one is performing the mitzvah, but Torah affords 24x7 protection at all times, even when one is not actively engaged in learning.  Why then were these great talmidei chachamim, students of R' Akiva, not saved from death in the merit of their Torah study?  Why is it that they died davka during this period of anticipating and preparing for mattan Torah? 

Chazal tell us that R' Akiva's students died because they failed to honor and respect each other -- it was a flaw in their bein adam l'chaveiro, in their midos.  R' Shternbruch explains that Torah without bein adam l'chaveiro -- Torah without midos -- is not Torah.  Therefore, their learning did not protect them. 

You cannot celebrate a mattan Torah of laws bein adam la'Makom and ignore the bein adam l'chaveiro.  Right after speaking about the holiday in Parshas Emor, the Torah reminds us (23:22) that there is a mitzvah to leave pe'ah and leket for the poor.  Why stick that in here?  Meshech Chochma explains very beautifully that the Torah is hinting to us that when we celebrate Shavuos, we have to recognize that caring for the poor, social law, bein adam l'chaeivo law, is also part of mattan Torah.  When we stood at Sinai it was not just to receive a bunch of rituals.  (A quibble: the Torah there does not speak about Shavuos as the time of mattan Torah?)  It was to receive these laws as well.

The Beis Yisrael of Gur sees this lesson in Parshas BaMidbar, which is almost always read before Shavuos.  "V'eileh toldos Aharon u'Moshe b'yom dibeir Hashem es Moshe b'har Sinai."  The Torah tells us that it is going to list the toldos of Aharon and Moshe and then it then just lists Aharon's children.  So why mention Moshe?  Explains Rashi, one who teaches his friend's children Torah is credited as if he gave birth to them.  Because Moshe taught Aharon's children Torah, he counts as their father as well.  What Moshe got "b'yom dibeir Hashem es Moshe b'har Sinai," through mattan Torah -- or what Moshe needed to properly experience mattan Torah --- was this sense of responsibility for "chaveiro," for his friend, his neighbor, for their childrenThis is the "v'ahavta l'rei'acha kamocha" which R' Akiva called the "klal gadol baTorah" in action.  (And since these children count as his tolados, it also fulfills Ben Azai's dictum of "zeh sefer toldos ha'adam as the cardinal principle!) 

The Midrash writes that Rus does not teach us halacha; it teaches us chessed.  Chessed, caring for others, is not an additional theme tacked on to the Yom Tov of kabbalas haTorah, but rather is integral to what kabbalas haTorah is all about.

On a completely different note, I saw a pshat from the Divrei Shaul quoted in Ta'amei haMinhagim that, unless I'm mistaken, seems to refer to the myth of the sirens that appears in Homer's Odyssey and elsewhere.  He explains why mattan Torah was accompanied by thunder and lightening by quoting from the Ya'avetz's siddur that there are creatures that emerge from the sea and sing with such beautiful voices that people literally die from the pleasure of their song.  Kal v'chomer: if people die from the hearing the beautiful song of these sea men, imagine the effect the beautiful song of dvar Hashem would have!  (My wife's comment: but the gemara in fact says that people did die when they heard the dibros and Hashem had to revive them).  Therefore, Hashem used cacophonous thunder and lightening to minimize the effect of the beauty of the sound of the dibros. 

It's not an exact parallel: the sirens lure sailors to their death using song; here, the song itself kills people.  But it's close enough to make me wonder if it is one and the same myth.  Maybe it's sacrilegious to think that, I don't know.  I would like another source for this Ya'avetz if there is one, but don't have time to dig into it.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

nezem zahav b'af chazir -- the golden ring

Hopefully I will get to post something before Shavuos, but in case I don't, this amazing Koznitzer Magid (at the end of Avodas Yisrael) should make your Yom Tov.  In the last perek of Avos R' Yehoshua ben Levi tells us that a bas kol echoes from Sinai every day bemoaning those who ignore Torah.  The Mishna describes these people using the pasuk, "Nezem zahav b'af chazir...," it is like a golden ring in the snout of a pig.  M'mah nafshacha, asks the Koznitzer, how does this analogy make sense?  If people are learning, then they are not dragging the gold ring through the mud; if they are not learning, then they don't have the gold ring to begin with!  They have nothing, no connection -- where's the gold ring?

The answer must be, says the Koznitzer Magid, that every Jew, from the day he/she is born, has a connection to Torah built into his/her DNA.  We're not born with a silver spoon in our mouths -- we are born with a gold ring, a nezem zahav, the beauty of Torah.  The Mishna is telling us that it's up to us to make the most of that innate connection.  We can either seize the opportunity and hear the call from Sinai, or we can end up dragging that gold ring through the mud. 

Rashi writes at the beginning of our parsha that Klal Yisrael were counted when they left Egypt, they were counted again after cheit ha'eigel, and here Hashem counted them again all to show his love for them.

Vayis’u m’Refidim va’yavo’u midbar Sinai…” (Shmos 19:2)  Chazal connect the departure from Refidim with the arrival at Sinai: just as the former was accompanied by teshuvah, so too, the latter was accompanied by teshuvah.  If they did teshuvah when they left, why did they need to do teshuva again when they arrived?  Two years ago I posted the Shem m'Shmuel's answer: when a person goes up in ruchniyus, they need to re-assess the past from their new vantage point.  Sinai was a new level, a new height.  What might have passed for an adequate measure of teshuvah before when they left now no longer looked to be sufficient.

When Klal Yisrael was counted after they left Egypt, it was to take stock of who had made it through the difficult challenge of being in Mitzrayim.  After the cheit ha'eigel, it was time to take stock again and asses who had made it though that challenging experience.  In our parsha, Klal Yisrael has completed a Mishkan and are about to start the march toward Eretz Yisrael.  It is a new level of spiritual heights.  Therefore, a new count is needed to take stock again, to re-asses the past and see if indeed, the teshuvah that was done then, the (ac)count that was taken then, still passes muster (based on the Sheiris Menachem).     

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Yirah / Shaleim -- two names for the same place

In Parshas Lech Lecha we read that Malkitzedek, the king of Shaleim, brought out food and wine for Avraham.  That same place of Shaleim would later be renamed Yireh by Avraham Avinu in the parsha of the akeidah.  Two names given to the same place by two great people -- which one would win out?  The Midrash (parsha 56) writes that Hashem made a comprimise.  He combined the two into one and thus we have the name Yeru-shalayim.

What difference does it really make what you call the place?  It's still the same city, the same place on the map?

Rav Kook explains that the two names reflect two different approaches to religious development.  One approach is the philosophical approach, coming to Hashem through contemplation.  The other approach is the approach of tikun ha'midos, fighting off the yetzer ha'ra and the influence of evil and in doing so coming to purity.  Malkitzedek is the "kohen l'K-l Elyon," the master of looking on high, contemplating G-d in the heavens.  Avraham, on the other hand, saw the need for yirah, for bringing things down to earth,  dealing with the world and all its temptations and imperfections and bringing G-dliness to it.

Yerushalayim is the meeting place of both worlds.  It is the place where the Beis haMikdrash in heaven stands exactly corresponding to the Beis haMikdash on earth. 

Rav Aviner writes that after the Six Day War he asked R' Tzvi Yehudah by what zechuyos we had earned having Yerushalayim in our possession.  R' Tzvi Yehudah answered that it was not our zechuyos -- we surely are not deserving -- but rather it is a gift from Hashem.

I think it's a davar pashut that if someone gives you a gift, kal v'chomer if G-d gives you a gift, that you have to say thank you and show your appreciation.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

punishment in exact measure

A) "V'zacharti es brisi Ya'akov v'af es brisi Yitzchak v'af es brisi Ya'akov ezkor v'ha'aretz ezkor." (26:42)  It sounds like this is a bracha, but the pasuk is actually part of the tochacha.  The Shl"H explains that if a child grows up without a role model or training, it's not surprising if the child becomes a monster.  But if the child has wonderful parents who are excellent role models and the child still becomes a monster, then something is really wrong with that child.  Klal Yisrael does not lack for role models.  When Hashem looks at our behavior, he remembers that we are the children of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov.  We should know better and we should do better. 

Last year I quoted R' Eliyahu Lopian's (in the essay 'Ha'kove'a Makom l'Tefilaso' in the Ma'areches HaTeshuvah section in Lev Eliyahu) question: we quote this pasuk among the zichronos that we recite in musaf on Rosh haShana.  The halacha says that we are not allowed to recite pesukim that have negative implications or associations in the zichronos.  If the Shl"H's pshat is correct, what is this pasuk doing there?   Why would we mention a pasuk of rebuke?  R' Lopian ends by saying the answer is a deep yesod that he will explain some other time -- and then he leaves us hanging.

I discovered this year that the same question is asked by another one of the great ba'alei mussar, R' Ya'akov Neiman.  R' Neimen writes that al korchacha we must say that the pasuk is in fact an expression of rachamim.  So what's it doing in the tochacha?  He answers that we should not think that when there is a time of tochacha and Klal Yisrael is suffering punishment that Hashem has just abandoned us to fate.  To the contrary, even amidst the suffering, even when we deserve punishment, Hashem says, "v'zacharti es brisi," I Hashem still remember the covenant between us, and that punishment will be precisely meted out, no more than is deserved.

He gives two example to prove the point:

1) When Yosef is sold into slavery by his brothers, the Torah tells us that he was taken down to Egypt by a caravan of spice/perfume sellers.  Rashi explains (Br 37:25) that the Torah gives us this detail to tell us that Hashem spared Yosef from having to travel in a foul smelling wagon.  Here Yosef has been betrayed by his brothers, he has become captive to strangers, he is on the way to a foreign land to await some unknown fate -- would the caravan's odor really make that much difference to him at this point?  It's like a poor guy dressed in a ragged shirt, pants that have patches and holes, torn shoes, but he stops to put on a beautiful tie before he leaves his home.  What sense does it make in context?  Answers R' Neiman, Yosef may have deserved to have to become a slave in Egypt, but he did not deserve any more than that.  He did not deserve to suffer stink on his way down.  That's the "v'zacharti es brisi...."  Punishment -- yes, but not one drop more than is deserved.  The precise calibration is itself a nechama, in that it shows Hashem is in charge of every detail.

2) In describing the slav birds that Hashem brought in response to the people's complaints, the Torah in Parshas Be'ha'alosecha tells us that they were piled two amos high off the ground (11:31).  Rashi explains the significance of this detail: the birds were at just the right height to be taken, so that a person would not have to exert himself to reach up or to bend over.  Whoever ate those birds, continues the parsha, died.  The birds were sent as a punishment for the people's complaints.  Given the end result of suffering death, would having to reach up or down a little bit to grab the bird make any difference?  

Here too, answers R' Neiman, the point is that the punishment was precisely calibrated.  The extra exertion was underserved, and therefore was not included in the package.

B) Just before this pasuk of v'zachati the Torah describes how Klal Yisrael will ultimately confess their wrongdoing, v'hisvadu es avonam (26:40).  You would think that would be the end of the galus, but it's not.  The parsha continues, "v'ha'aretz tei'azev meihem," the land will still not take them back, "ya'an ub'ya'an b'mishpatai ma'asu v'es chukosai ga'alah nafsham."  Why is the teshuvah not enough?  Netziv explains that the chukim referred to here are Torah laws.  (Remember the beginning of the parsha: Im b'chukosai teilechu - explains Rashi, this refers to ameilus b'Torah.)  You can want to do mitvos, you can want to have a connection with Hashem, but, says the Netziv, without limud haTorah, it's not enough.  

He quotes from Hoshea 8:2-3: "Li yi'zaku 'Elokai, y'da'anucha Yisrael!'" The Jewish people will cry out to G- that they want to know him, to have a relationship with him. Tehsuvah!  But, continues the navi, "Zanach Yisrael tov, oyev yirdifo."  The Jewish people have abandoned tov, and therefore their enemies [continue] to puruse them.  What is the tov the navi is referring to?  Chazal tell us that ain tov eleh Torah, it refers to Torah.  Without limud haTorah, one's spirituality, one's moral and religious development, can never be complete.

I saw a local Rabbi was planning to speak on Shavuos on the topic of the role of the intellect in avodas Hashem.  I thought that was an interesting title for a shiur.  Would anyone think of giving a shiur about the role of one's arm in the mitzvah of tefillin?  Of course not -- it's obvious that an arm is essential to the mitzvah.  What's there to talk about?  Once upon a time I think it was obvious that the intellect is THE primary tool for avodas Hashem.  You might even say that in a nutshell the mussar movement came about to try to involve more than intellect -- the heart, the midos, etc.  But the presumption was that the intellect was the bedrock.  That's what the Netziv is telling us -- without Torah, mitzvos, spirituality, etc. can't get off the ground.  It seems that we've reached a point in history where v'nahapoch hu, there is a lot of people who want to feel spiritual, who want to sing and enjoy cholent, maybe do lots of chessed, support his cause or that cause, but where is the intellect?  Where is the bedrock of limud haTorah to ground it all?  The title of that shiur reinforced my impression that the presumption these days is that intellect is the icing on the cake, the cherry on top of the sundae, rather than the foundation upon which everything rests.  You can be a good Jew without the Ketzos and R' Chaim, can't you?  Well, I'm afraid the answer is no.  (For all I know maybe that's what this Shavuos shiur will be about - - I don't really know.)  Anyway, maybe I'm wrong about my read of things -- the Netziv is still a great point even if you disagree with my social commentary, and it certainly something to take to heart as we approach Shavuos.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

every day can be a holiday

The Midrash (28:1) writes that the Chachamim wanted to put sefer Koheles in geniza because they thought it heretical ( modern books that have been banned by "gedolim" can consider themselves in good company!)  Shlomo haMelech tells us, "Mah yisron l'adam b'chol amalo..." what good is all the toil of man.  Can it be that  Shlomo was suggesting that toil in Torah has no value? 

The Chachamim reread the pasuk so that in fact it does give us a positive message.  It doesn't say "amal" - toil; it says "amalo" - his [man's] toil.  Toiling in the mundane affairs of man does not accomplish anything; toiling in G-ds Torah is worthwhile work.  Koheles is giving is the right message.

Asks the Sefas Emes (5656): what was the hava amina of the Midrash?  The thrust of sefer Koheles is that the secular world davka is "hevel havalom," but "sof davar ha'kol nishma..." yiras shamayim and Torah and mitzvos have real value.  How can the Midrash even entertain the thought that Shlomo meant to suggest that ameilus in Torah is worthless?

If not for the Sefas Emes I would suggest that perhaps you can explain the Midrash using a vort that we've all heard said over at siyumim.  In the hadran we say that "anu ameilim v'heim amelilim....," that we work and the non-Jews work, but while we get reward for our work, they don't.  What does that mean -- don't even non-Jews get a salary for their work?  The famous answer is that in the secular world, you get paid for the finished product.  The labor is just a means to the end.  In Torah, G-d rewards us even for the toil.  You can spend the whole day trying to understand a hava amina that has no bearing on the final halacha and you still get credit for learning.  Maybe the hava amina of the Midrash is that toil in Torah is no different than toil at any other occupation and it's only the final product -- what you come away with in the maskana -- that counts.  "Amal," the work to get there, has no value.  Kah mashma lan the Midrash that there is reward in Torah even for the ameilus, even for just the work, independent of the results.

But the Sefas Emes says a better pshat.

The parsha has a long section listing the chagim that opens with the introduction, "Eileh moadei Hashem... sheishes yamim tei'aseh melacha u'bayom ha'shevi'i Shabbos shabbason... (23:2-3)  Some meforshim are bothered by the fact that the list of holidays begins with Shabbos, which is not a mo'ed.  I don't know if that question will cause anyone to lose too much sleep because we sort of understand that there is a relationship between Shabbos and other holidays in that that all of them have kedushas zman.  The whole question, however, is misplaced, because the list of holidays does not really begin with Shabbos.  The list of holidays begins with "sheishes yamim tei'aseh melacha," work should be done on the six days that precede (or come after, depending on how you look at at) every Shabbos.  The six work days of the week certainly have no kedusha, are not holidays, and would seem to have no place on the list.  The real question is why begin the list of moadim with them?

On Yom Kippur we know that the kohen gadol has to dunk in the mikvah between every change of clothes, from gold to white and white to gold, etc.  The Chasam Sofer last week in Acharei Mos writes that we understand that when the kohen gadol switches from gold garments to white so he can enter the kodesh kodashim, he is going into a holier place than normal,  he will be doing avodah that is more special than normal, and so he has to go to mikveh to enter a higher state of purity.  But why dunk again on the way out, to switch back to gold?   That's a step down, not a step up? 

The Chasam Sofer says a yesod: after the kohen has experienced the higher level he was at in the kodesh kodashim and comes out, those gold garments he changes into are not the same gold garments as before.  Life is different now.  It may look the same, it may fit the same, but it's not the same.  The higher level the kohen was on sticks with him even as he returns to the gold garments that he wore before.

When a nazir completes his vow of nezirus, the Torah tells us, "achar yishteh ha'nazir ya'yin," afterwards the nazir can drink wine.  Shem m'Shmuel asks: why does the Torah says "the nazir" can drink wine -- he is not a nazir anymore once his vow is up?!  The answer is the same yesod the Chasam Sofer is telling us.  The whole point of that period of abstinence is so that once the vow is complete, the person is still a nazir, he still retains his kedusha.  He may be able to now drink wine, but he is not the same person as before.

Coming back to the parsha of the moadim, the Kozhiglover in Eretz Tzvi writes that the cycle of moadim is not about spending a week here and a week there in a state of holiness and the rest of the year in a different, secular world.  The point of the parsha is that the week here and a week there we bask in revealed kedusha give us something to take with us and make part of the rest of our lives so that the six work days we come back to are different days than before.  The same kedusha that we experienced in the mo'ed is still there afterwards, albeit in hidden form, albeit without generating an issur melacha, but it's part of our lives.  "Sheishes yamim tei'aseh melacha..." is a mo'ed too.

Now the table is set for the Sefas Emes.  Peshita that a guy sitting and learning is accomplishing, while someone working so he can buy himself a new car or gadget is wasting his time.  There was never a hava amina otherwise.  But what about the person who works as a doctor and treats the poor without charging -- is he he/she simply toiling for nothing?  Is the person who spends a few hours helping a friend in need wasting his time with worthless work?  That's what bothered Chazal. 

Of course you get credit for poring over a Rashba in the beis medrash.  But what the Midrash is telling us is that to take the Rashba out of the beis medrash, to bring G-d into everything you do, to find G-d in everything that you do, to make the "sheishes yamim..." holy too, that' takes real work.  You can toil as a doctor, a plumber, a lawyer, and it can be "mah yisron l'adam b'kol amalo," or you can toil as a doctor, a plumber, a lawyer, and it can be ameilius of Torah and the highest value.    

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

l'hazhir gedolim al ha'ketanim

The Rambam writes in Hil Aveilus 3:5:

המטמא את הכהן. אם היו שניהם מזידין הרי הכהן לוקה וזה שטמאו עובר על ולפני עור לא תתן מכשול. היה הכהן שוגג וזה שטמאו מזיד הרי זה שטמאו לוקה:

It's not clear in the first case, where someone is m'tamei a kohen, what wrong action the kohen did that would lead to his being chayav malkos, but even harder to understand is the second case, where the kohen is shogeg and someone is intentionally m'tamei him.  Why does the m'tamei get malkos?  There is lifnei iveir in causing someone to sin (like in the first case), but why more than that?

There is a parallel Rambam at the end of Kilayim 10:31:

 המלביש את חבירו כלאים אם היה הלובש מזיד הלובש לוקה והמלביש עובר משום ולפני עור לא תתן מכשול. ואם לא ידע הלובש שהבגד הוא כלאים והיה המלביש מזיד המלביש לוקה והלובש פטור

And similar questions are raised there by the Kesef Mishne.

Since it relates to our parsha I want to point out a second difficulty with the Rambam. Rashi tells us at the beginning of our parsha tells us that the double-language of "amor... v'amarta" teaches "l'hazhir gedolim al ha'ketanim." The din (see Yevamos 114) is that adults are not obligated to stop children from doing issurim - "katan ochel neveilos ain beis din metzuvim l'hafrisho." A father may have to stop a child from sinning as a function of chinuch, but that's between father and child and no one else. The Tur writes that our parsha is an exception to the rule -- "l'hazhir gedolim" means adults have to intervene if the a child kohen is going to be m'tamei himself. The simple pshat in the gemara, and this is the Rambam's position, is not like the Tur. "L'hazhir gedolim" does not mean that an adult has to intervene if the child chooses to be m'tamei himself.  What it means is that there is an issur of an adult being m'tamei a child, even though the child is not chayav anything.

Minchas Chinuch and others ask: why do we need a special derasha to teach us this issur to be m'tamei a child?  The Rambam himself, as we saw above, holds that someone who is m'tamei a kohen is chayav malkos where the kohen himself is shogeg. What's the difference between being m'atmei a kohen who is shogeg and therefore not liable himself and being m'tamei a kohen who is a katan and therefore not liable? If the m'tamei is chayav malkos in the first case, isn't the second case obviously true by extension?

I barely have time to write up the questions, so don't hold your breath for a post with answers : (  

Thursday, May 04, 2017

chilul Hashem -- a cheit bein adam l'chaveiro

Mitzvos apply equally to everyone and anyone chayav in them.  The Torah says, for example, to eat matzah, and so whether you are Joe Ploni or whether you are R' Akiva Eiger you have to eat the same amount of matzah in the same time span.  No so when it comes to the mitzvah of kedushah.  The redundancy of "kol adas Bnei Yisrael," explains Netziv, means that the mitzvah of being kadosh was not given to everyone equally as a blanket one size fits all chiyuv, but rather it was given to each individual member of Klal Yisrael according to his/her ability.  This would mean that for someone on a higher level, acting with greater kedusha is not a hidur, but is a necessary. 

The gemara (Yoma 86) writes that teshuvah and Yom Kippur cannot wash away the sin of chilul Hashem.  It can only be expiated by the sinner's death.  Why should that be so?  The Meshech Chochma (19:12, see Rav Cooperman's notes) quotes the derasha of Chazal (Sh 114) on the pasuk "...kol m'san'ai ahavu ma'ves" not to read it as "m'san'ai" but rather as "masni'ai" -- not "those who hate me [G-d]," but rather, "those who cause me [G-d] to be hated."  If a talmid chacham does not act properly, does not dress properly, e.g. he walks around in stained clothes, does not appear dignified, then people will lose respect for Torah.  Rashi in Yoma (86a d"h chilul Hashem) explains chilul Hashem means being "chotei u'machti," causing others to sin.  In other words, chilul Hashem is not just an offense against G-d -- it's an offense against man, a bein adam l'chaveiro problem.  Who knows how many people may have seen this "talmid chacham" who does not act properly and been negatively influenced?  Who knows how many people were caused spiritual harm by his bad example?  A bein adam l'chaveiro requires making restitution to those who were harmed.  It's one thing to return stolen goods, to repay someone for damages caused to their property, but how to you restore faith that was has stolen from others?  

The Mishna in Avos 5:18 tells us that a "chotei u'machti es ha'rabim" will not be able to do teshuvah.  Bartenu explains that teshuvah is precluded because otherwise the chotei might end up on gan eden while those he led astray would be in gehenom, which would not be fair.  Based on the Meshech Chochma's approach, it is impossible to do teshuvah because it is impossible to make restitution. 

I was wondering if the Rambam agrees with this definition of chilul Hashem as being chotei u'machti.  He writes in Yesodei haTorah 5:11:

ויש דברים אחרים שהן בכלל חילול השם. והוא שיעשה אותם אדם גדול בתורה ומפורסם בחסידות דברים שהבריות מרננים אחריו בשבילם. ואע"פ שאינן עבירות הרי זה חילל את השם כגון שלקח ואינו נותן דמי המקח לאלתר. והוא שיש לו ונמצאו המוכרים תובעין והוא מקיפן. או שירבה בשחוק או באכילה ושתיה אצל עמי הארץ וביניהן. או שדבורו עם הבריות אינו בנחת ואינו מקבלן בסבר פנים יפות אלא בעל קטטה וכעס. וכיוצא בדברים האלו הכל לפי גדלו של חכם צריך שידקדק על עצמו ויעשה לפנים משורת הדין. וכן אם דקדק החכם על עצמו והיה דבורו בנחת עם הבריות ודעתו מעורבת עמהם ומקבלם בסבר פנים יפות ונעלב מהם ואינו עולבם. מכבד להן ואפילו למקילין לו. ונושא ונותן באמונה. ולא ירבה באריחות עמי הארץ וישיבתן. ולא יראה תמיד אלא עוסק בתורה עטוף בציצית מוכתר בתפילין ועושה בכל מעשיו לפנים משורת הדין. והוא שלא יתרחק הרבה ולא ישתומם. עד שימצאו הכל מקלסין אותו ואוהבים אותו ומתאוים למעשיו הרי זה קידש את ה' ועליו הכתוב אומר ויאמר לי עבדי אתה ישראל אשר בך אתפאר:

According to Rashi, bad behavior by the talmid chacham is wrong because there is always a therefore... that follows -- therefore, people will be led astray.  The Rambam doesn't mention this.  It sounds like the negative behavior itself is the issue; the very fact that the "talmid chacham" falls short of what is expected of him is wrong.