Devarim:Antinomian Thought: Sin

Parsha Devarim starts in the first sentence with veiled criticism of the past behavior of Israel mentioning the places where they failed. Rashi says he places mentioned are references to the sins such as the golden calf, the sin of bal peor etc.

R. Mordechai Yosef Leiner-the Ishbitzher Rav who was made famous by the teachings of Shlomo Carlebach turns this on its head. The Isbitzer remarks on the  sentence: ‘the Arava plains, opposite Suf”

The locations are mentioned, not the sin is because the text is telling you that the sins were avoidable. By connecting the  place to the sin, the reader should understand that the people of israel could not avoid the sin, as there was nowhere else to go.

This is classic antinomian thought(against Torah law).  Free will is a pillar of Jewish thought. Free will makes us empowered as humans. Frankly, The SD always thought free will on the part of a human was presumptuous and arrogant.

People like to think we have free will,  the will to avoid mistakes or bad behavior.  This idea by the Izbitzer turns it on its head.  By referencing “the place”, rather than the sin,  the Torah is telling you that on your journey in life, mistakes, sins and failures are inevitable.

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2 Responses to Devarim:Antinomian Thought: Sin

  1. The Shikker Dovid, like the holy Izbitzer has a profound insight to what BOC called “the folly of man”

  2. Joe Orlian says:

    “on your journey in life, mistakes, sins and failures are inevitable.”

    For everyone, except for the SD.

    Shabbat Shalom.

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