Tuesday, July 11, 2017



Last week we discussed the topic of מדבר שקר תרחק  and so as a follow up we'll talk about חנופה – Flattery.

·         Gemara Sotah 41ab – Flattering Agrippas with  "אחינו אתה" was deserving of annihilation. Tosafos points out that indeed, many died that day.

·         Tosafos proves from the story of עולא that in life threatening cases it is permitted. R' Moshe asks why is a proof  needed at all.

·         The Gemara continues with numerous drashos, but R' Yehudah states that it is permitted to flatter the wicked nowadays.

·         במדבר ל''ה לג לא תחניפו – Sifri – this is commandment not to flatter. Sefer Yereim counts it in his 613 mitzvos.

·         Rabeinu Yonah – To avoid this sin one must even put himself in danger.

·         Ran – to avoid any לא תעשה one must give up all his money.

·         Yereim and מהרי''וו to avoid חנופה you do not have to risk your money. רמ''א יו''ד קנ''ז Paskens like them.

·         R' Moshe או''ח ב' נ''א – Honoring a member who is married to a Non – Jew.

o   Honoring or praising somebody for his true qualities is perfectly ok even if in other areas he is a sinner. (this is only prohibited by לא תחנם regarding an עכו''ם)

o   Undeserved praise that is not directly approving of sin is the negative Middah but not prohibited.

o   Supporting or approval of wrongdoing is a transgression of לא תחניפו which is a לאו דאורייתא and like all negative commandments one must risk his money to avoid an active transgression, but remaining silent שב ואל תעשה)) is okay to avoid a loss.  

o   Directly falsifying anything in the Torah is considered a denouncement of the Torah and a chillul Hashem. To avoid saying any sin is really okay, ie: "You did nothing wrong", requires יהרג ואל יעבור.

·         Honoring a sinner with a kibbud in shul is permitted. It is not an approval of his wrongdoing. If he deserves an honor for other qualities of his, then it is not even the middah of flattery.

·         Praising or indirectly supporting his wrongdoing is certainly prohibited if just in danger of losing his goodwill and friendship, and perhaps even in the face of financial loss. It is certainly permitted in life threatening cases.

·         R' Yehuda's chiddush is that this is permitted even when the danger is quite remote.

·         One may remain silent (even though it inadvertently supports wrongdoing) in face of financial loss.

·         Directly changing a law in the Torah must be avoided even at the expense of one's life.

Posted By KH to DRASHOS at 7/11/2017 10:06:00 PM

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