It’s forbidden to argue with people!

It’s forbidden to argue with people!


Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, gave over the following shiur after the mincha (afternoon) prayers on June 26th, 2017:

“Parshat Chukat talks about Og, the King of the Bashan; Sichon, the King of the Amorites; Miriam the Prophetess, Miriam’s well, and the mey meribah (waters of strife).

Because its forbidden for a person to argue at all times!

“Moshe only argued on one occasion, and he wasn’t allowed to enter Eretz Yisrael. Why does a person feel they need to argue? If someone tells you: ‘stand here’ – so stand there! Soon, we’ll have a hall for 10,000 people (where they can come and pray). Afterwards, we’ll have one for 100,000, and so it will continue. It’s only going to increase and multiply.

“Torah lessons 54 and 55 in Likutey Moharan talk about grave-diggers. Lesson 54 about gravediggers talks about Avshalom [the song of King David], (and says):

‘Abba Shaul said, ‘I used to be a grave-digger. A cave once opened up beneath me and I was standing up to my nose in the eye socket of a dead person. When I stepped back, they said, ‘That was Avshalom’s eye.’[1]

‘This is the meaning of what Abba Shaul said: ‘I used to be a grave-digger,’ because Abba Shaul always endeavored to rectify the evil eye.’”

Rav Berland, shlita, continued:

“Lesson 55 talks about Og, the King of the Bashan:

‘The Talmud states, ‘Abba Shaul said, ‘I used to be a grave-digger. Once, I chased after a tzvi (deer) into the kolit (thigh bone) of a dead man. After chasing it for three parsah[2], I hadn’t caught up with the deer, nor reached the end of the thighbone. When I turned back they told me, ‘That belonged to Og, King of the Bashan’…[3] and no-one can rectify these sounds (kolot) for his grip is on the right side. Even Moshe feared him, until God promised him, ‘Do not fear him!’ as brought in the Zohar.

‘For this reason, a wicked person like Og is called a refugee, as written ‘The refugee arrived’[4] which refers to Og[5], for he wanted that Avraham would be killed, so that he could take Sarah. This is an aspect of ‘the wicked one watches the tzaddik’ – this is Avraham – ‘but God will not abandon him into his hand.’”

Rav Berland continued: “Both Avshalom and Og, King of the Bashan had an ayin hara (evil eye). Og had an evil eye towards Avraham Avinu. He complained that Avraham wasn’t behaving nicely, inasmuch as he rode on the donkey while Sarah walked on foot.”


[1] See Tractate Niddah 24b

[2] A biblical unit of distance

[3] Again, see Tractate Niddah 24b

[4] Genesis 14:13

[5] Midrash Genesis Rabbah 42:8


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