Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Wisdom of Rav Shmuel Eliyahu Re Rav Moti Alon

The RZ press has written reams surrounding what it calls, "Parashat Rav Alon" - the Rav Alon "Story". The word "affair" fits better, but seems inappropriate. In Olam Katan, one of the weekly parshah sheets that magically appears in shuls throughout the country, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu responds to the painful events that transpired this past week. The following is a direct translation of what he wrote:

Whoever Says that David Sinned is Surely Mistaken
During one of the interviews regarding the "Rav Moti Alon Story" a reporter asked me: If you knew about this story before, why didn't you publicize it? The real answer is that the public doesn't need to know everything. It's not necessary for every person who tuned into the radio to judge whether Rav Alon sinned and how. We're speaking about a great, important rabbi. We're speaking about a man with a great many merits in Klal Yisrael. We're speaking about a man of education.
The gemara states: "Whoever says that David sinned can only be mistaken." One of the commentaries explains that David certainly erred in the story with Batsheva. This is why the prophet approached him with the story of the poor man's sheep. This is why he was punished so harshly. But you, the student - immerse in your own sins. Don't think that you're so ethical because you engage in the sins of King David. There are rabbis and judges appointed to that role. There is a "Takana" forum assigned this role. You - don't wonder about your rebbe. You can and must continue to recite Tehillim and to view King David as an exalted figure.
"With righteousness you shall judge your fellow man," certainly so when we're speaking about a man rich with such a great many merits. There are in the gemara (Shabbat 127b) fantastic stories about the fact that we must judge each person favorably, even when the facts seem so clear and solid. After the students of Rabbi Yehoshua judged him favorably in the story where he could have seen in an extremely negative light he says to them, "And you, just as you have judged me favorably, so too should God judge you favorably." The way you judge others reveals something about you.
Even regarding a sin that's "as clear as the sun" the Gemara says: "They taught in the house of Rabbi Yishmael: If you see a Talmid Chacham commit a sin at night, do not wonder about him during the day, for perhaps he repented. 'Perhaps' - you might think? Rather, 'certainly he repented!'" The gemara is speaking about someone whom you saw with certainty sin during the night - regarding this person Rabbi Yishmael asserted that he certainly repented. Not maybe. Where is this, and where is the story that the media so much enjoys engaging in, which if it happened, happened many years ago. Let us fulfill the words of Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Yishmael: "And you, just as you have judged the Rav meritoriously, so too should God just you favorably as well."

And here is the rest of it.