Acharei Mos/Kedoshim 5773 – How to get a great reward

Before a blind person you shall not place a stumbling block (Vayikra 19:14)

Imagine if a person sees a blind man walking down the road and he places something in the blind man’s path. As the blind man continues walking, he trips over the obstacle because he did not see it. Whose fault is it that the blind man fell? Of course, it is the person who placed the stumbling block before him.

Our Sages tell us that not only is it forbidden to place a physical object before a blind person, but if a person is “blind” in a matter, we are not to place that person in a situation that he will stumble. For example, if a person loves eating cheeseburgers and it is difficult for him to control this desire, we are forbidden to drop him off in front of McDonald’s. Of course, he is going to go inside and eat a non-kosher burger. The driver might say that he did nothing wrong because he did not force the other person to eat traif. But the driver is still held liable because he put a stumbling block in front of a blind person. It was clear the person would stumble.

Nowadays, a good example of this is a parent buying a device for his teenager which has unfiltered internet access. Of course, the teenager is going to download inappropriate things on the device. Unfortunately, this is not only true with teenagers… even adults should not have devices with unfiltered internet access. The internet is a wonderful thing, but it is also EXTREMELY dangerous. There are many, many sites which can make a person stumble and if the person does not have a filter and/or a monitoring system, the person has a greater chance of falling (personally, I highly recommend putting on K9 web protection filter. It can be downloaded for free with no monthly payments and it will block out almost all inappropriate sites/images.)

A person who makes another person stumble is at fault for the stumbling. But just as this is true, so too the opposite. A person who brings another one closer to Torah and mitzvos is rewarded the same as the person who does the mitzvah.

Ever walk into a large company? Ever notice that the owner of the large company is very wealthy? Why is that? The answer is because he is making money from every employee in that company. Since he hired and trained each worker, he benefits from all of them. Every dollar the employee makes, the owner makes money from it also.

The same thing is when a person brings another person to perform a mitzvah. Every time the other person receives reward for a mitzvah he performs, the person who taught him to do that mitzvah also receives reward. So how do we teach others to do mitzvos?

The answer is from this week’s parsha. Vayikra 19:18 states “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you want to influence another person, you need to show care and love for them.

The story is told that two Jews were smoking on a street corner on Shabbos. A Rebbe walked over to them and said, “Today is Shabbos and it is not proper to smoke.” The Jews laughed in his face and called him names. The Rebbe walked away for a few steps and then turned around. He walked over to the smokers again and said very kindly, “If I saw you about to be hit by a car, I would scream out to save you. The reason is because I care about you because you are a beautiful Jewish soul. Well, you soul is in danger by not keeping Shabbos. I care about you very much and therefore, I am asking you to not smoke on Shabbos so you don’t harm your soul.” When these men saw the Rebbe truly cared about them, they stopped smoking and never smoked on Shabbos again.

Who gets the reward for these men not smoking on Shabbos each week? Of course, the men receive a tremendous reward. But also the Rebbe receives a reward.

When one person puts another person in a bad situation, he will be punished for it. When he puts others in a good situation, he is rewarded for it.

Good Shabbos!
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to see previous Divrei Simcha on the Parsha, please go to OR > Torah Study

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