Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The objective of this site is to restore the honor of talmidei chachamim, as the sin of scorning Talmidei Chachamim is too great to bear.
The Gemara in Makkos, 24a, states that the passuk "One who closes his ears..." refers to the likes of Rabbi Elazar ben Reb Shimon who could not hear talmidei chachamim being slandered and remain silent.
The Gemara also brings the terrible story of Rabbi Elazar ben Reb Shimon, who after his passing was placed in the attic of his home for twenty two years, and he did not rot or smell; he would issue rulings on Dinei Torah. One day, they saw that a worm crawled out of his ear; the family was very worried that perhaps he would begin to rot and smell; The Tanna came to them in a dream and said that the reason for this was that once in his life, he heard people scorning a talmid chacham and did not protest. That is why he was deserving of this punishment. Rashi states (Makkos 24a) that from this story we see that in his lifetime he was extremely careful about the honor of Torah scholars, and that's why Hakadosh Baruch Hu was strict with Rabi Elazar b"r Shimon for the one time he did not protest.
See Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah, 158) about the apostates and heretics who are sent down to [into Gehinnom] and are not brought back. The Shach writes about this (Siman Katan 6) that the din for one who ridicules a talmid chacham is that he is sent down into Gehinnom and not brought back up.
From all this we see how serious it is to protect the honor of Torah scholars, which is the honor of Torah itself.