Anthology Topics:Cruelty  2 Erev Rav  3 Father  4 The First Man  5 Forefathers  6 Heretics 7 The Holy Temple  8 LimbsLove of G-d  10 Man  11 The Nations of the World 12 Prophecy 13 Reproof  14 Reward and Punishment 15 Suffering  16 Swiftness  17 Torah   18 Torah Study  19 The World to ComeB”H




It is the way of the wicked (”Rashah”) who is wicked
in matters between Man and G-d, to have a natural disposition to
be good in matters between Man and his fellowman. Yet despite
looking good, the truth is that in his heart the wicked yearns
for evil like that which evil people do (”Hara-im”) –
like robbery and violence – commentary on Prov. 12:12.

Most of the minim (missionaries are an example of ”minim”)
are good people by nature… but just the righteous who are
always engaged in performing G-d’s precepts, know the ways of G-d,
and they understand that there is in this,(the good of the
heretics) only an enticement- commentary on Prov. 11:9; 12:12.

Our Sages explain: Do not befriend an evil person (Avot
1), and added: even if your object is to bring him closer to
Torah (Avot d’R. Nathan, the end of chapter 9, according to the
Gaon’s version). The Gaon added: Leave the fools, even if your
object is to reprimand them to straighten their ways, lest they
influence you to be like them – commentary on Prov. 9:6.

“In other words, that the Torah told him to go by himself
and not in the way of the wicked, even if his object is to
reprimand them, so that he may always remain in continual
separation. This is the meaning of `if you are smart’, i.e., if
you stay alone and learn, you will enjoy the learning and its
reward. But if you stay among the sons of man – `your mockery you
shall bear alone’ – even of their mockery, you shall bear their
sin” – commentary on Proverbs 9:12.

Most of the minim (missionaries are an example of ”minim”)
are good by nature, for they steal the heart of their fellowman
and corrupt it. This is the meaning of a flattering mouth –
commentary on Proverbs 11:9 (see also on 12:12).

Rabbi Tzuriel in his anthology of the Gaon’s ideas adds:

I have heard in the name of the Shi`urei Da`at (Telz), that
this is one of the tricks of the Evil Inclination in order to
cause the ”min” to fail in his minut\heresy between Man
and G-d, when he himself sees that in matters between Man and his
fellowman he is better than others. And so the Evil Inclination
succeeds to deceive him.



Links to some of the other articles on this web site that portray the Gaon’s views:
* Monotheism Vs. The Outlook That Everything is G-d, by Mr. S. M. Scheinman which provides some background to the Gaon’s monotheistic beliefs.
* Divine Assistance 

Those that don’t tie their own Tzitzit – Beware!

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