Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Most Noble Trait

"But Yaakov was a wholesome man, dwelling in tents" [Toldos 25:27]

Rashi comments: One who is not sharp to deceive is called "wholesome".

Someone who is not sharp to deceive said the Lubliner Rav, is the type of person who has no notion of how to go about deceiving another person. Such a person is called a "tam" - a simple one. However, somebody who knows how to deceive others yet chooses not to act in such a manner is referred to as an "ish tam" - a wholesome man.

Yaakov Avinu was familiar with the ploys of deception, as he testified about himself during his stay in the house of Lavan: "I am his brother in trickery". Nevertheless, he chose to walk along the path of truth and honesty, thereby earning himself the title "wholesome man".

From this verse we see, said the Sh'lah HaKadosh (R' Yeshayah HaLevi Horowitz) that the trait of wholesomeness is the most noble of all the traits.

For there is no doubt, reasoned the Sh'lah, that Yaakov possessed every good character trait possible. Yet the only trait that Yaakov is explicitly praised for in the Torah is his wholesome character. This implies that there is no trait more exalted than wholesomeness.

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

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