"You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind." (Lev. 19:14) [This verse is to be understood] according to its literal meaning, yet...has [also] been explained to refer to one who causes another to sin [for instance, one who profers a cup of wine to a nazerite], including one strikes his grown son [for he may cause his son to hit him back without thinking]. "nor put a stumbling block before the blind" [also includes] one who has not yet reached the level to render Halachic decisions, yet does so, as is written: "For she has cast down many wounded, many strong men have been slain by her". (Prov. 7:26) This person [who has not yet reached the level to render Halachic decisions, yet does so] transgresses against, "nor put a stumbling block before the blind" because he caused the other to stumble on an obstacle before the World to Come [by rendering a mistaken Halachic decision, which this man followed and thus blemished his portion in the World to Come]. (Mo'ed Katan 17a)

We learned that one who walks in the righteous path of Torah and toils in Torah properly [with properly clear and pure wisdom] always earns for himself a good share in the World to Come [for the Torah relates to tiferet, which always connects to bina, that is called the World to Come] since the word of Torah emanating from his mouth goes and wanders in the world and ascends up high. Many holy ones on high [angels appointed to raise up those words of Torah learned] join with that word, and it rises straight up, adorned with a holy crown. And it washes in the river [of bina] that flows and exits from Eden [from chochma] and is accepted by it, and is drawn within it. A supernal tree is planted around that river. Then a supernal light is drawn out and exits and adorns that person all that day, as we learned.

And he who toils in Torah but does not do so in a pure or righteous way [according to the teachings of the Sages], that word rises and turns off the path. No [angel]joins it; all push it out and it goes and wanders around the world without finding a place. Who caused this? That [teacher] who turned off from the straight path. As it is written, "nor put a stumbling block before the blind". For this reason, it is written, "but shall fear your Elokim: I am G‑d." (Leviticus 19:4) [If you study without truth, you should fear G‑d's wrath.]

And one who yearns to toil in Torah, but can not find someone to teach him, yet with his love of Torah, he toils in it and stutters with it [not pronouncing the words properly or understanding them] as he does not know better [through no fault of his own], each word ascends and G‑d rejoices with that word [for that man's intention was pure], receives it, plants it around that stream and from these are made large trees called 'the willows of the streams'. This is the meaning of the verse, "and be you 'tishge/ravished' always with her love..." (Prov. 5:19) [The word 'tishge' can also be related to the word 'shogeg', meaning mistaken; if one makes mistakes yet learns for the sake of love of Torah and does the best he can, then he too will be beloved by G‑d.]

And King David said: "Teach me the way, G‑d; I will walk in Your truth" (Psalms 86:11) and, "and lead me in an even path, because of my enemies" (Psalms 27:11) [that he merit to learn Torah properly, without making mistakes in his understanding.]

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
How difficult is the path of Torah! Or perhaps, how simple?! For everything we ever need to learn, we learned by age 7. Do nice things to others, say nice things to others, try to think nice thoughts about others. But we make our life and relationships difficult. Above we are warned about (1) speaking negatively of others and shaming them, (2) causing your children to react negatively to you, and (3) learning Torah for self-gain. All are problematic.

We who try to adhere to the holiness mandate of this Torah portion are forced to be oh so circumspect in our actions, words, and thoughts. This is the role of a Holy people commanded to shine as a light to the nations. It is the simple faith that is the most prized. Hassidic story after Hassidic story relate the merits of the simple prayer and how high it extends. And we also can recall the sweetness of some of the early Torah we learned and how it resonated within and without.


Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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