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A Stumbling Block Before the Blind

Letters and Numbers of Torah - Kedoshim

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A Stumbling Block Before the Blind: Letters and Numbers of Torah - Kedoshim

"Do not place a stumbling block before the blind" (Leviticus 19:14) can also mean not to knowingly give bad advice. The Hebrew word for "stumbling block" appears 12 times in the Torah and Prophets and this is the only time it is spelled with a vav. How does this missing letter teach us the difference between good advice and bad?
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Stumbling Block Before the Blind, Advice, Acharei-Kedoshim, Parshah, Kedoshim

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Jorge Qro. Mexico May 3, 2017

Very useful teaching, Rabbi, now I've realized how many times I've been given non-kosher advices, some of them not for the advantage of the adviser, but mainly because of they wanted to feel elevated, and really, the right thing to do is to reject them. The teaching is for the adviser, but I'm prone to take the role of the aggrieved and in this case I think this talk has been useful for both, adviser and advised. Reply

Rabbi Aaron Raskin Bklyn hts March 17, 2017

Great question Dear Sharon,
Perhaps the answer 1) G-d doesn't give us a challenge we cannot overcome. 2) furthermore he can remove it at any time 3) it may serve as a cleansing process! 4) we can and must pray that he remove it! Reply

Sharon August 19, 2018
in response to Rabbi Aaron Raskin:

Rabbi Raskin, Amush

Thank you for taking the time to personally respond to my comment. Thank you for being a light unto the nation.

SheElohim yevarach otha,

Sharon Reply

Sharon March 17, 2017

Doesn't G-d put stumbling blocks before us, such as mental illnesses eg: Clinical Depression, Tourettes Syndrome, etc.? Reply

Leah May 10, 2016

Why then, is it written in the negative? I understand - so even if it is good advice for the other, we are not to give it if we have personal gain, personal bias - understood - but there is no "vav" here and the posuk says "do not" so it seems to indicate that we are not to give the advice even if there is no personal gain....i.e. no "vav" Reply

Andre Rio de Janeiro - Brazil April 16, 2014

Vav Big fan!

When I discover the depths of the torah, I'm haunted. Reply

Anonymous oo March 24, 2014

Interesting how that portion that says don't put a stumbling block before the blind is followed by, "don't curse one who cannot hear". It would seem G-d is trying to say that, before we allow pain upon Hashem's people, we should let them know that the pain is coming. Thus we would have opened their eyes to impending doom before it hits them. Therefore we metaphorically won't be putting a stumbling block before the blind or cursing those who cannot hear; Just as Hashem warned Adam and Eve of the fruit they shouldn't eat, thus opening their eyes to the stumbling block in their midst. Reply

Rabbi Raskin looks at the hidden meanings of the sizes and numerical values (gematria) of the Hebrew letters in the weekly Torah portion.
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