I just want to repeat over a thought (it's actually much more than that) which the Beis Halevi says in Parshas Bereishis. It is really really worth looking up; it's in beis halevi al hatorah at the end of parshas bereishis and starts with the words 'iissa besukkah.' This is the gist of it… The Beis Halevi asks what exactly changed from prior to Adam's sin to after the sin? [That particular question is a massive one; see Ramchal's Derech HaShem chelek aleph perek 3 who explains that before the sin, death was not needed in the world, since the soul could purify and uplift the body. But after the sin, the soul could not do this any longer and thus HaShem had to

create something called death whereby the body and soul would be separated and the body cleansed, thus enabling body and soul to reappear later unified - as originally planned - in techiyas hameisim. That is only one of the effects, and is a very short summary of it. Again, read it there for yourself!] The Beis Halevi explains based on a canny observation of the general population of his time… He notes that there are people who would overwork and purposefully disregard their health, so that they will be able to make money. Yet when they did inevitably fall ill, they spend much money curing themselves.

In typical Brisker style, the Beis Halevi asks the apparent contradiction; what is more important to these people, health or money: (this part is best accompanied by vigorous thumb-waving motions) If money is more important than health, then why spend the money to alleviate one's health position? And if health is more important than money, then why run after money so hard in the first place that it creates inevitable illness? He answers with an extremely important foundation; It depends which money we are talking about. Money that one does have is less important than health. But money that one does not have and is thus chasing after is more important than health. Why? Since when one has money (or anything else) then one realises its true worth and thus that health should take priority. But chasing after money (or anything else) that one does not have causes one to overvalue the object, since one doesn't have it. In short, when one doesn't possess something/hasn't done something, their brain makes it seem that it is much more important and valuable than it really is in reality. Only when one has it or has indeed done what one so sought to do, does one realise that 'it wasn't as good/fun/important as I thought it was.' And this is what changed due to the sin of Adam HaRishon (Rav Dessler says a similar point regarding a change from objective Emes v sheker to subjective tov v ra) . Before the sin, everything was seen for its true worth, but after the sin, one's self and subjectivity caused things to be valued out of proportion to their true worth in life. The Beis Halevi says that this is the explanation of a cryptic gemarra towards the end of sukkah (52a). The gemarra says that towards the end of days, HaShem will take the yetzer hara and slaughter it. To the tzaddikim the yetzer hara will appear like a large hill, and to the reashaim it will appear like a very thin string (a hairs width). And both the tzaddikim and the reshaim will be crying.

The tzaddikim will be crying, for they will be saying 'look at this massive hill of a yetzer hara - and will remember their pains in overcoming it.' And the reshaim will be crying and saying 'this yetzer hara is as thin as a string; how could we not have beaten it.' He explains that the message is precisely what was said above: Since the reshaim have 'been there and done that,' ie they have done terrible deeds and experienced all of the low spiritual acts of the world, the yetzer hara won't tempt them into thinking that they are really pleasurably, for they know that they are not; they have experienced them, and thus know their true worth and pleasure/benefit. And thus the yetzer hara will appear to them as a mere string. But the tzaddikim have not gone through those experiences, and are thus more tempted by them; the yetzer hara tries to convince them that they are more valuable/beneficial than they really are, and this is symbolised in the yetzer hara appearing to them like a tall hill. And one can readily see this in the world today. On the one hand there is literally and army of tens of thousands of baalei teshuva returning back to the fold of traditional authentic yiddishkeit, many of whom have been part of the 'been there done that' experienced everything mould of people. And thus they realise that it's not worth all that it was 'cranked up to be' and find result in their consequent search for meaning. But on the other hand, western values of over-liberalism and 'anything goes' are creeping into the religious community, and things are becoming tempting for those people who are religious; since the yetzer hara creates an impression of overvaluation of something that is really worth very little. (And chazal do apparently say that the generation before Moshaich's arrival will be one of contradicitons). Thus, the important message in a world full of fake advertising of the false external and forsaking of internal value, is to try and value things for what they really are and go for the important things in life. Have a great Shabbes Bereishis

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