Daily Tanya 21st Adar 1: A Torah Scholars sin is viewed much worse than the transgressions of an Am Haretz

(LY) 21st Adar 1

3.     A Torah Scholars sin and lack of proper fulfillment of Mitzvos is viewed much worse than the transgressions of an Am Haretz:

  • [Another aspect that one must enter the calculation which makes him even worse than the lowlife, is that] in truth, if he is a Torah scholar and holds himself up as a G-d-fearing Jew who desires closeness to G-d, then his level of responsibility for sinning is much greater than that of the lowlife.
  • A much greater guilt and offense: His guilt is doubly resounding versus that of the lowlife in the fact that he does not successfully overcome his evil inclination to the same level of intensity of battle as experienced by the lowlife who is distanced from G-d and His Torah.
  • A lowlife is not held responsible to the same extent: Low lives are not held to the same extent of guilt and level of responsibility as that of Torah scholars. They are not held as responsible for the fact that their fear of G-d, who watches and comprehends all of their activities, is not enough to help them be successful in overcoming their fiery furnace of inclination. However, this level of fear of G-d is the expected level of responsibility extended to a Torah scholar who is close to G-d and His Torah and Divine service, and nonetheless sins.
  • The guilt of Acher: This follows the teaching of the sages who stated regarding Acher [Alisha Ben Avuyah who was a great scholar and became a heretic] that since he knew My honor therefore his guilt is much greater.
  • Even the intentional sin of the ignoramus is viewed as unintentional: Likewise, it is due to this reason that the sages state that even the intentional sins performed by the ignoramuses are considered to be unintentional [as their level of guilt is not as high].

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