How To Overcome Spiritual Adultery

How To Overcome Spiritual Adultery

Going Astray

Should any man’s wife go astray (Bamidbar 5:12)

On the verse, “Should any man’s wife go astray”, which in our parsha opens the laws of a woman that strayed from the path of modesty, our sages learn: “Man does not commit a transgression unless the spirit of folly has entered him”

(The expression ‘strayed’ includes both meanings of ‘deviation’ from the straight path and the meaning of ‘foolishness’, and there is a connection between the two).

The Sages’ statement offers an explanation to the phenomenon that in hindsight is strange: every Jew, be who they may, feels in his soul a deep connection of love to Hashem.

He will choose without hesitation to sacrifice his life for the sanctification of Hashem’s name and not worship idols. How then does a Jew commit a transgression that disconnects and distances him from Hashem?

How does he allow himself to act in a way that contradicts his inner belief?

Foreign Spirit

The answer is that a ‘spirit of folly’ has entered.

A Foreign spirit has overcome him, a spirit of foolishness, that covers the faith in his heart. It caused him to not feel the gravity of his actions, the disconnect from Hashem that is caused through the sin.

If he were to feel the true meaning of sin and transgression and the fact that the sin distances him from the source of holiness – he would not sin under any circumstance.

What is this ‘spirit of folly’? – this is desire.

The compulsion towards the physical and the material, causes man to lose the spiritual feeling and the sensitivity to connection with Hashem.

He fools himself, that nothing has happened and that even though he sinned he is still close to Hashem.

The desire hides from him the truth, that every sin, even a small sin, ruins his connection with Hashem.


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Essential Good

On the other hand, since the main essence of the sin is from the ‘spirit of folly’ that hides the truth, that even when man sins, it does not mean that he himself is bad.

Just the opposite, deep inside he is good, connected to Hashem and does not want to sin, but only the ‘ruach shtus’ overpowered him and it caused him to commit the transgression.

The sin is something foreign to him and is not a part of him.

This perspective regarding the sin we learn from the verse, “Should any man’s wife go astray”, and this is no coincidence.

There is an essential connection between the general subject of sin and transgression and the sin of the woman that strayed from her husband.

The Nation of Israel As A Woman

The connection between Hashem and the Jewish People is analogous not once to a man and his wife. Hashem is the ‘husband’ and Am Israel is the ‘wife’.

When a Jew sins against Hashem, it is like a woman who turns her back on her husband; like the woman who strayed.

Therefore, the example of the woman who strayed is the place that the Torah sees fit to teach us about the essence of sin.

The relationship with a woman who strays teaches us also a positive side.

A ‘sota’ is not a woman that has sinned for certain, rather has only brought herself to a place of suspicion, and the Torah promises, that if she is found pure – “She is clean, she shall be exempted and bear seed.”

So too a Jew – even though they have sinned, deep in the essence of their heart remains connected to Hashem, and ultimately will do teshuva, for no one will be cast away from Him.


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Chassidic Sayings

Chassidic Sayings

"That which is above, (is) from you."

Baal Shem Tov


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