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Yefas Toar


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#1 Michoel

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 12:04 PM

I have a question about the yefas toar ...

DEUTERONOMY 21:10-11 … “When you will go out to war … and you will see among its captivity a woman of beautiful form, and you will desire her, you may take her to yourself as a wife.”
It is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma to me.
why did Hashem have to give an army of tzadikim a heter to do what is clearly a very bad thing, that will lead also to bad things. Rabbi Uziel Milevsky zt”l (In Ner Uziel Pp. 278-282) presents an interesting mahalic based on a kabbalistic pashat of the Ohr HaChaim HaKodesh saying this was a way for the tzadikim to rescue the “trapped neshomo” of the women who really wanted to convert to Judaism and the soldiers desire for them was an indication that the women was one of these potential converts

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 06:59 PM

I have a question about the yefas toar ...

DEUTERONOMY 21:10-11 … “When you will go out to war … and you will see among its captivity a woman of beautiful form, and you will desire her, you may take her to yourself as a wife.”
It is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma to me.
why did Hashem have to give an army of tzadikim a heter to do what is clearly a very bad thing, that will lead also to bad things. Rabbi Uziel Milevsky zt”l (In Ner Uziel Pp. 278-282) presents an interesting mahalic based on a kabbalistic pashat of the Ohr HaChaim HaKodesh saying this was a way for the tzadikim to rescue the “trapped neshomo” of the women who really wanted to convert to Judaism and the soldiers desire for them was an indication that the women was one of these potential converts

That Pshat preceded the Ohr HaChaim - its source is the Sefer HaLikutim in the name of the Arizal. And it's not exactly that the women really want to convert. He says that when Adam sinned, many holy Neshamos got "captured" by the Sitra Achra. Those are the Neshamos of the converts, which is why so many Gedolim came from converts, such as Rus, Shemaya, Avtalyon, Unkelos, and more. When the person converts, he "frees" his Neshama from the S"A.

But sometimes a pure Neshama cannot free itself on its own, for example, the Neshama of R. Chanina ben Teradyon was stuck in Shechem, and was only released because of Dina. And that is Yefas Toar. The soldier, who in those days was a Tzadik Gamur (only Tzadikim were allowed to fight a Milchemes Reshus), is "attracted" to the captured pure Neshama inside the non-Jewish woman, and he senses that her Neshama is tied to the roots of his own. By taking her, he frees her captured Neshama.The "cooling off" period is to ensure that there are no remnants of ulterior motives in the mix. Tzadikim have a Yetzer Horah too.

Yet their union still results in a Ben Sorer Umoreh because it is inevitable that there will still be some remnants of Tumah left in the woman, which manifest in her offspring. This is similar to the Avos, who gave birth to Yishmael and Esav, who were manifestations of slight impurities. Even David HaMelech, who obliterated his Yetzer Horah, gave birth to a Ben Sorer Umoreh when he married a Yefas Toar.

That is why the Torah permitted the Yefas Toar.