There are times in life that I thank G-d again and again for having given me my holy father as a teacher and a guide. One of his weekly cycles of teaching us was the Nach cycle — as a family we traversed the epochs of judges and kings and destruction. We discussed human nature and human challenges. And we got to know foibles and frailties…as well as giants of spirit.
Because some learned person who claims to stand for Daas Torah recently is making a huge misjudgment call and going out of his way to hound a suffering woman instead of helping her, I had occasion to revisit the Doeg lesson.
Doeg — he was head of the Sanhadrin, an accomplished Talmid Chacham, an adviser to the king. He was creme de’ la creme of the learned men. He was called Edomee for various reasons, but one of them, according to Rav Yitzchok is because he was so expert in Halacha that when others argued Halacha with him, their faces ended up reddened with shame for he was so superior in the nuances of Halacha.
Along came Dovid, a man who only wanted to cleave to Hashem. The Yerushalim (Sanhedrin 10:2) explains that Dovid once was answering questions on Halacha – Doeg was there and became enraged, feeling HE should be the one answering and guiding. Thereupon, he began to campaign against Dovid.
G-d says “G’vah Anayim Oo’rechav layvav ohsoh loh oo’chal” When a person thinks he is the point person, the almighty arbiter alone, he is, so to speak, in the words of the Orchos Tzadikim, trying to play with G-d’s currency. For only G-d is the Almighty Arbiter alone. When a professed “daas” arbiter decides he and he alone can figure out who is right and wrong in a fight, he is mimicking Doeg.
I opened the Tehillim, where Dovid speaks of the evil of Doeg (Chap. 52). Verse 3 — Dovid says, “Mah Tis’hallel B’ra’ah HaGibbor” Gibbor — Doeg was a Talmid Chacham, but he found Rah to be something to flaunt. “Chesed Kel Kol Ha’Yom” G-d’s kindness is ever-present. Doeg tried to cut out any supporters who might lend Dovid succor and help in his fleeing from Shaul. Dovid says through this sentence, “don’t you realize G-d is a fount of Chesed and even if you manage to scare away or even kill some of the supporters helping me, I will still get help through G-d?!”
Black and white. We’d love the world to be that way. Where we know who is evil and who is good. Where a person who is superior in Halacha knowledge is a good person. But it isn’t always the case. There are those, who like Doeg, learned a lot, know a lot, but are on the side of persecuting ehrliche victims. May we never count ourselves among them.