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11.12.16

Proverbs. 27:6, "The kisses of an enemy may be profuse, but faithful are the wounds of a friend,"

Accountability relationships in the Torah  include that of Saul the king to Samuel the prophet, Nathan holding king David accountable for moral failure, Nehemiah wanting to travel to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls but being accountable to King Artaxerxes, Daniel to  God,

How do we choose someone to be accountable to?

An unhealthy choice would be to choose someone you know will tell you just what you want to hear, or someone who has the same weak areas you do. Far better to choose someone who can encourage you-add courage to your life and struggle, someone who is making a success of his/her own life, someone further down the road than you in life stage or experience. Mutual accountability between equals (either two individuals or a small group) can be non-threatening and growth-producing, as well as protective.

The whole trouble in the Jewish world is the religious teachers that set themselves up as authorities. People go to them for advice and by that are drawn into more evil than they would do on their own. While having someone to discuss your spiritual problems with is a great thing, there is a terrible fact that the religious teachers themselves are  demons. This is brought in the LM [Lekutai Moharan] of Reb Nachman in many places. {This book of Reb Nachman was studied by Bava Sali and Rav Hutner.} He asks, "Why are people making disagreement with those who fear God? It is because they hear Torah lessons from תלמידי חכמים שדיים יהודאיים." (literal translation: "Torah scholars that are demons.") [I bring this from Reb Nachman, but the same idea you can find in the Talmud and Mishna and the Ari.]

The way to deal with this is simple. Pray for them and pray to find charity in your heart for them. But be wary and stay as far from them as possible.

[My warning here does not refer to the great Lithuanian yeshivas Ponovitch, Brisk, Mirrer Yeshiva  in NY, Chaim Berlin, Torah VeDaat.]

There is a famous place in the Mishna which deals with this subject I think in Nazir about the pharisees being those that destroy the world. That is the only place I recall off hand. In the Gemara itself there are few places. One is the end of Shabat where is says literally "If you see a generation that troubles have come upon it, go out and check the judges of Israel;-- for all the troubles that come into the world only come because of the judges of Israel. "And then the Gemara brings a verse. Then there are few places from the Old Testament itself. And I do not mean the famous verses from Jeremiah. Someplace else which few know about.. You have to read the verse very carefully to see it. It says something like this: "Since Israel will not listen to the true shepherds I have given to  them, I will give them other shepherds that will lead them astray. ""וירעום" The reason no one knows this verse is because it is easy to miss. It says "וירעום" as a pun meaning "they will be shepards to them" and also it means "they will do damage to them." It is hard to see in the verse itself until you read it very carefully.