Thursday, September 27, 2012

Contention - BOOK ONE


1. There is no maintaining a stand in war as a result of the transgression of an oath.

2. One who pursues his fellow-man (to attack or harm him), G-d brings evil upon him (the pursuer) in order that he will forget his fellow man from pursuing him.

3. Through the recitation of Hallel (six specific chapters of Tehillim traditionally recited together on certain holidays) the Holy Blessed One will save you from your enemies.

4. Through giving honor to the Torah, a man is saved from those who hate him.

5. Before engaging in war, it is necessary to pray to the Blessed G-d.

6. Each time that a person falls from his faith, he draws upon himself a rich and powerful adversary.

7. When a person prays about his enemies, he should pray in the morning.

8. Gazing frequently at the heavens, this annuls the hatred of one's enemies.

9. When one forgets the poor, he does not triumph.

10. A poor man that is pursued by an evil man, know that the poor man is arrogant.

11. One who is obsessed with winning, the Holy Blessed One forgets him and hides His face from him.

12. When a person is in distress, his enemies rise.

13. One who is obsessed with winning comes to forgetfulness.

14. Contention befalls a person when the person is presented with the opportunity to do a mitzvah, and he dismisses it and does not perform it.

15. One who quarrels with the Tzaddikim, it is certain that his thoughts are evil.

16. Sometimes location causes a person contention.

17. Someone who has enemies should humble himself, and through this G-d will save him from his enemies.

18. When a person has enemies, and he searches in all sorts of ways to find (a way to) love them, through this they will be as absolutely nothing.

19. When a person has enemies and he does not think of how to take revenge against them, but remains bound to the joy of the Blessed G-d, through this the Holy Blessed One gives him the power to avenge himself against them.

20. Those who sin sexually, for the most part, are fighters with (i.e. against) the tzaddikim.

21. When there is [the trait of] yielding (humility), through this there is no fear at war, as if he is dwelling in an impregnable fortress.

22. One who is obsessed with winning is visited with incurable illnesses.

23. Two who are quarreling and take their case before a gentile dignitary, through this the Holy Blessed One brings upon them a blow that cannot be healed.

24. Sometimes, the Holy One, Blessed be He, hardens the heart of the wicked in contention against the righteous in order that [the wicked] have a downfall.

25. One who gives honor to an elderly man is saved from war.

26. One who recounts his quarrel before the Holy One, Blessed be He, sees his vengeance on his enemies.

27. Through strife comes poverty.

28. One who quarrels with his neighbors ends up being an object of ridicule to his enemies.

29. One who is denigrated and remains silent is called pious and the Holy One, Blessed be He, guards his soul.

30. Fiery prayer, so fired up that it comes to his face, through this his enemies fall and are singed.

31. One who is good and upright from his youth, through this, when he has a conflict, many people will volunteer and band together with him to help him.

32. One who entices his fellow man and bars him from the good path, cannot stand up against his enemies in the time of contention and war.

33. Through confession, the thoughts of your enemies directed against you will be annulled.

34. A contentious person, it is certain that he likes sin (/crime).

35. One who is reticent, no man can overcome him (/compete with him).

36. When those opposed [to Chassidus—an approach to Jewish observance brought into the world by the holy Ba’al Shem Tov and his students] oppose chassidim and want to arrest them from their devotions of Heaven, through this they fall and become despicable in their own eyes.

37. For victory, say the chapter(s) (which opens), "On the eight-stringed instrument..." (Psalms 6 and 12)

38. One who visits the sick, the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not hand him over to his enemies.

39. One who has enemies should say prayers and petitions all day, and his mouth should not cease from prayer and supplication, through this the Holy One, Blessed be He, will save him, and his enemies will be shamed (see also 46).

40. One who is pursued will merit having children and grandchildren.

41. One who has enemies should request of many people that they pray for mercy for him, and he will have peace from his enemies.

42. When you have enemies below (in this world), it is certain that you also have enemies Above (in the Upper World).

43. Through learning [Torah], one's enemies retreat.

44. By having trust, enemies will not be able to harm you.

45. By having [the trait of] submission, your enemies will fall into the trap that they prepared for you.

46. One who prays all day – through this shame comes upon his enemies (see also above 39).

47. One who harms (lit. did bad to) the enemy of a tzaddik will merit to always triumph.

48. When people speak bad about you, learn Agaddah (legends of the Oral Torah) every night.

49. Two tzaddikim cannot live in the same city, until they have truth.

50. Through having trust [in G-d], one's enemies will not rejoice in one's troubles.

51. One who does not humiliate his fellow man, his enemies will not rejoice over him.

52. One who has many enemies, it is certain that their hatred is not justified. For it is impossible that they are all vindicated in his wronging them.

53. When a man has enemies, and afterwards one of his own friends and comrades also rises against him, it is a sign that his opponents will stumble and fall.

54. One who has faith is not afraid from enemies.

55. Through prayer - crying out from pain, one's enemies will not rejoice over him.

56. One who has enemies and does not know whether or not he will fall into their hands, should examine whether he falls from his level in service of the Blessed G-d, then it is certain he will be delivered into their hands.

57. For [abating] contention, learn the Tractate Sukkah.

58. Contention comes through an association of evildoers.

59. Due to depression, even your friends will oppose you.

60. Contention is not found (/prevalent) in one's home only when all the produce in the house has been consumed.

61. Sometimes, when many tzaddikim oppose one tzaddik, the Holy One, Blessed be He sides with them, even though the truth rests with the one tzaddik. the other tzaddikim draw the Will of G-d to them.

62. One who calls his fellow man wicked, it is permitted to interfere with his business and to decrease his income by up to one third.

63. If a person does not have friends and those who love him, death would be relief for him.

64. All things are created in the aspect of male and female. Even kings—there is a king whose aspect is male, and there is a king whose aspect is female. The Holy One, Blessed be He distances them from each other, that they should not come to destroy the world.

65. One who is contentious, even if he is an intellectual (knows how to study Torah), do not honor him.

66. In the place of contention; there is the Satan.

67. One who fulfills (the commandment) to recite the Shma; every morning and night, will not be handed over to his enemies.

68. Through [learning] Torah and performing kindnesses, one's enemies fall before him.

69. Through being pursued, a person becomes fit to be a sacrificial offering before G-d.

70. One should always side to save those being pursued (/attacked).

71. The world would not continue to exist except for the sake of one who shuts his mouth at the time of contention.

72. One who forgets one detail from his learning causes antagonists to rise against him.

73. Through strife, that there is opposition on the Tzaddik, wars are aroused.

74. When [people] speak about a person, the evil inclination has power to strengthen himself over that person, and one must pray for mercy about this.

75. One who has difficulty accepting appeasement is from the feminine world.

76. For contention; go early and stay late in the hall of study and learn Torah. Or if it is impossible to bring those opposing you to judgment [in a Beis Din—Jewish court], pray about them, and the Holy One, Blessed be He, will knock them down, but do not hand them over to a (non-Jewish) official.

77. One who has cause to retaliate against his friend and remains silent about it, the Holy One, Blessed be He, does justice for him.

78. Do not contend with a man who is stronger than you, even though he drives you to do something dishonorable. However, if he has fear of the governor, go with him to an official, and do not do the dishonorable thing.

79. Through evil speech (tale bearing), one loses (falls) in war.

80. One who refrains from speaking slander (tale bearing - lit. evil language) triumphs.

81. One who [was accustomed] to review [Torah] and then separated (ceasing his study of the Torah), through this his enemies will pursue him.

82. When a man's wife bleeds outside of the time of her period, it is certain that some hatred has been aroused against him.

83. When the tzaddik has a conflict with someone and can save himself through monetary means, he should do so, and use his merits (lit. righteousness).

84. In all perpetrators of conflict, there are sparks from the souls of Dusun and Aviram.

85. Conflict between two tzaddikim is for the good of the Jewish People: Know that this is true for also Above, there are two angels who are also in conflict, and there is no one to adjudicate for them except for the Holy One, Blessed be He, Himself.

86. One who hears his degradation and remains silent through this great evils that were fit to come upon him are nullified.

87. The Holy One, Blessed be He, always assumes a position in favor of the majority. However, if the majority is [comprised of ] evildoers, He does not favor them.

88. One must not give the benefit of the doubt (interpret his actions in a favorable manner) to an inticer (someone who tries to bring people to foreign beliefs).

89. When there is a conflict between two people, and each one has people taking his side; when from Above, death is decreed upon one of the disputants, G-d forbid, it first affects the [supporter] with the least stature, and not with the person who is the main contenders.

90. Sometimes it is decreed on a man that his seed will be wiped out. However, when he is delivered into his enemies' hands, the decree of the destruction of his seed is annulled.

91. One who distances a man from the service of the Blessed G-d causes that man to have descendants who will afflict the descendants of the one who distanced him.

92. One who has the ability to protest [the deeds of] the wicked and does not, it is as if he himself did the wrong.

93. One who sustains a conflict transgresses a negative commandment (tn: not to be like Korach and his group) and it befits him to become a leper.

94. One who challenges the Kingship of the House of David is fit to be bitten by a snake.

95. Through being involved in studying Torah, one can withstand the vicissitudes of war.

96. One must strengthen oneself against those who hate him, and wage war upon them cunningly, and [know that] the Holy One, Blessed be He, will do what is right in His Eyes.

97. In situations of conflict, it is propitious to say the passages, "And Asa called to G-d …” until “mortal." (Chronicles II, 14:10).

98. One who does not put his trust in G-d, through this he is confronted with war and conflict.

99. Through the study of Torah, fear falls upon the nations that they do not wage war against Israel.

100. In situations of conflict, say, "And he (king Yehoshafat) said, G-d of our forefathers,…” until “For our eyes are turned to You." What was said by Yehoshafat by Yehoshafat (Chronicles II, 20: 6-12).

101. In a time of war, one must prepare the weapons of war appropriately, and the Holy One, Blessed be He, will do according to His Will, but do not rely on miracles.

102. One who establishes a fixed place for his prayer, his enemies fall beneath him.

103. One should not pray for the death of any man, even an apostate. For it is better to kill them by mortal means, rather than by the Hand of Heaven.

104. Do not provoke an evildoer, all the more so (don't start up with) one whose hour of fortune is at hand (lit. the hour is laughing for him).

105. It is permissible to not admit the truth, and (even) deny it, in order that people not be led astray after [an evildoer].

106. Due to baseless hatred, a person will have great conflict in his house.

107. [Blows from] a sword and great plundering come through the sin of not making an immediate edict, distorting, and ruining judgment, and for neglect of Torah [study].

108. A woman at the end of her menstrual period who passes between two men causes strife between them.

109. A pursued (/attacked) person who placates the pursuer, through this harsh judgment is aroused upon the pursuer.

110. One who gives sustenance to his enemy causes a decree of burning on the enemy.

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