By Rav Shmuel Brazil
The Ramban comments that no other mitzvah aside from Sota soley functions on a miracle. Sota is diifferent because it verifies the yichus of Yidden. Our lineage is of utmost importance that it alone warrants the utilization of supernatural means to verify the real relationship and identrty between father and son. For if the child born is a mamzer, then he is forbidden to marry in the Kahal of Hashem.
In Mitrayim, the fact that the Yidden preserved their yichus beyond any doubt was also an incredible feat. Being slaves subjugated by another nation tends to permit and give license to immoral conduct.World history has demonstrated how slaves werye miserably treated and looked upon as hefker to be used as a mere source and tool of gratification for the whims of their master. Yet in this decadent Mitzrayim only one woman was immoral. Can one imagine that over 600,000 men past 20 and all the women remianed pure without any question about their yichus and Mitzyreeim fathering their children. The inception of Klall Yisrael in MItzrayim beyond any doubt of family pure lineage was no less than a miracle. Hashem went out of His way to stamp HIs name at the beginning and end of the mishpacha names as a seal of approval to the veracity of such an incredible miracle.
Yet the ability to trace the pure lineage of Klall Yisrael has yet another beneficial aspect as well. The Chazal say that in the future the goyim will come and argue with Hashem that if He would have forced them with a mountain over their heads to accept the Torah as He did to Am Yisrael, they too would have accepted it. Why then should they be punished? Hashem answered them “havu lahsem mispechos amim” bring me your yichus lineage and that will be your self evident answer The Yismach Yisrael explains this Chazal as follows. Forcing Yidden to accept the Torah is tantamount to not coercing them. As the Rambam paskins in hilchos gittin that the beis din can force a Yid to give a get even by beatingh him up. Asks the Rambam, but doesn’t the Torah require that in order for the get to be valid it must be given voluntarilly? He answers that deep down every Jew wants and desires 100% to fulfill Hashem’s mitzvos. It is only his body that craves to do the contrary. By subduing the body by force, we then allow the true desire of the Yid to surface and that is to please his creator’s demands. In this way coercion in keeping mitzvos is indeed deemed a vouluntarily act.
How does one know that the Jewish nation deep down soley desires to fulfill Hashem’s mitzvos? It is because our lineage begins with our avos who implanted in us and in all the future generations this spiritual DNA to fulfill Hashme’s commandments.The goyim on the other hand descend from such a yichus that rebelled against Hashem. Therefore they implanted in the essence of all their future generations the non desire to fulfill Hashem’s wishes thereby rendering their coerscion to accept the Torah an involuntary act not worthy of receiving reward.
With this understanding the Satmer Rav ztl goes ahead to explain the lashon of the Rambam which paskins that if a person wants to commit an aveirah and he is at the point where he feels he cannot restrain himself, he should don black clothing and go to a place that no one recognizes him there and do what his heart desires. Asks the Rav can it be that the Ramban is condoning one for doing an aveirah? Rather the Rambam’s message is that if one feels he cannot control his taavos, then he should force himself to teshuva by donning black clothers and humbling himself by going to a place where he not recognized and where he will feel unimportant. In this fashion there is hope that he will come to his senses and do what his heart truly desires and that is to listen to the commands of Hashem and not commit the aveirah.
With all this in mind let us not forget what one of the tzadikkim said concerning yichus. Yichus can be compared to 20 zeros. It is worthless unless each person puts a one in front of them. A Yid must endeavor to align himself with his avos and only by doing so he can activate and draw from all their kochos which they invested in the future generations.