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“Keeping Your Camp Holy”
Rav Chatzkel Levenstein (1885-1974) – the mashgiach of Mir Yeshiva – once came into the beis medrash of Mir and went over to two bochurim who were learning and asked them what day in Elul it was. They didn’t know right away, so they started to make a cheshbon, trying to remember when Rosh Chodesh Elul was. One of them turned to the other and asked, “Nu, what day of Elul is it?” His chavrusa said, “It’s either the 9th or 10th of Elul.” When Rav Chatzkel heard this, he gave a shrei and said, “Bochurim! You don’t know what day it is in Elul?! You are in the middle of Elul and you don’t know what day of Elul it is?!” In the Yeshiva in Kelm, the Talmud Torah of Kelm, as it was called in Europe, the gabbai would clap on the bimmah every night and would announce which day of Elul it was, and the olam said the day, like we do during Sefiras HaOmer. We have to know which day of Elul it is. There is a very interesting pasuk in this week’s parsha that tells us about the key that guarantees hatzolah – that guarantees that we will be saved. The key to hatzolah is Hashem being with you, whether it’s Torah and mitzvos, whether it’s bitachon – whatever it is – if Hashem is with you, you are in good shape. Any time a person is struggling with something, it’s an indication that Hashem is not with him. Usually, Hashem is not with a person because the person is not with Hashem. Where does the Torah tell us about this?
The passuk in this week’s parsha states (Devarim 23:15):
כי ה’ אלקיך מִתְהַלֵּ֣ךְ בקרב מחנך להצילך ולתת איביך לפניך והיה מחניך קדוש ולא יראה בך ערות דבר ושב מאחריך
“Because Hashem your G-d moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you, let your camp be holy; let Him not find anything unseemly among you and turn away from you.”
The language of מִתְהַלֵּ֣ךְ means, Hashem is “caused to go,” in other words, a person has the ability to cause Hashem to be מִתְהַלֵּ֣ךְ – to go and “to save you and to deliver your enemy before you.” That’s a double brachah – because, number one, Hashem saves you. But a person can be saved without his enemy being necessarily delivered into his hand. However, here, you get saved and your enemy is delivered to your hand! So that’s two brachos. That’s unbelievable! But there is one condition though: והיה מחניך קדוש ולא יראה בך ערות דבר – “your camp should be holy and Hashem should not see any matter of immorality.” Hashem should not behold any immorality because עֶרְוַת דָּבָר will cause Hashem to be ושב מאחריך – to turn away from you. Listen to how Chofetz Chaim explains this pasuk. He says that the Torah is telling us with absolute clarity that if we will sanctify ourselves and rid ourselves of anything immoral, Hashem will go among us and save us from all “evil.” He explains that “all evil” means many, many things: swords, hunger, captivity, bills, etc. But he says that if Hashem sees עֶרְוַת דָּבָר within us, He turns away from us and then we become subjugated to the challenges around us.[i]
Why Can We Rely on Hashem?
R’ Elchanan Wasserman (1874-1941) revealed to us what he heard from his Rebbi – the Chofetz Chaim – about the meaning of וְשָׁב מֵאַחֲרֶיךָ – “and Hashem will turn away from you.” He said the following. What is my hope that Hashem will save me based on? What is the nekudah that I can rely on that ensures that I will be saved by Hashem? Let me give you a simple example. Let’s say, you rely on the police. Why do you rely on them to come to your house and save you? The answer is simple – because that’s their job! Their job is “to serve and protect” the people! I don’t count on my car mechanic – even if he has a big, heavy wrench – to serve and protect me, because that’s not his job. It’s not his job to protect me so I don’t rely on him for that, just like I don’t rely on a cop to fix my car.So why do I rely on Hashem ? The answer is because Hashem is שׁוֹמֵר עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַד, as we say daily in maariv. One of the “hats” that Hashem wears is that “I am here to serve and protect you.” If it didn’t say that שׁוֹמֵר עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַד – I would not have relied on Him! Maybe yes, maybe no. But the fact that Hashem said, שׁוֹמֵר עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַד, and He’s 24 hours on the job – it means that I can rely on Him!
Rabbosai, you have to get this so clear, because in your lives, you will face many difficult situations, and you might ask yourself, “How can I be saved from this?” But you have to realize that if you are a Yisroel, if you are a yid,you are entitled to this shmirah. Now, I don’t know if a cop from Wickliffe can come to NY and save someone in NY, because he will say, “It’s not my job to protect people in NY, but to protect the people in Wickliffe. I give tickets to people in NY who visit Wickliffe, but I don’t go to NY to save and protect them.” But Hashem is שׁומֵר עַמּו יִשרָאֵל, and if you don’t know that, you have very little to “hang your hat on.” If you know that, then you have what to “hang your hat on.”
What Type of Shomer is Hashem?
Now the Torah in Parshas Mishpatim teaches the halachos of shomrim.There are different types of shomrim. There is a shomer chinam (a watchman who watches something free of charge), a shomer shochar (a paid watchman), there’s shoel (a borrower who must guard the object he borrowed), and there’s a sochar (a renter, who has an obligation to watch your object for you). So Hashem is שׁוֹמֵר עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַד. The Chofetz Chaim poses the following sheila: What type of shomer is Hashem? Is He shomer chinam or shomer shochar? Perhaps He’s a shoel? Says the Chofetz Chaim that it’s pashut that we don’t pay Hashem, as the pasuk says that “whatever we give Him is nothing.” How can we pay Hashem for everything that He does for us? Says the Chofetz Chaim, Hashem is a “shomer chinam.” Now, that’s a scary thing, if you think about it. Why is that? Because if you hire a paid watchman, halachically, he’s obligated to a higher level of shmirah than a shomer chinam (who only has an obligation not to be negligent, to be posheya). If I knew that the police weren’t getting paid, I would get nervous to call them, because I know they want to get paid. Hashem is shomer chinam, which means you are at His “beck and call,” you are at His mercy. A shomer chiman can say at any time, “I changed my mind, and I don’t want to watch you anymore,” but a shomer sochar cannot say that because he’s getting paid. So the Chofetz Chaim that Hashem is a shomer hinam, which means, that based on His desire, He can stop his shmirah anytime He wants, which makes the shmirah more tenuous, it’s not so strong anymore![ii]
If someone tells you that they’ll watch something of yours for free, you will probably want to find out what makes this watchman “tick,” what makes him happy. You don’t want to tick him off. If he tells you to bring him a cup of coffee, you better do it! Hashem tells us, says the Chofetz Chaim: “הנני הולך בקרב מחנך להצילך ולתת איביך לפניך, I am walking among you in your camp, and I will deliver your enemies before you” But there’s one condition, ולא יראה בך ערות דבר, I don’t want to see in you ערות דבר, immorality.” The Chofetz Chaim says that what makes Hashem decide not to deal with you and watch you is when He doesn’t see your level of morality and your level of kedusha. And if that happens, then you are mafkir yourself. A person who retains kedusha, brings upon himself the shmirah of Hashem! That’s it. So you’ve got to know: If Hashem is with you, you will be saved – this is what it says clearly in the Torah! But there’s one condition: ולא יראה בך ערות דבר – if your level of morality and kedusha is low, that will cause Hashem to walk away from you. When I saw this idea many years ago, it was such an eye-opening concept, I was so moved by this that I thought about this for hours! It’s right here in the Torah, and the careful eyes of Chofetz Chaim are telling this to us. If I would see this pasuk for the rest of my life, I would not have seen this explanation. But this is the key to having Hashem in our lives!
On the Doorsteps of Death
I want to share with you an amazing story about an elderly Jewish woman. I knew her because I used to learn with her son. She was in very poor health. She was a smoker all her life and had an extreme case of emphysema. She had to walk around with oxygen tanks. In addition, she had serious kidney problems, and she could take about 80 steps, only with the help of a breathing machine. At some point, after one of her sons became observant, she and her husband moved in with him. One afternoon, this talmid of mine called me and said that his mother was in her last moments of life, and asked if I could come to the hospital and do “what is necessary.” I drove to the hospital. When I came upstairs, there were three doctors standing outside of her room: a nephrologist, a cardiologist, and a neurologist.
I introduced myself and asked, “Excuse me, are you here for this patient?”
They answered, “Yes, we are taking care of her.”
I asked them, “What do you say?”
They said, “She has no more than 1.5 hours left to live. She hasn’t eaten for three days. She has a DNR order, we disconnected all of her breathing and feeding tubes because all her organs are shutting down.”
I walked into the room. She was a small, 81-year-old woman lying in bed with her eyes closed. They told me she was in a semi-coma, and her organs were shutting down. I came next to her bed and said some Tehillim. Then I cleared my throat to call her attention. She opened her eyes, and I asked her if she said Krias Shema before she went to sleep. She was looking at me with deadpanned eyes. Then I threw a whole vidui in there, with the Shema. She closed her eyes again. Meanwhile, her children came in.
Then a thought popped into my mind. Her family was gathered around her. I came closer and cleared my throat, trying to draw her attention. She opened her eyes and looked at me without showing any facial expression.
I said, “Mrs. So-and-So, would you like to make a deal?”
She looked at me and mouthed these words, “With whom?”
I said, “With Hashem, of course, not with me.”
With a lot of difficulty, she mouthed again, “What?”
I said, “Accept to subjugate your will to His will – you will do His will, even if it’s not your will.” She wasn’t a frum woman, but she grew up in a frum family. Her father was very frum.
She asked again, “What?”
I said, “When you get better, I will tell you, but right now, accept the will of Hashem, even if it’s not your will.”
She closed her eyes, then opened them again and shook her head. I took it that she meant, “Yes.”
A little while later, a new nurse came into the room and saw me standing by her bed, and asked, “Is this patient Orthodox?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer, so I said, “I guess.”
The nurse then asked, “How Orthodox is the patient?”
I responded, “What difference does it make how Orthodox the patient is?”
The nurse explained, “Well, different levels of Orthodoxy have different demands regarding Sabbath – some patients don’t turn on the lights on Sabbath, some people don’t tear toilet paper, etc.”
All of a sudden, the old lady said from her bed, “Now, very [Orthodox].”
It was getting late, and Shabbos was approaching. I said, “I am going to go home now, but I will send you some food for Shabbos. Do you like chicken soup?”
She blinked her eyes.
“What about some gefilte fish and salmon?” I asked her.
She blinked her eyes again. At that point, I wished her well and left the room.
Ready to Make a Change?
As her son walked me to the elevator, he asked me, “What are you going to tell my mother to do?”
I told him, “I have a thought – something that shouldn’t be too hard for her. She’s 81 years old. She’s not an actress, and she’s not a model, so that white patch of hair on her head is not exactly her most prized possession. I am going to ask her to cover her hair.“
He looked at me and said, “That’s it?!”
“Yes,” I said.
I went home and sent my daughter back to the hospital to deliver the Shabbos food. After Shabbos, I called the hospital and learned that she was back 100% to her old self. She was doing wonderfully! She ate the Shabbos food with an appetite and enjoyed it very much. On Monday, she was discharged. The next Shabbos, they were sitting at the Shabbos table in her son’s house, when she asked her son, “I wonder what Rabbi Brog wanted me to do.”
Her son said, “I don’t think anything that is difficult.”
She asked him, “What do you think he has in mind?”
“I think he may ask you to cover your hair and go to the mikva once,” he told her.
She responded, “Mikva – Ok, big deal. But my hair! Did he lose his mind? The only thing I have left is my hair – I am not giving that up! You think I am going to cover my hair?!”
“Mom, you don’t have to shave it off – you just have to cover it at certain times,” he told her.
“You think I will cover my hair?” she said. “That’s crazy!”
The son said, “Mom, I don’t think you are in the position to bargain here. Last week you were almost gone, and now you are with us.”
She said, “I am not doing that!”
Hashem Doesn’t Need Charity
I have to tell you that she was a very strong-willed lady. She got up from the table, stormed out of the room, slammed the door, and went to bed. Three hours later, her son opened her door to ask her how she was doing. He found her unconscious and barely breathing. They called an ambulance right away and rushed her to the hospital. After Shabbos, her son called me to tell me what happened.
“Oy vey, she broke the deal!” I said.
“Rebbi, what can we do?” he asked me. He was very disappointed. He saw the yad Hashem with such clarity.
“I don’t know. I wish I knew,” I said.
“Can you come to the hospital?” he asked me.
“For what purpose? She’s not conscious,” I told him. “But keep me posted,” I requested.
A few days went by and I went back to the hospital. When I came into the hospital, I saw that she was hooked up to every imaginable machine, she had a face mask on, her hands were tied to her bed and there were all kinds of tubes coming out from everywhere. It looked like she was sick. The doctor came in, and I asked him, “So, doc, what do you say? You said it was over. She made it – she had a great week.”
The doctor said, “Let me tell you something – if she ever gets out of this, she won’t see the light of day. Her lungs are so compromised, she’d have to be on machines and in a nursing home forever.”
I said, “Doc, if I were you, I would not say that. ‘Never say never’.”
I came up to her bed. She looked agitated. I quietly asked her: “How are you, Mrs. So-and-So? We had a deal.” Meanwhile, her son, who was married to a shiksa, was adjusting her oxygen mask, so she could talk.
She said, “I will give charity.”
I said, “I don’t need your charity and Hashem doesn’t need your charity. He wants to see His children accepting and subjugating themselves to His will. Hashem wants your will. You’ve got to break your will. Give your will up to the Will of Hashem.”
She was a tough customer. “I will daven,” she continued.
“That’s good,” I said. “But that’s not enough to break your will. You don’t mind davening. Hashem doesn’t need your prayers. Covering your hair will break your will.”
She said, “But all the rabbis’ wives in Cleveland – when I grew up – didn’t cover their hair!”
Hashem put the right words in my mouth and I said to her, “You are 100% right – that’s how it used to be. Now, all the rabbis’ wives in Cleveland cover their hair. Which group do you want to belong to – the group that’s not around anymore or the group that’s living and vibrant? That’s your choice.”
I saw that her respirator was going up and down, and she was starting to get agitated.
I said, “Listen, I didn’t come here to excite you – you should have a speedy recovery. I am here to calm you down. You should have a refuah shleimah. And I hope that you can subjugate your will to the Will of Hashem. And I want you to know one thing – this is the will of Hashem. I am not making this up.”
She asked, “Who made this rule up?”
I said, “Not me. It’s in the Torah. The famous tzadik Chofetz Chaim, who wrote the famous Mishnah Berurah (I explained to her what it meant) speaks about this. This is the halacha. There are no ifs or buts, and there are no leniences. Anyone who thinks there’s a leniency in this area is like a guy who eats pork and thinks that nowadays there’s a leniency since the USDA regulations make sure there is no trichinosis in the meat because they cook it for a long time. That’s stupidity.” I bid her goodbye and left the hospital.
“Don’t Do it for Me, Do it for Hashem!”
The next thing I knew, the woman was in the ICU, in a total coma.
Her son called me, crying, and asked, “Rebbi, what can we do?”
I said, “I am not sure, but I will give you an idea. Go get a snood or a head kerchief – I am sure your wife has one of those. Bring it into her room and put it next to her bed in case she wakes up and wants to put it on. But please explain to her that she cannot do this because I said so – my words have no power or meaning – it’s only Hashem’s words that matter.”
He said, “Rebbi, do you think she can get out of this?”
I said, “I don’t know. I have no idea. Only Hashem knows. It’s up to her. She got out of it last time. Why not?” It went on like this for another week, and it got from bad to worse. They were keeping her alive on machines. Friday night, they took her to a higher level ICU.
That Friday night, she opened up her eyes (after being in a coma for several days without saying a word) and asked her son, “Did Rabbi Brog make this up? Is this Rabbi Brog’s rule, or is it really Hashem’s rule?” This is what she was thinking about, you understand?
Her son, who was by her side, said, “Mom, it’s Hashem’s rule.”
“Okay, I will do it.”
Then he asked her, “Are you doing it for Rabbi Brog, or are you doing this for Hashem?”
She asked, “What difference does it make?”
He explained, “Mom, you’ve got to understand one thing – if you are just doing this for Rabbi Brog – then don’t do it. It’s worthless. If you are doing it because he said, it means nothing. His saying it means zero – you’ve got to do it because you trust what Hashem said and you are giving into Hashem’s Will. That’s the whole idea.”
She said, “Okay, but if I were to do it, how would I do it?”
“Well, mom” he said, “I just happen to have a snood handy here.” He started fishing for that bag, pulled out the snood, and put it on her head. She grabbed it to keep it on her head, and then she slipped back into a coma.
Breaking Her Will
My talmid called me Motzei Shabbos and told me the whole story. I said, “Wow! She subjugated her will to Hashem? That’s massive! To ‘break’ herself like that – to do the Will of Hashem?! That’s incredible!”
“So,” he asked, “do you think she’ll make it?”
I said to him, “The truth of the matter is – I have no idea. I don’t know, I am not Hashem. The doctor said that she’s totally compromised. She’s very seriously ill right now. But if she accepted to do the Will of Hashem, she made it once. The tragedy would have been if she had died without giving into the Will of Hashem, but now that she has subjugated her will to the Will of Hashem, anything can happen. I hope she makes it, and that she pulls through a second time.”
Believe it or not, she started getting better, little by little. I went to visit her, and when one of her doctors warned me again, “This time, Rabbi, she won’t be so lucky because her lungs are very compromised. Even if she gets out of this by some miracle, the most she will be able to do is live in the nursing home. She will never walk the streets again.”
I turned to him and said, “Doctor, don’t ever say ‘never’ when you are around me. I am telling you – you don’t know the power of the Almighty!”
Indeed, Hashem had different plans for her. She did get better and was discharged from the hospital after a few days. She went to the nursing home for about six months. At the end of those six months of rehabilitation, she came home. She was better than before her illness. On her first day at home, I went to see her. She wasn’t all dressed up, but she had that snood on. She was able to take 280 steps, she was in better shape, she hadn’t smoked for 6 months. She said, “I want to thank you, Rabbi Brog.”
I said, “This has nothing to do with me – I just brokered the deal between you and Hashem. You were the one who subjugated your will to the Will of Hashem.”
She said, “If you ever meet another person who doubts that subjugating their will to the Will of Hashem can make a difference, send them to me. Don’t get ‘into it’ with them, Rabbi Brog, don’t start up with them – just send them to me, and I will straighten them out! I will share my story with them.”
She was 81 years old at the time, and she lived for quite a while afterward: not six months, not a year, not two years, not three years. Four more years! Good years! As a Yiddishe froy, with the covered hair, keeping all the Torah and mitzvos! She passed away at the age of 85, may she rest in peace. And may this story be a zechus for her because she broke her will. Now, her son asked me, “Where did you get this idea from?” I said to him, “From Hashem. Hashem said in the Torah: ‘If you are ever in a tight spot, My job is שׁוֹמֵר עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל – to be a protector of Israel, but there is one condition – וְלֹא יִרְאֶה בְךָ עֶרְוַת דָּבָר – I don’t want to see in you anything immoral, anything that’s an עֶרְוָה. Exposed hair is called an ervah – whether you understand it or don’t understand it. A married woman’s hair is called an ervah and one cannot make a brachah in front of that woman. And if you do make that brachah, it’s not a brachah, it’s a brachah levatolah, it’s an aveirah. You have to turn the other way before you say the brachah. People don’t realize that a woman who covers her hair helps Hashem be shomer her in her house! And Hashem is shomer her!
Don’t Kick Hashen Out of Your House!
There are many people who have ruined themselves, they are distraught, they are broken, they have terrible things going on, etc. And I tell them, “What you need is a shomer. Why don’t you hire a personal shomer, a personal ‘security’ for that?” “Well, we don’t have the money for that. Security costs a fortune! And how will they help me feel better emotionally?” they tell me. “You have the money,” I tell them, “hire an emotional security guard.” “Who’s that?” “The Boss – the One Above, who takes care of you physically and emotionally! But it takes one thing – tznius.”
I remember a lady was suffering from shalom bayis problems, and she went to a Rav and he asked her to bring him all her clothes. He told her which ones she could leave, which ones she had to throw out, and which ones had to be fixed. And she went and did it on the spot. I was in her house after the fact, and I was very surprised that she was very tznius – because she was a very fancy-schmancy lady and she was quite distant from the tznius standards of the heimishe community. But she told me the whole story, and I asked her if it worked, and she said that it absolutely did. Rabbosai, you want to get a shmirah in your life? Don’t kick Hashem out of your house. Don’t you want Hashem to be in your house? I tell people, “Do you know what gets Hashem to run away from a house? Immorality.” And people tell me, “I don’t have immorality in my house!” And I tell them, “Do you have an unfiltered computer or an unfiltered phone in your house? That’s called immorality. Do you think Hashem gets ‘turned on’ by your unfiltered computer or your unfiltered phone? No, He gets ‘turned off’ by that, and He runs away from it!
People nowadays carry around these big cell phones like a sefer Torah or something, l’havdil; like a king who had to walk around with a sefer Torah all the time, wherever he went, all the days of his life. Today, every guy has this big huge fat uncomfortable thing in their pocket, in their trousers, or in their jackets, or strapped to their waist, or holstered under their arm, all kinds of stuff today. Some guys even have two phones. These things that they’re carrying around are monsters! And they think that they have shmirah?! No, they don’t have shmirah. I don’t care if they know your GPS location, it doesn’t make a difference! I actually just heard an interesting thing: Google is being sued for tracking people’s geographic locations. Because when Google asks, “If you would like us to know your GPS location – turn this feature on” – most people don’t want it on because they don’t want to be followed. But now they found out that even when you have it turned off, that thing can still track your location – there is no such thing as turning it off! So now they are getting sued for millions of dollars.
Do you want Hashem to be with you? Rabbosai, remember kedushas hamachane – וְהָיָה מַחֲנֶיךָ קָדוֹשׁ – do that! Do yourself a favor, rabbosai. Strengthen your tznius, strengthen yourselves, and you will then experience tremendous hatzalah and your enemies will be delivered before you, וְלָתֵת אֹיְבֶיךָ לְפָנֶיךָ.
[i] ואמרתי שעיקר סיבת הדבר, שאנו מרחיקים בעצמנו את הקב”ה מאתנו. הוא צוה לנו והתקדשתם והייתם קדושים, ואחז”ל כל המקדש עצמו מלמטה מקדשין אותו מלמעלה, מעט מקדשין אותו הרבה, בעוה”ז מקדשין אותו לעוה”ב. וכתוב אחר אומר כי ד’ אלקיך מתהלך בקרב מחניך להצילך וגו’ (והמאמר להצילך כולל הרבה ענינים להצילך מן החרב ומן הרעב ומן השבי ומן הביזה) והי’ מחניך קדוש ולא יראה בך ערות דבר ושב מאחריך. הרי ביאר לנו הכתוב מפורש, שכאשר נהי’ קדושים הוא מתהלך בינינו להצילנו מכל רע, אבל אם יראה בנו ערות דבר הוא שב מאחרינו, וממילא יחולו עלינו כל הסיבות ח”ו. [והנה אחז”ל (ברכות כ”ד) טפח באשה במקום שהדרך להיות מכוסה הוא בכלל ערוה, וכהיום בעוה”ר נתפרץ הדבר מאד מאד, והיצה”ר מפתה לנשים לילך פרועי ראש בלי שום כיסוי וגם לילך בזרועות מגולות וחלוקותיהן עשויות בלא בתי זרועות, ועוד חלק גדול מלבושיהן כנגד הלב וכה”ג הכל מגולה כדי שבכל מקום שיביט שם האיש יהי’ נגד הערוה. וממילא כל הברכות שמברך האיש בביתו או כשהוא מתפלל בביתו נגד אשתו או בתו הגדולה הם כנגד ערוה, וידוע שבכל ברכה יש בה שם הקודש, וא”כ כשם שהמברך כהוגן ממשיך על עצמו ברכה, כמ”ש בכל המקום אשר אזכיר את שמי אבוא אליך וברכתיך, כן הדבר להיפך ח”ו, אם מברך נגד הערוה ממשיך ח”ו עניות על עצמו, כדאיתא בנדרים (ח’) בכל מקום שהזכרת השם (שלא כהוגן) מצויה שם עניות מצויה (ועיי”ש בר”ן ורא״ש). והנה ידוע דסוף האדם, אף אם יחי’ אלף שנים, הוא מוכרח להשיב נשמתו אל האלקים ולתת דין וחשבון על מעשיו ועל דבוריו, ואזי ימצאו אלפי אלפים ברכות ושמות הקדושים שלא הי’ עליהם קדושה ולא עלו למעלה כלל, ועל הכל יתבעו ממנו בשעת הדין. וגדולה מזה מצינו בחז”ל על הפסוק, ומגיד לאדם מה שיחו, אפי’ שיחה קלה מגידין לו לאדם בשעת הדין. כלל הדבר המאדע” הגרועה הזו מביאה לאדם לידי הרהורים רעים ולפעמים גם לז”ל ח”ו (ומסכן בזה בניו הקטנים כמש”כ הג’ יעב”ץ בסידורו), וכמעט ע”י המאדע” הגרועה הזו מבטלים בידים מאמרו של הקב”ה, שאמר והי’ מחניך קדוש ולא יראה בך ערות דבר, וכו’] (חפץ חיים – על התורה)
[ii] שומר עמו ישראל לעד. אנו משבחים להקב”ה שהוא שומר עלינו. איזה דין של שומר יש לו שומר חינם או שומר שכר? האמת היא שאין אנו משלמים לו כלום בעד שמירתו, נמצא שהוא שומר חינם, ושומר חינם אם אינו רוצה לשמור, אינו שומר. ועלינו לדעת, כי בשעה שהקב”ה רואה בנו דבר ערווה – אין הוא רוצה לשמור עלינו, וכמש”כ (דברים כג, טו): ולא יראה בך ערוות דבר ושוב מאחריך. לכן הצניעות היא אחת הסיבות העיקריות שהודות לה הקב”ה שומר עלינו, אולם מה איומה הסכנה המרחפת על דורנו, הפרוץ מאד בענינים אלה – שמא הקב”ה חייו יסלק שמירתו מעלינו, הרי כל קיומנו בסכנה. חייו. (ח”ח על התורה)