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Thursday, August 27, 2009

In Defense of the Cheating Husband - Updated

Now that the title of my post got your attention, I'm not coming to defend cheating husbands ח"ו. You'll see what I mean if you read on.

Fox News reports:
A cheating husband is trying to make amends by publicly admitting his indiscretions — in a sign he's toting outside a busy Virginia shopping center.

William Taylor stood in front of Tysons Corner Mall Wednesday sporting a sign that reads "I cheated. This is my punishment," according to

The Centreville, Va., man stayed outside for most of the morning commute, causing quite a stir in the process.

Taylor and his wife agreed to the deal, he told MyFOXDC.

"I thought she was kidding, but she was serious," he said. "I figured I got to do what I got to do to makes things right. So here I am."

Taylor planned to return to the streets Thursday and Friday with his cheating sign.

The gemara in Yoma 86b says:

א"ר יהודה רב רמי כתיב (תהילים לב) אשרי נשוי פשע כסוי חטאה וכתיב (משלי כח) מכסה פשעיו לא יצליח לא קשיא הא בחטא מפורסם הא בחטא שאינו מפורסם רב זוטרא בר טוביה אמר רב נחמן כאן בעבירות שבין אדם לחבירו כאן בעבירות שבין אדם למקום

Rav Yehuda said: Rav asked a contradiction. It is written (Tehilim 32): Happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is (pardoned) [covered]. And it is also written (Mishlei 28) He that covereth his transgressions shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy. There is no contradiction - 1 deals with a publicized sin, while the other deals with a non-publicized sin. Rav Zutra bar Tovia says in the name of Rav Nahman [to answer the contradiction]: 1 deals with sins between man and his fellow man, while the other deals with sins between man and Hashem.

If the halacha is like Rav Yehuda, then this Virginia man is doing the wrong thing since his sin was not publicized beforehand. However, if the halacha is like Rav Zutra besheim Rav Nahman, since cheating on one's wife is Bein Adam Lahaveiro, the Virginia man is correct in putting up his sign.

Luckily for this guy, the Rambam in Hilchot Teshuva seems to agree with Rav Zutra besheim Rav Nahman:

ו [ה] ושבח גדול לשב שיתוודה ברבים ויודיע פשעיו להם, ומגלה עבירות שבינו לבין חברו לאחרים, ואומר להם אומנם חטאתי לפלוני ועשיתי לו כך וכך, והריני היום שב וניחם. וכל המתגאה ואינו מודיע, אלא מכסה פשעיו--אין תשובתו גמורה, שנאמר "מכסה פשעיו, לא יצליח" (משלי כח,יג).

ז במה דברים אמורים, בעבירות שבין אדם לחברו. אבל שבינו לבין המקום--אינו צריך לפרסם עצמו, ועזות פנים היא לו אם גילם: אלא שב לפני האל ברוך הוא, ופורט חטאיו לפניו, ומתוודה עליהן בפני רבים, סתם. וטובה היא לו שלא נתגלה עוונו, שנאמר "אשרי, נשוי פשע; כסוי חטאה" (תהילים לב,א).

and the Ra'avad would also agree since he only comes to add Rav Yehuda's idea of a publicized sin that's Bein Adam LaMakom to all sins of Bein Adam LaHaveiro which one should admit.

Now, this guy wants to be Mahmir Lechol Hadei'ot and MAKE HIS SIN INTO A PUBLICIZED SIN so that when he admits it again, he'll be required to admit it even according to Rav Yehuda.

What a frum guy!

MyFoxDC reports that this was all a hoax.

This guy is even admitting something he didn't do just for publicity.

Such Mesirut Nefesh! We should all learn from him. (NOT!)


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