- the reason why the good inclination comes to a person when he is thirteen years and one day.
- the reason why Hashem decreed that one day in the year we should be like angels.
- the reason why there are two types of Gehinnom, one of fire and one of snow.
The sefer Tola'as Ya'akov writes on the posuk (Bereishis 1,5) "And there was evening, and there was morning, one day" - Why does it say one day, and not the first day? In order to expound "there was evening" - this is the evil inclination, and afterwards "there was morning" - this is the good inclination, because the coming of the evil inclination precedes the coming of the good inclination. And when does the good inclination come to a person? - "one day", that is, when a person is thirteen years old, like the gematria of the Hebrew word for one - ��—�“.
It seems to me that this explanation does not conflict with that which is written in the Midrash on parshas Bereishis: "And there was evening" - these are the deeds of the wicked, "and there was morning" - these are the deeds of the righteous, "one day" - this is Yom HaKippurim.
Now, certainly the beginning of the words of the Midrash are in line with the explanation of the Tola'as Ya'akov, because the deeds of the wicked are from the evil inclination, which comes first, and then the deeds of the righteous, which are from the good inclination. But it seems to me that we can explain that the end of the Midrash, "one day" - this is Yom HaKippurim, is also in line with the above explanation. And this will also answer a question about the choice of expression of the Midrash - why was it particular to say Yom HaKippurim? Why would it not have sufficed to say Yom Kippur?
But first let us give a reason why the good inclination does not come to a person until he is thirteen years and one day, at which time he becomes subject to the positive commandments, which he will observe because of his good inclination, whereas until now he was not warned to keep the positive commandments, only not to transgress the negative ones, which come from the side of the evil inclination. But why, indeed, does the good inclination come specifically at this time?
It seems to me that the reason is according to the gemora which says, "�”�ž�‘�–�‘�– (this word has various shades of meaning - generous, lavish, extravagant, wasteful) - One who is lavish (in giving charity), should not be lavish more than a fifth", and it learns this from the posuk (Devarim 14,22) "עשר תעשר - You shall surely tithe" - the double expression indicates tithing (taking ten percent) twice, which is a fifth. And because we hold that one day out of a year is considered like a whole year, when a person is thirteen years and one day, it is as if he is fourteen years, which is a fifth of the number of his days that are allotted to him, according to the posuk (Tehillim 90,10) "the days of our years are seventy years". Thus, until this time there is licence to waste one's years and not be involved in observing the positive commandments, but not more than this. Therefore, the good inclination comes to a person when he is thirteen years and one day, so as not to waste more of his years.
And according to this explanation of why the good inclination does not come to a person until he is precisely thirteen years and one day, we can add to the explanation of the Tola'as Ya'akov, who explained that �™�•� ��—�“ is when he is thirteen years, the gematria of ��—�“, that the meaning is when he is the gematria of ��—�“ and �™�•� - a day.
But the reason given above of why the good inclination waits until this time, is only if we say that one day in the year is considered like a whole year, and then he is like fourteen years old which is a fifth of one's life.
Now, the sefer Sifsei Chachomim on parshas Emor explains on the posuk "it is Yom HaKippurim", that "�”�›פר�™�" has the same gematria as "ש� �” - year". That is, before Adam sinned, Hashem had intended that he would be like an angel, as it says, (Tehillim 82,6) "I said, you are angelic creatures", but after the sin the matter became annulled. However, since Hashem's intentions cannot remain completely unfulfilled, Hashem decreed that for one day in the year they will be like angels, and that is Yom Kippur. Thus His intention was fulfilled, since one day out of the year is considered like a whole year. And therefore he explained "�™�•� �”�›פר�™� �”�•�", that even though it is only �™�•� - one day, it is considered like the gematria of �”�›פר�™�.
Now we see that the explanation of the Tola'as Ya'akov and the Midrash are completely in agreement, with the Midrash's exposition that "one day" is Yom HaKippurim being a support for the words of the Tola'as Ya'akov. Because his explanation of "one day", that the good inclination comes when he is precisely thirteen years and on day, we explained was in order that a person will not watse more than a fifth of his life. But there is a problem, because this only works if we say that one day out of the year is considered like a whole year. But according to the opinion that we need thirty days out of the year to be considered a year, we cannot say the above explanation.
This is what the Midrash comes to prove with its explanation that "one day" is Yom HaKippurim - since "HaKippurim" is the gematria of "year", it alludes to the fact that even though it is only one day, it is like a whole year. Thus, the Tola'as Ya'akov together with our explanation is justified.
According to this, it seems to me that we can resolve the gemora in Mesechta Taanis 9a: R. Yochanan came across the son of Reish Lakish. He said to him, "Tell me the posuk which you are learning". He replied, "עשר תעשר - You shall surely tithe". The boy continued, "What is the meaning of the double expression?". R. Yochanan replied, "Give a tenth in order that you will become rich" (the word תעשר can be read with a 'shin' instead of a 'sin').
The question that we have here, is that the boy was certainly very wise, as is evident from the contiuation of the narrative. If so, when R. Yochanan asked him to tell him his posuk, he intended that he should tell him an original insight on the posuk. So how is the boy's sagacity demonstrated by his merely repeating the plain words of the posuk, and then asking R. Yochanan that he should say an explanation?
To answer this we need to know what it says in the sefer Tiferess Yisrael - that the reason the early Tanaim used to ask children to tell them the posuk they were learning, was because whilst they were young the evil inclination was causing mischief, since the good inclination was not there to counter it, and so there was a concern that the child would be seduced into listening to its counsel. Therefore, since the gemora says that if one encounters the evil inclination one should drag it to the Beis HaMedrash, they took care that the children should tell them their posukim, so that through their constant learning of Torah the evil inclination would be annulled.
Now we can understand the gemora - R. Yochanan asked the son of Reish Lakish to tell him his posuk, and the boy cleverly answered him "עשר תעשר". He was replying to him: I understand that your intention was to tell me to be involved in learning Torah in order to annul the evil inclination. But why is there a need for this? Is it not written "עשר תעשר"? And why does the Torah write a double expression? It must be to teach us about taking a double tithe - to teach us that a person should not be profligate more than a fifth, but that up to a fifth is permissible. If so, whilst I am still a minor, before I reach thirteen years and one day, it is permissible for me to be wasteful of my years, and not be involved in observing positive commandments. Therefore, it must be that there is no need to be concerned about the evil inclination, even if I am not involved in learning Torah.
And therefore the boy said to R. Yochanan, "What is the meaning of the double expression?". He was saying to him: According to me, it is teaching about taking a double tithe, but according to you, who told me to say my posuk, you must hold that it is not permissible to be wasteful even up to a fifth. If so, what is the meaning of the double expression? To this R. Yochanan replied that he has a different understanding of this posuk - that it is to teach you to give a tenth in order that you will become rich.
And with this, it seems to me that we can resolve the Midrash in the Yalkut on parshas Re'eh, on the posuk "עשר תעשר" - Chizkiyah said: The judgement of the wicked in Gehinnom lasts twelve months; six months in a Gehinnom of fire, and six months in a Gehinnom of snow. And Shlomo HaMelech said, (Mishlei 31,21) "She is not afraid of the snow for her household, because all her household are clothed with scarlet (ש� �™�)" - don't read the last word as meaning scarlet, but read it with different vowels, so that it means two. That is, her household are clothed with mitzvos which have a double expression - עשר תעשר, which is the double tithe.
This Midrash is puzzling - just because the Torah used a double expression one doesn't have to fear from the Gehinnom of snow? And furthermore, if it is so, why was this Gehinnom created?
To answer this we need to know what is written in the sefer Divrei Shlomo and in other commentaries, that the reason for the two types of Gehinnom, is that the one of fire is to punish someone who transgressed the negative commandments, and became heated from his sins, and the one of snow is to punish someone who was lazy in fulfilling positive commandments, and became cooled as a result of not heating himself up by performing them.
We also need to know the sefer Turei Barekess's explanation of the posuk (Koheles 12,1) "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of evil come" - Shlomo HaMelech is cautioning a person to remember his Creator by observing the positive commandments (the expression 'remember' is relevant to keeping positive commandments, as it is written, "and you shall remember and you shall do") even though it is still "the days of youth" - before he has become Bar mitzvah and thus he is little cautioned to observe them, as we wrote above. Even so, he should be careful to fulfil them, "before the days of evil come", that is, times of wrath, during which punishment is meted out for the non-observance of positive commandments.
So now we can explain that the words of Shlomo HaMelech, "She is not afraid of the snow for her household", are addressing minors, who are not yet commanded to keep the positive commandments. He is saying: Since I cautioned you in sefer Koheles to remember your Creator in the days of your youth, that is, to fulfil the positve commandments even whilst you are a minor, before the days of evil come, therefore you might say, that just as we are punished during a time of wrath for non-observamce of positive commandments even during our youth, so too there is to fear the punishment of the Gehinnom of snow. Therefore he wrote "she does not fear...because all of her household are clothed with two", that is, the double expression "עשר תעשר", which teaches that it is permissible to waste a fifth of one's years. Thus this posuk in Mishlei comes to save from the Gehinnom of snow one who is lazy in observing positive commandments during his youth, since he has not yet been commanded in them.