Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Shoftim: Rav Chaim Volozhin - The Essence Of A King Is His Glory
The Gemara in Kesubos (17a) says that if a King is Mochel on his Kavod the Mechila does not help.  In contrast, the gemara in Kidushin (32a) says that a Rebbi can be Mochel on his Kavod.  What is the difference?

The Pninim MiShulchan Gavoa brings from Rav Chaim Volozhiner as follows.  The Mitzva of a King is (Parshas Shoftim 17:15) Som Tasim Alecha Melech, you must appoint a King over you.  The words clearly say that the King is over you.  The Gemara learns from here that you must fear him.  In truth says, Rav Chaim, every Jew is worthy of being a King.  What makes someone a King in reality, is his appointment and the honor we give him.  The moment we stop to honor him, his kinghood ceases to exist since there in nothing intrinsically "kingly" about him.  (The Shita Mikubetzes brings that if a King is Mochel he must be appointed anew since he forfeited his kingdom.)

However, a Talmid Chochom did not become who he is by appointment.  He became one by learning Torah.  We must honor him for the Torah he possesses.  Whether we honor him or not, he remains who he is.  He is free to be Mochel on his Kavod without any change in himself whatsoever.