Please verbalize or
have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for Jewish singles
throughout the world.
through non-verbal communication
- I’m in a store with a friend trying to return an item that
I purchased yesterday. I explain to the Jewish clerk the reason for my
dissatisfaction but he refuses to accept the return. As I walk out I turn
to my friend and place my index finger by the side of my head and give two
quick twirls (A gesture indicating a severe malfunction in the Cerebrum).
Have I violated the prohibition of loshon horah?
- Absolutely. As we mentioned in lesson 1, loshon horah is
defined as any form of communication, (verbal or nonverbal) that will
bring harm onto a fellow Jew. Therefore, hinting, sign language, writing,
or even merely showing someone a poorly written letter with the intent of
harming a fellow Jew, all fall under the category of loshon horah.
Is it loshon horah
when I include myself in the story?
- I was relating an incident that happened to me and a
couple of friends on our recent camping trip. The story does not portray
us in the most positive light. By including myself in the story, have I
successfully skirted the issue of loshon horah?
- Even if you make yourself the main focus of the story and
you have no intention of degrading your friends, you are still in
violation. We find that Yeshayahu Hanavi was punished for saying: “Woe is
to me for I shall die, for I am a man with impure lips and I dwell amongst
a nation of people with impure lips”. To which Hashem responded: About
yourself you may speak but who permitted you to slander my children.
This section is
formatted as a conversation between Oded and Menaseh. Oded is encouraging his
friend Menaseh to be more careful in guarding his tongue from evil speech. The
thoughts in this section are primarily based on the sefer, Shmiras Haloshon.
Menaseh: A person can’t be a Jew like any other
without learning Torah?
Oded: That’s correct. This is apparent from what
our sages state in a number of places as well as from what we’ve witnessed with
our own eyes.
Menaseh: What have you witnessed that leads you to
Oded: We’ve see that people who are not involved in
Torah study are like fish out of water.
Menaseh: I’m not sure I see the comparison. A fish
out of water will die, these people are still very much alive.
Oded: A fish out of water can live for a short time;
as long as there is still some moisture on its body. However, as soon as the
moisture dissipates it will immediately die, because its source of life, the
water, is no longer on it.
Menaseh: So what is the comparison?
Oded: The source of our future eternal life is the
holiness of Hashem that hovers over us. The holiness of Hashem that will
sustain us in the world to come for eternity is only activated through the
means of Torah study. When people separate themselves from Torah study the
“moisture” of Torah might still spur them on to somewhat keep the mitzvos that
they’ve been accustomed to hither to. However, in the course of a short time
that “moisture” will begin to evaporate. At that point they will also begin to
diminish their mitzvah observance and who knows to where that can lead. This
is what we’ve unfortunately witnesses countless times with those who remove
themselves from Torah study.
If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman clicking here.
If you know others
who would appreciate this program, please encourage them to join. The more
people participating, the greater the zechus! In addition, you will have a
share in the merit of anyone who improves their speech as a result of you
signing them onto this program!!
1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 1 Par.
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 1 Par. 9
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar HaTorah Chap. 10