Lesson 101

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Lesson #101

Please verbalize or
have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for a specific
single and/or Jewish singles throughout the world.


Praise that leads
to contention


  1. The other day I told my friend that her husband gave a
    very generous donation to a certain tzedoka organization and I noticed that
    my friend bristled.  I think I must have hit a sore point.  Was that a
    violation of rechilus?
  1. Praising someone in a way that can bring upon him strife
    would be considered “the dust of rechilus”.  (The dust of rechilus is a
    term used to describe speech that might not be actual rechilus but is
    still forbidden because of its similarities to rechilus.)  It’s generally
    advisable to avoid praising a husband to his wife or a wife to her husband
    or a partner to his/her partner about money/generosity related issues as
    it can often lead to contention.


  1. A neighbor of mine asked to borrow a sum of money that I
    was unfortunately not in a position to lend him.  After telling him so, he
    responded: “Well so and so told me that you lent him a similar sum of
    money”.  I must say I was quite annoyed with the one who told him this. 
    I’m wondering if what my neighbor told me was rechilus.
  1. That would also be considered “the dust of rechilus” since
    it caused you to have hard feelings towards the fellow who praised you for
    your generosity.


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.

Oded:  We mentioned yesterday, that it’s the
responsibility of community leaders to ensure that there are Yeshivos in their
communities and that they are being supported.

Menaseh:  I’ve found that when it comes time to taking
responsibility for these matters, people often take the modest approach and
declare that they aren’t really leaders and their words will not  be heeded.

Oded:  If they would do some self introspection they
would realize that the sudden modest attitude is really their yetzer horah

Menaseh:  How can you be sure?

Oded:  Because the moment someone slights their honor
in some way, fireworks will start shooting off.  He will enlist others to
oppose the person who dared to diminish his honor.  Yet, when it comes time to
the honor of Hashem, he becomes a modest and humble person who feels that his
words will not be heeded.  This is clearly the yetzer horah at work.

Menaseh:  But since when does the yetzer horah preach

Oded:  Our sages teach us that the yetzer tov rests
on the right side of the heart and the yetzer horah rests on the left side. 
However, our sages also say that the yetzer horah rests between the 2 chambers
of the heart.

Menaseh:  How do you reconcile these 2 seemingly
contradictory statements?

Oded:  The actual place of the yetzer horah is on the
left side but it tends to wander to the right side as well.

Menaseh:  What does that mean?

Oded:  The right represents the normally good traits
of a person and the left the normally bad.  The yetzer horah sometimes wanders
over to the right and will encourage you to do something that is seemingly good
and correct on the surface.  However, if look a little bit beneath the surface
you will see that the motives are not pure.

Menaseh:  For example?

Oded:  People of influence who suddenly become modest
when it comes to serving Hashem.  While modesty is a great trait, the motives
must be pure and the application must be correct; otherwise, it’s the advice of
the yetzer horah.

If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman by
hitting the reply button.


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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 2 Chap. 8 Par.

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 2 Chap. 8 Par. 3


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar HaTorah Chap. 6

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