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have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for a specific
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- If I tell my friend that someone said something about her that’s
not really negative but I know she might mind, is that considered rechilus?
- That 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.) An example of this would be when Sarah heard that she was
going to have a baby at the age of 90, she laughed to herself and
exclaimed in wonderment: “After I’ve become old I will regain my
vitality? And my master (Avraham) is old.” Hashem was disturbed at
Sarah’s slight lack of faith and told Avraham what Sarah said so that
Avraham should rebuke her. Hashem deliberately did not mention Sarah’s
comment about Avraham being old, since it might, ever so slightly, insult
Avraham. There is actually nothing negative in Sarah saying that her
husband was already old as such was the case, and Avraham himself
acknowledged it. Hashem, however, wanted to demonstrate to us that even
something that is in essence not negative; if it might cause hard feeling,
it should still be avoided.
- Is revealing a secret that someone told me considered
- It is not considered rechilus but it is still forbidden,
since it can cause serious damage to the one who told you the secret.
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: A person who is G-d fearing should try his
best to establish and support institutions of Torah lest the blood of those who
die be blamed on him.
Menaseh: That’s a strong statement. What do you
mean by those who die being blamed on him?
Oded: Our sages have taught us that the sin of being
idle from Torah study causes children to die.
Menaseh: And it’s blamed on the person who didn’t
Menaseh: How do you know this?
Oded: From Sefer Tana D’bei Eliyahu, based on a
posuk in Yechezkel.
Menaseh: What does it say there?
Oded: “Anyone who can protest and doesn’t, and
anyone who can return Jews to the right path and doesn’t, all the Jewish blood
that is spilled is on his hands.”
Menaseh: That sounds severe.
Oded: It is. But on the other hand, our sages teach
us in the Gemora Yerushalmi that if you see a generation that is lax in Torah,
stand up and support it and you will get the reward for all of it.
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. 5
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar HaTorah Chap. 6