Lesson 41c Speaking about someone’s physical strength or financial stability
Sponsored as a zechus for
Binyomin Daniel ben Miriam
May he speedily find his zivug
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.
someone’s physical strength
- I have a friend who’s physically weak. Is there anything
wrong in me telling this to others?
- It depends. If he’s in a line of work that requires
physical strength, i.e. a construction worker or a sanitation engineer,
etc., then you may be harming his livelihood; therefore, it would be
considered loshon horah. However, if it won’t cause him harm then you may
someone’s financial stability
- Is there anything wrong with saying that someone is poor?
- Yes. If word gets around that he’s poor, people will be
hesitant to lend him money. This can cause grave damage to his financial
- In our community, there is an individual who people think
is very wealthy. I happen to know that his liabilities are almost equal
to his assets and he is not as wealthy as people think. May I share this
information with others?
- No you may not; as this can cause him financial harm, as
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: There is a posuk in the Torah which states the
following: “And do not contaminate yourself with them and you will become
contaminated”. The Gemora in Meseches Yoma explains this posuk as follows: “A
person who contaminates himself a little, will be contaminated a lot; a person
who contaminates himself below, will be contaminated above; a person who contaminates
himself in this world, will be contaminated in the next world.”
Menaseh: Why, if a person contaminates himself a
little, will he be contaminated a lot? Hashem actually contaminates a person
more than he has contaminated himself?
Oded: Rashi explains that what the Gemora means is
that he will be enabled to contaminate himself a lot. A person who is pure,
merits divine assistance in preventing contamination. However, a person who
has contaminated himself loses that divine assistance and is allowed, so to
speak, to contaminate himself even more.
Menaseh: The words “will be contaminated a lot”
imply that there is someone or something else contaminating him, not that he
is merely allowed to contaminate himself more.
Oded: You raise a valid point. I therefore would
like to suggest an alternate explanation that might better fit into the
wording. It is a based on a Zohar which we have previously discussed. The
Zohar explains that when a person engages in forbidden speech, a spirit of
impurity attaches itself to those forbidden words. External forces then take
those forbidden and contaminated words and attach them to all the holy words,
words of Torah etc. that this person has uttered. As a result, these holy words
can no longer go up as a gift to Hashem due to their contaminated state and are
therefore lost. This is the meaning of “A person who contaminates himself a
little will be contaminated a lot”. If you contaminated some of your words,
i.e. your forbidden words, your holy words will become contaminated as well
Menaseh: That is a very interesting explanation.
And how would you explain the rest of the above quoted Gemora in Meseches Yoma?
Oded: I’ll explain the rest the next time we speak.
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. 5 Par.
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 5 Par. 5
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 2 Chap. 2