Lesson 74c More on avak loshon horah
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More on avak
- Is it okay to join a group of people who are telling
stories of praise about great Rabbis or Torah scholars?
- Large gatherings tend to include people from all sides of
the spectrum, or people who might be envious. As such, it’s wise to avoid
even such gatherings; especially in light of the fact that speaking loshon
horah about Torah scholars is a much greater sin than speaking about
- If I want to praise someone who is known to be squeaky
clean in a public gathering; a person whom there is nothing bad to say
about him, may I do so?
- You may praise such an individual, even before his enemies
or those who are envious of him. Even if they try to disparage him, their
words will fall on deaf ears, since everyone knows that this person is a righteous
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 while back we referenced the various
places in the Torah that dealt with the sin of loshon horah. Would you mind
going through them again, but this time in a little more detail?
Oded: Not at all! The first place in the Torah
where we encounter the sin of loshon horah is of course in Pashas Beraishis.
The snake spoke loshon horah about Hashem and in essence denying in Hashem. He
told Chava that Hashem ate from the Eitz Hada’as and as a result was able to
create worlds. Hashem, said the snake, didn’t want them to eat from that tree because
he didn’t want to share the trade secrets, so to speak, with Adam and Chava.
“Eat from the tree” said the snake “and you too will be able to create
worlds”. The snake, as a result of his loshon horah, introduced the concept of
death to the world. Do you know what his punishment was?
Menaseh: Yes. Hashem said that he will be hated by
man and man will try to kill him. He also lost the ability to speak; he lost
his legs and his diet was switched to dust.
Oded: That’s correct. The punishments of Hashem
were measure for measure. He caused death in the world; he will now be targeted
for death by man. He spoke loshon horah he lost the ability to speak.
Menaseh: Is that what’s in store for anyone who
speaks loshon horah?
Oded: Yes. A person who consistently speaks loshon
horah will be hated by all; people will guard themselves from him lest they
become his target for derision. When he is resurrected he will not have the
ability to speak, he will be a mute.
Menaseh: That, I imagine, will be terribly
Oded: That’s correct. Who can imagine the extent of
his shame? All will see his true nature. When the resurrection occurs and
everyone comes back to life whole and complete and he comes back to life as a
mute, imagine the great eternal shame he will suffer. Everyone will know that
he is a mute because he sinned with his tongue and therefore lost it. This is
something to seriously reflect on because it affects our quality of life in
this worlds and the next.
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1 Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 9 Beer Mayim
2 Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 9 Par. 2
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 2 Chap. 8