Lesson 75c Praise that can lead to harm – Sitting amongst slanderers

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Lesson #75c

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 can
lead to harm

  1. You mentioned that praising someone in a way that will
    cause him harm, is considered avak loshon horah (the dust of loshon
    horah).  Can you provide some examples of that?
  1. Sure.  If you were a guest at someone’s home and you then
    go and publicly praise your host for his warm hospitality, you may be
    causing him harm.  Upon hearing about his hospitality, many people,
    riffraff amongst them, might subsequently flock to his door for the same outstanding
    hospitality that you received, and thereby financially drain this fellow. 
    Similarly, if someone lent you money, it would be wrong for you to go and
    publicize it; as you can be causing your benefactor significant harm.  Shady
    characters might find their way to his door and beseech him for a loan as
    well, in a way that might be difficult for him to refuse.


Sitting amongst

  1. In Shul, I sit near people who speak loshon horah.  I
    often find myself listening in to their slanderous conversations.  What am
    I to do?
  1. It is forbidden for you to sit near such people; even if
    you don’t intend to believe their words, since listening itself is a sin. 
    Additionally, it can cause you to develop that same bad trait.  Also,
    consider all the Amens, Yehai shemai rabbas, barichu, and all the other
    important parts of davening you will be missing as a result.  Similarly,
    it is forbidden to live in a neighborhood of loshon horah speakers.


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:  You mentioned yesterday that one of the snake’s
punishments for speaking loshon horah was that his diet will be dust.  You
explained how the other punishments of the snake, i.e. being hated by all and
losing the ability to speak; would happen to anyone who speaks loshon horah. 
How would this punishment of eating dust apply to human loshon horah speakers?

Oded:  A person who speaks loshon horah can be
punished with poverty.  The Sefer Hakoneh writes that the punishment for loshon
horah is tzoras.  However, one who does not get punished with tzoras is liable
to be punished with poverty, the equivalent of tzoras in that he is at the
mercy of others.

Menaseh:  So you’re saying that poverty is equivalent
to the snake eating dust?

Oded:  Correct.  Many people seek segulos and brachos
from gedolim for success in parnassa but often none of that will help.

Menaseh:  Why?

Oded:  Because as long as they engage in loshon horah
there is a blockage.  There is a curse in the Torah for one who speaks loshon

Menaseh:  Which curse is that?

Oded:  In Parshas Ki Savo it states: “cursed is the
one who hits his friend in a concealed fashion”.  The curse didn’t come out of
the mouth of one person but rather with the agreement of the entire Klal

Menaseh:  So if I understand you correctly guarding
ones tongue from loshon horah is a more powerful merit for parnassa than all
the segulos and brachos.

Oded:  Absolutely!  And certainly not to cause direct
financial harm to our friends which is also a cause for losing ones
possessions.  Know that all the curses mentioned were preceded by brochos. 
Therefore, there was a special brocha given and agreed upon by all of Klal
Yisroel to one who does not hit is friend in a concealed fashion.  That is a
very powerful brocha for success but of course it depends on us not harming our
friend verbally or otherwise.

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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 9 Par. 3

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 9 Par. 4 and note


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 2 Chap. 9

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