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have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for a specific
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Lying to avoid
- If my sister asks me to tell her what our mother said
about her, how should I respond?
- If it’s possible to answer her in a way that will not
cause your sister to harbor resentment towards your mother and also not
compel you to lie, that would be ideal. However, if you see there is no
way to get out of it without lying, you are permitted to lie. Our sages have
taught us that it is permissible to lie for the sake of peace. However,
an oath should be avoided, even if your sister is adamant about it.
- If I tell rechilus without mentioning the person’s name,
is that permissible?
- It depends. If from the context of the story it can be
figured out whom you are referring to, then it is forbidden; otherwise, it
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: Anyone who weakens himself in Torah study will
not have the strength to stand on a day of distress.
Menaseh: What is the source for that?
Oded: It’s a Gemora in Meseches Brochos based on a
posuk in Yeshayahu. Additionally, the Medrash tells us that when we neglect
studying Torah, the hand of Eisav rules over us.
Menaseh: What is that based on?
Oded: The Posuk in Yeshayahu states: “When straw consumes
a tongue of fire…”. The Medrash explains that straw refers to Eisav and fire
is a reference to Yaakov. The posuk continues “Their roots will disintegrate” This,
says the Medrash, refers to the merit of our forefathers which will no longer
Menaseh: What does this have to do with Torah
Oded: The posuk continues: “Because they have
despised the Torah of Hashem”. In other words, Eisav consumes Yaakov when
Yaakov despises the Torah. At such a point, even the great merits of our
forefathers cannot assist us.
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 2 Chap. 1 Par. 8
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 2 Chap. 1 Par. 9
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar HaTorah Chap. 4