Please Learn in the Merit of:

Please learn for the merit of a complete recovery for the following individuals:

Ya'akov Don ben Esther Ahuvah Sharona
Avraham Yishayahu ben Aviva
Perel Leah bas Sima

Please learn in the merit/memory of Eyal ben Uriel, Gil-Ad Michael ben Ophir, Ya'akov Naftali ben Avraham, and Alter Aryeh Leib Reuven ben Sima

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon: ח תשרי - Tishrei 8 - Eighth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

[Guarding one's tongue from forbidden speech for even a short while is worthwhile], even [in the context of] the argument of the evil inclination, [who claims] that the resolution and obligation [of Shmiras HaLashon] that [one] would accept [upon himself] in his heart for the future would not help him [be successful in that trait] for more than a few days. However, if we delve into this matter, you will see that the claim of the evil inclination is intrinsically false, for [this claim of the Yetzer HaRa] has already been examined by the furnace of experience. [The above claim of the evil inclination is false], for if one is willing to toil in [this trait of Shmiras HaLashon], the more he accustoms himself [in] it, the easier it becomes for him to guard himself [from speaking that which is forbidden. The individual who practices observance of the trait of Shmiras HaLashon would lead to greater avoidance of forbidden speech], for when [the person] says something improper, he will take notice [of that forbidden speech], while, initially, because of his thoroughly habitual involvement with all his [impulsive] desires, he would not notice [of such infractions]. With a bit of motivation for [one's] soul, [the person] will [successfully] prevent himself from speaking forbidden words, given that he is no longer compelled by habit.*[1]

Even if [the person] will endure a certain period of time when, for any reason, he is not able to arouse his soul in this matter [of Shmiras HaLashon], or if he has found that, on a number of occasions, his evil inclination has overcome him in this area [of observance], he should [still] not disappointedly resign from [engaging in] this matter [of avoiding slander]. Rather, [the person should spend] all of his days continuing to strengthen and inspire himself in the area of guarding his tongue, and he will [consequently] emerge victorious. [The above that which] our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in maseches Berachos (5a)]: “A person should always agitate the good inclination against the evil inclination….” This “agitation” refers to the eternal war that he will wage against his evil inclination, as we have written.

[1] * {Chofetz Chaim’s note: However, [regarding] this area, where one will set the habit of guarding his tongue in his soul, it appears that there is an obvious mode of advice by which he should act: From the beginning he should determine to become an expert in all the specific laws of Shmiras HaLashon and review them exceedingly well until he will become an expert in them. Thereby, he will know what speech falls under the category of “guarding”. By employing this method, he will naturally [come to] desist from most of his habits of forbidden speech he possessed up to the present. Subsequently, even if he will only set aside a designated time each week to [combat] this habit of Lashon HaRa, he will [still] greatly benefit. [However], as each person is influenced by his nature and environment, there are some people who need to check themselves every day [to determine] their current situation and comportment in the area of Shmiras HaLashon.}

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