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, August 13, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon י"ט תשרי - Tishrei 19 - Nineteenth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

The Gaon[1] Rabbi R'phael, in his book Marpei Lashon[2], similarly explains the [previously quoted] verse [from Tehillim (34; 13)], with good taste and knowledge. [This explanation] follows that which is written in the book “Duties of the Heart[3]”, as follows: “Many people arrive at the day of accounting, [after passing away], and whereupon being shown their actions [performed in this world], they will discover in their book of merits, meritorious [deeds] which they did not perform, and will [then] say “we did not perform [these deeds]”. [In Heaven], they will say to them [in response]: Those who spoke [slanderously] and those who [related] that which is disgraceful about you, performed these [deeds]. Similarly, those who speak that which is disgraceful about their fellow, whereupon discovering that they are lacking merits, will inquire [regarding those meritorious deeds which have not been recorded], and, [in Heaven], they will [respond]: “You lost [those merits] at the time that you spoke [Lashon HaRa against others].” Similarly, some [of these slanderers] will also find, transgressions which they did not commit, included in the book of their sins. When [these slanderers] say “I did not perform [these sins]”, they will be told: “[These sins] were added to your [record] because of the following individuals whom you spoke [Lashon HaRa against]…” The other holy books have written that which is similar [to the aforementioned teaching from “Duties of the Heart”].

[As] the [above] is true, [the] one who is ingrained with this evil trait, Heaven Forbid, incessantly emptying the arrows of his tongue upon his fellow,
will not benefit from any wisdom or advice, even if he were to accustom himself to always [be involved] with Torah and mitzvos. [This is true], for immediately [after earning] the eternal reward from a week or two of learning Torah and performing mitzvos, [he] will [attack] his fellow with the arrows of his mouth, and [thereby] his merits [will transfer] [to his fellow] for eternity, [taking], in exchange, [from the] sins [of his fellow who was the target of his forbidden speech]. If subsequently he were to earn eternal reward for some months or years, he will [then happen upon] another person [and speak against him], thereby [transferring more of his eternal reward] to [his fellow], as mentioned above, [this pattern repeating itself] until the day of his death, Heaven Forbid. In summary: This person is likely to leave this world cleaned of his possessions, they being the eternal possessions of Torah and mitzvos [he performed]. In exchange for [the merits that he lost, he] will be full of many great, abundant, and immense sins, of various types, from [the] people [that he slandered. The slanderer will bear each of the victims’ sins] in accordance to the degree of shame and disgrace that [he caused] these [people] in his lifetime [through his forbidden speech]. Therefore, Dovid HaMelech, Alav HaShalom, warned us [that we must] first guard [our] tongue from evil, and afterwards “remove [ourselves] from evil and perform [that which is] good”, for by guarding one’s tongue, a great deal of [reward] that The Holy One, Blessed is He, sets aside for him, whether [the reward earned] is small or great, will in any case remain in his possession, and he will [thereby] not give [away] his wealth [that awaits him in The World to Come], to others.

Gaon often refers to a great sage.

[2] This teaching is found in The Pillar of Fear page 1, third column of the Vilna printing.

[3] This teaching is found in
“Duties of the Heart” - Chovos HaLevavos: Gate of Submission, chapter 7.

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