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

Monday, August 14, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon כ"א תשרי - Tishrei 21 - Twenty-First Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

[Lashon HaRa is so severe], that in addition [to being equivalent to the three cardinal sins, as well as leading to defeats in war], it also causes the Shechinah[1] to remove itself from the Jewish People, as [our Sages of Blessed Memory] have said in Midrash Rabbah[2], [as follows]: “Rabbi Mona said, all [those] who speak Lashon HaRa, remove the Shechinah from below, [in this world], to [ascend] above, [to the Heavens]. [In this context], you should be aware concerning that which David said, [as follows]: “My soul is among lions, I lie with men who are aflame; people whose teeth are swords and arrows, and their tongues are sharp swords”. (Tehillim: 57; 5) What is written [immediately] following [the above verse]? “G-d is high upon the Heavens…” (Tehillim: 57; 6) David said: ‘Master of The Universe, what is The Divine Presence [of HaShem] doing below, [in this world]? Remove The Shechinah to the Heavens [due to the forbidden speech practiced on earth]! Similarly, [the following teaching] is brought in Midrash Rabbah[3]: The Holy One, Blessed is He, said: In this world, since there has been slander in your midst, I have removed My Presence from being amongst you. [Similarly, [our Sages of Blessed Memory] have said in [maseches] Arachin (15b), [as follows]: Rav Chisda said in the name of Mar Ukvah: [In reference to all those who speak slander, The Holy One, Blessed is He, said, ‘I and he are not able to dwell in the world, as it says, [One who slanders his fellow in secret, him I shall cut off, one with haughty eyes, and who desires everything, him I cannot bear]. (Tehillim: 101; 5) Jerusalem was destroyed [at the time of the destruction of] the Second Temple solely as a result of the sin of speakers of slander who were amongst them, as a result of the baseless hatred that was [present] among the [Jews], as [our Sages of Blessed Memory have taught] in maseches Yoma (9b)[4].

One who
incites an argument between those who love each other, Heaven Forbid, by means of his Lashon HaRa and Rechilus, is [consequently] abominable before HaShem, this sin being more severe than the sin of haughtiness, lying, and murder, [among other severe sins], as it says in Mishlei (6; 16 – 19): “There are six [individuals] whom HaShem hates, and the seventh is an abomination of His Soul: Haughty eyes, speaking falsehood, and hands that spill innocent blood… and those who incite quarrels between brothers”; Our Sages of Blessed Memory said[5] that this [sin of inciting quarrels between brothers] is the seventh [sin], it being the most severe of all [of the seven sins listed in the p'sukim].[6]

Shechinah is G-d’s Divine Presence.

[2] This teaching is found in Midrash Rabbah on Parshas Shoftim and Devarim Rabbah, Parsha 5, 10.

[3] This teaching from Midrash Rabbah is found in Parshas Ki Seitze, Devarim Rabbah Parsha (6, 14).

[4] The above teaching and
RaSh”I’s explanation can also be found in maseches Gittin (56, 57b), quoted in the name of Rabbi Elazar, following (RaSh”I’s explanation is preceded by the introductory phrase "והינו" – “and it is”).

[5] This teaching can be found in Vayikra Rabbah (parsha 16, 1).

[6] The verses read:
There are six that HaShem hates and the seventh [sin] is the abomination of His soul. Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that spill innocent blood. A heart that devises sinful thoughts, feet that quicken to run to evil. One who speaks falsehoods and testifies falsely, and one who incites quarrels between brothers.” (Mishlei: 6; 16 – 19)

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