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, September 03, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon כ"ט תשרי - Tishrei 29 - Twenty-Ninth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Behold, the entire [process of affliction and purification that the tzara’as-stricken speaker of Lashon HaRa underwent, applied only] during the period of the Beis HaMikdash. Nowadays, due to our many sins, we do not have the Beis HaMikdash, sacrifices, [nor do we have] the Kohen who purifies, [and we are thereby unable to have the speaker of Lashon HaRa suffer from physical tzara’as and the ensuing purification. The tzara'as punishment cannot exist nowadays, for] if The Holy One, Blessed is He, were to bring afflictions upon his body, [that person] would remain in his [state of] impurity forever, it being impossible for him to cleanse himself from this [impurity]. Therefore, the impurity of the affliction that comes as a result of this sin [of Lashon HaRa] attaches itself only to [that person's] soul and is not prominent on the outside of his body. [The tzara’as affliction attaching itself to the soul of the speaker of Lashon HaRa] is the intended teaching of the [following] Midrash[1] [taught in the name of Rabbi Yannai]: “One who guards his mouth and tongue guards from troubles of his soul” – from the tzara’as of his soul, for behold, the tzara’as clings to his soul.”

The person, who, Heaven Forbid, is accustomed [in the practice of] this sin [of Lashon HaRa], must consequently constantly mourn over his soul. [Though the habitual speaker of Lashon HaRa does not experience physical tzara’as, mourning over his soul is necessary], for though The Holy One, Blessed is He, covers over him in this world, [thereby] not revealing his shame to everyone, nevertheless, after his passing, when the soul departs from the body, the filth of [that person's] tzara’as [affliction] will be evident to everyone. As long as the scum of his filth remains attached to his soul, this mitzora will definitely not enter the Sanctuary of HaShem, [that being] in the Garden of Eden. [Rather], if [that person] did not repent properly, it will be necessary for him to sit in solitude Above, [in Heaven], outside of the [Heavenly] Israelite camp, that [area] being the place of [the habitation of] the kelipos and chitzonim[2].

Furthermore, when [the habitual speaker of Lashon HaRa] is still alive, at the time when the soul rises Above,[3] [to Heaven, while the person is asleep], all of these evil words that he spoke during the day ascend and accompany his soul. [As a result of all of the words of Lashon HaRa that he spoke], all of the holy ones disperse from his [vicinity], there being no greater shame for the soul than this. [The following teaching is taken from] the Zohar[4]: “It is written [in Mishlei
(21; 23)] “One who guards his mouth and tongue guards from troubles of his soul”, if his lips and tongue speak evil words, those words ascend Above, [to Heaven]. At the time that [his evil words] rise [to Heaven], all [of the angels] announce [the following], saying: “Remove yourselves from being in the vicinity of the evil words of Ploni[5], clear the area to make a path for the powerful snake[6]!” Thereupon, the holy soul [of the speaker of Lashon HaRa] flies [from the body], ejecting itself [to Heaven, only to experience great shame and degradation. The Lashon HaRa that the individual spoke renders his soul] powerless to speak [while it is in Heaven], as [the pasuk from Tehillim] says, “I am quiet [as one who is] a mute, I have been silenced from [speaking even that which is] good”. (39; 3) That soul [of the habitual speaker of Lashon HaRa] rises [to Heaven] in embarrassment and [in a state of] great anguish. [Once his soul arrives in Heaven] it is not given a place [in Heaven] equivalent [to that which it had been given] in the past. Regarding this [predicament involving the soul of the speaker of Lashon HaRa], it is written, “One who guards his mouth and tongue guards from troubles of his soul”. (Mishlei: 21; 23)[7]

[1] This Midrash is found in Yalkut Parshas Mitzora (Yalkut Shimoni Metzora 14, Remez 556).

[2] Kelipos are spiritual entities which block the spiritual connection between creations and HaShem. These entities work to impede spiritual growth and utility. Chitzonim are elements of physicality that tend to obfuscate spiritual realities, making spirituality more difficult for those involved with the chitzonim.

[3] This refers to the time when the neshama (part of the person’s soul) ascends to Heaven at the time that he is asleep, reporting on the actions on which he undertook on that day.

[4] This teaching from the Zohar is found on Parshas
Tazria, volume 3 (46; 2).

[5] “Ploni” is an anonymous name which refers in a general sense to a specific individual (or type of individual) without giving away his identity. “Ploni” comes from “Ploni Almoni”, the individual who was first-in-line to marry Ruth. (Ruth: 4; 1) According to RaSh”I, his name was not “Ploni Almoni”, his true name intentionally was not included in the pasuk since he acted improperly by refusing to marry Ruth. RaSh”I points out that “Ploni” refers to that which is “covered and hidden” and “Almoni” refers to someone who is an “Almoni” – “a widower”, without a name. Another explanation that RaSh”I brings forward points out that “Ploni” was widowed, without Torah, for he failed to expound the verse correctly which forbids a male Moabite from becoming Jewish, while a female Moabite may become Jewish.

[6] This “powerful snake” refers to one’s evil inclination, and, as well, refers to the Satan who is empowered to prosecute against the Jewish People as a result of the sins Lashon HaRa and Motzi Shem Ra (slander and libel) that are committed by Jews.

[7] For a more complete quote see the Zohar in Parshas Tazria.

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