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, September 04, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon ל תשרי - Tishrei 30 - Thirtieth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

I discovered another answer [to the question posed at the beginning of this chapter[1]], in sefer Davar She’bikdushah[2] [quoted] in the name of Sefer HaKanah[3]. [The following is the answer found in sefer Davar She’bikdushah]: “See and understand, that anyone who emits Lashon HaRa from his mouth is judged with tzara’as… [Moshe Rabbeinu] said to [Mitatro”n[4]]: My Master, if this is so, all Jews would be afflicted with tzara’as, for due to the sin of Lashon HaRa the Jews were exiled… [Mitatro”n responded] to [Moshe]: [The punishment of] poverty is weighed equal to tzara’as, [the speaker of Lashon HaRa being] a poor person who is delivered into the hands of [other] people, [depending on their continued support for sustenance]. [[The following is an] explanation [of the punishment of poverty coming upon the habitual speaker of Lashon HaRa]: Through this [state of poverty and dependence on others], the haughtiness [of the habitual speaker of Lashon HaRa] will depart [from him]. [Haughtiness] is usually the main motivation [that propels one to feel emboldened to speak] Lashon HaRa, [as] Rabbenu Yonah [writes] in Sha’arei Teshuvah[5] (Gate 3; 206) and as shall be explained [later in this sefer], G-d Willing. [Furthermore, once impoverished and dependent upon others, the habitual speaker of Lashon HaRa will] fear to speak [slander] against those upon whom he is [dependent] lest the matter [of his speaking slander against them] become known to [those victims of his Lashon HaRa who help sustain him] and they will not [subsequently continue to] treat him well]. See further in [sefer Davar She’bikdushah where the author discusses] another awesome matter related to this [discussion]. This matter concerning the sin [of Lashon HaRa] leading to [a state of] poverty, Heaven Forbid, is similarly [taught] in Tikunei Zohar[6]. Therefore, one who wants to live [and enjoy that which is] good, will guard himself [from this sin of Lashon HaRa].

[1] The question referred to by the Chofetz Chaim is brought in the beginning of the chapter. The question the Chofetz Chaim posed is
Why is there no one today who has tzara'as?

[2] This answer is found in the chapter entitled “Lashon HaRa and Rechilus”, in the fifth paragraph.

[3] This refers to Sefer HaPeliah, page 21, in the third column of the Karetz printing.

[4] “Mitatro”n” is the angel of HaShem who was to lead the Jewish People in the Sinai Desert after the sin of the golden calf. His name is equivalent to the Name of HaShem. HaShem informs Moshe that the Jewish People will sin with the golden calf and that HaShem will tell them that His angel will lead them in the Sinai Desert as they are no longer fit to be led by HaShem. (Shmos: 23; 21, see RaSh”I on the pasuk) After the sin of the golden calf, HaShem explicitly tells Moshe that Mitatro”n will lead the Israelites in the Sinai Desert. (Shmos: 32; 34) According to the explanation of the RaMBa”N, in Parshas Ki Sisa, HaShem agreed to have His Presence lead Moshe in the Sinai Desert – “And He said, My countenance shall go [before you] and I shall lead you.” (Shmos: 33; 14) Moshe asked who the angel would be who would lead the Jewish People. HaShem responded that He, Himself, would lead the People, rather than having an angel act on His behalf. Thus, HaShem said that He would lead the Jewish People, subsequent to Moshe beseeching Him, after the incident with the golden calf. Thus, HaShem would lead the Jewish People into the Land of Israel as HaShem had promised in Parshas
Va’eira (Shmos: 6; 5 – 8). RaSh”I writes on the pasuk (Shmos: 33; 14) that Targum Onkelos teaches, “I shall no longer send the angel, [rather] I shall go Myself…” Thus, HaShem agreed to Moshe’s request and granted the Israelites the distinction and merit of having HaShem lead the Jewish People into the Land of Israel.

[5] The full quote from sefer Sha’arei Teshuvah is as follows:

Shlomo, Alav HaShalom, said “The haughty one who sins intentionally is referred to as a “scoffer”, he acts with outpouring malice.”
(Mishlei: 21; 24) [An] explanation [of this verse]: “The scoffer’s sinfulness strengthened itself so as to strike out with his tongue in his haughtiness, his glory, his wrath, and his anger. Do not say that [the haughty person] strikes [out against others] with his tongue alone, without taking [concrete] action, for he knows that what he performs is done with outpouring malice. This means that if [the sinner] were unable to strike his enemy with his tongue, though he is capable of attacking him through action, he would strike with wrath without [sparing any] pity. [This follows] that which our Sages of Blessed Memory have said in [maseches] Sanhedrin (Talmud Yerushalmi: Chapter 10; Halacha 2) in reference to the matter [involving] Doeg. When Shaul commanded [his soldiers] to attack [Nov, the city of the] Kohanim, they refused to strike [the Kohanim]. [Whereupon, Shaul] said to Doeg, you have struck with your tongue [by speaking Lashon HaRa against Nov, this city of Kohanim], you shall [also] strike them with the sword, as it says, “you shall go around and strike the Kohanim…” (Shmuel I: 22; 18)

Perhaps Rabbeinu Yonah intends to bring the example of the disastrous effects of the Lashon HaRa spoken by Doeg, for it appears based on the account involving Doeg's slander and libel spoken against the Kohanim, as well as his ensuing murder of them, that he was haughty, a glory seeker, and prone to wrath and anger. According to the RaDa”K, the pasuk notes that Doeg was the head of Shaul’s servants and the most important of them, therefore, though the RaDa”K doesn’t say it explicitly, it appears from the context that Doeg, in his haughtiness and quest for glory decided to mislead Shaul about the innocent intentions of the Kohanim in order to find greater favor in Shaul’s eyes and possibly gain more prestige and honor in order to satisfy his haughtiness.

[6] This quote is taken from Sefer Chareidim chapter 66, 57, quoting the introduction to the Tikunei Zohar, 12a.

In reference to poverty and tzara’as, the Tikkunei Zohar states as follows: “Oneg” ענג Shabbos (taking delight in Shabbos) after rearranging the letters, spells נגע – “nega” – affliction. One who has the ability to take delight in Shabbos and does not fulfill [that mitzvah], thereby changes that ענג to a נגע – affliction of tzara’as. A maidservant that destroys her house, [she] “demolishes the house, the stones, and the wood…” (Vayikra: 14; 45), this being the poverty that comes in the place of the tzara’as affliction. If he returns [to HaShem] through his having performed Teshuvah, the Kohen will
then assist him in his purification process. [In this context, the Kohen is] Michae”l, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), who is appointed under the “hand of kindness” (attribute of kindness).

If one is to look at the conclusion of sefer
Michah, [that person] will come across the following pesukim and thereby, with the Help of HaShem, may come to notice the relationship between the name Michae”l and the attribute of kindness. The pesukim state: “Who is a G-d like You, Who forgives sin and passes over sins of rebellion for [the sake of] the remnant of His portion, He does not strengthen His anger forever for He desires chesed (kindness)… Give truth to Ya’akov, kindness to Avraham, that You have sworn [to give to them] from early days.” (Michah: 7; 18, 20) The phrase “מי א-ל כמוך” – “Who is a G-d like You” can be written as Michae”l – מיכא-ל, as follows: The phrase “like You” can be written כמוך or כ. Therefore, if one were to rearrange the Hebrew for the phrase “Who is a G-d like You”, it could come out as the name Michae”l – מי כא-ל – “Who is like G-d”.

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