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

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon י"ג חשון - Cheshvan 13 - Forty-Third Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Chapter 10

[In this Chapter, we] Shall Explain [Concerning] the Greatness of the Attribute of Guarding the Tongue, for [by Guarding ones Tongue], one Sanctifies his Power of Speech

We shall now explain [concerning] the power of the merit [of] one who guards his mouth and tongue from speaking forbidden utterances. The primary advantage [that one benfits from by guarding oneself from speaking Lashon HaRa], is that [one therby] rectifies and sanctifies his [power of] speech, it being a special tool for the trade of the Jewish man. [As a result of speaking only permitted speech, then] the utterances of Torah and prayer that he will subsequently speak, will ascend to the source of their root, Above, [in Heaven]. For it was not for naught that in a number of places our Sages of Blessed Memory [have] compared [the power of speech] to the matter of a trade (as RaSh”I explained[1] in Bamidbar (31; 8)). [By comparing speech to a trade, the Sages are coming] to teach us, that, just as a tool of the trade is a necessary object with regards to making new and nice vessels, [so too is the power of speech necessary for the Jewish man]. For, even if [the individual] would be the craftsman of the king, he being the greatest of all craftsmen, [with an] exceedingly sharp mind, [who conceives] in his [mind concerning] the manner in which to [best] produce the vessels [in order to arrive at] the most pleasant [of outcomes], nevertheless, without the tools of his craft, [the craftsman] is unable to produce [the vessels]. Moreover, even if he were to have tools of his trade, [only that] the tools are blemished and damaged, [the final product would be of an inferior quality]. If the craftsman were pushed to make a vessel [with these damaged tools], the blemish and the breaks of the vessel would be recognizable afterwards, [both] on the inside and on the outside. [The imperfections in the vessel would be evident], for [the craftsman] will not be able to smoothen it properly and [these vessels] would be similar [in quality] to unfinished wooden vessels, not pleasing even for the use of a commoner, how much more so [are they unfitting] to present before the king. [However], the craftsman who [is in possession of] tools of the trade that are complete and good, fittingly shined and polished, the vessel produced by this craftsman will [be found to be] proper and beautiful, as is fitting. [The parable of the craftsman] is precisely [true] regarding this matter of the power of speech, [as the power of speech] was given to the Jewish man to use it in service before the Awesome King, Yisbarach Shemo, [in order to speak words of] Torah and prayer, to bless, give thanks, praise, and laud before [His Presence. The power of speech is so powerful that it is used in the service of HaShem, for it is the tool of the great trade, with which the complete person can build Heaven and Earth, as it is written, “And I shall place My words in your mouth… to plant the Heavens and make a foundation for the Earth…[2]
(Yishayahu: 51; 16) [The meaning of this verse] precisely [follows] its simple understanding, for with the holy words that a person utters before HaShem Yisbarach, here, in this world, Above, [in the Heavens], worlds and holy angels are created who will subsequently serve as advocates and intercessors on behalf of his soul. The level of the holiness of the worlds and the angels that he creates through his Torah [study] and [performance] of mitzvos are dependent on a number of matters:

1) [The level of the holiness of the angels and worlds [that the person] creates through his study of Torah is] in accordance with the preparation that he had at [the] time [of his study of The Torah]: If he had prepared himself at that time with all of his strengths, to fulfill [the action] in accordance with the Torah, in all of its necessary portions and specifics, [then the angels and worlds that are created as a result of his words of Torah are imbued with a greater degree of holiness].

2) [The holiness of the worlds and the angels that he creates is] in accordance with the tools of the trade [with which] he performed the Torah, [it] being the tool of speech. (Similarly, [the above is true] with [regards to the performance of] a mitzvah, [concerning the quality of] the tool that was used to fulfill that mitzvah). For, if [the tools] are nice and beautiful [and] are always used for [that which is] good, [they] thereby strengthen their power of holiness, [as the necessary] power [exists] within [those vessels] to draw the supreme holiness and the great light on that matter [of a mitzvah which he performs]. However, if he blemishes his power of speech and makes it impure through Lashon HaRa, talebearing, mockery, lies, and similar [types of speech which are forbidden], and does not repent, Heaven Forbid, [then he remains with a blemished power of speech. When] he will subsequently speak words of Torah and prayer, what power [will remain] within [his words] to draw the supreme holiness on that Torah and [those] prayers [that he has uttered], for his tool for pronunciation has already [acted in a manner which] made itself blemished and impure?

[1] This verse discusses how the Jews killed the five kings of Midian and Bilam. The verse states that the Israelites killed “Bilam the son of Beor… with a sword”. (Bamidbar: 31; 8) RaSh”I, on this verse,
explains that the power of the Jewish People is within their mouths, in contrast to the power of other nations which is in their swords. RaSh”I states, “[Bilam] came against Israel, and he switched his trade with [Israel’s] trade, for [the Jewish People] are only victorious with [the power] of their mouths and through prayer and beseeching [HaShem]. [Bilam] came and grabbed the trade [of the Jewish People] in order to curse them with [his] mouth. [So too], even [the Israelites] came against him and switched their trade with the trade of the nations that come with the sword. [This follows that which it says in reference to Eisav], “…and upon your sword you shall live…” (Bereishis: 27; 40) (see Tanchuma, Balak, 8) From here we see that the “trade” of the Jewish People is the power of the mouth when it is used in a holy manner.

Based on the above, we can say that Jewish People are successful in war due to proper usage of their power of speech.

[2] Metzudas David states that HaShem places His words of Torah into the mouths of the Jewish People in order to speak those words of Torah. Part of the verse states, “And I shall place My words in your mouth and in the shade of My hand I have covered you…” Metzudas David explains that the verse states that HaShem covers the Jewish People in the shade of His hand in order to protect the Jewish People from their enemies in the merit of the Torah.

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