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

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon ט"ו חשון - Cheshvan 15 - Forty-Fifth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in maseches Shabbos, 119b], “The breath [that emanated from the] mouth of one who [learns Torah and who] possesses sin, is incomparable to the breath [that emanates from the] mouth of one who is sinless. The explanation [of the above teaching is as follows]: [This teaching applies] to even one who sins at times, [it being a rare] occurrence, as we explained in chapter seven. How much more so [does one weaken the power of his Torah learning] if [he is] accustomed to use the breath of his mouth to sin every day and every hour [by speaking that which is forbidden. The person corrupts his power of speech] even more so [if he involves himself in the prohibitions of] Lashon HaRa and Rechilus. [By speaking Lashon HaRa and Rechilus[1]], [that person thereby] certainly detracts from the prayer which he will subsequently [utter]. His prayers will also not be accepted Above, [in Heaven], as long as he does not accept [upon himself to] repent [concerning] his [sin of forbidden speech]. [This follows that which] we have written earlier, in chapter seven, in the name of the Holy Zohar[2]. We are [also] able to say that [the aforementioned] is the intended meaning of the [following] pasuk from Koheles (7; 13): “See the actions of G-d, for who is capable of fixing that which he distorted?” [The] explanation [of this verse is as follows]: Place your eyes and heart on the G-dly things, they being the holy sanctuaries and the supernal lights which you made, [and exist in Heaven]. That is, [these spiritual creations were brought into existence] through your Torah [study] and [performance of] mitzvos. [This Torah study and performance of mitzvos] shall be performed in a manner [that achieves their intended level of] completeness, with all of the necessary preparations [necessary in order to arrive at] this [goal and thereby enable himself to achieve completeness in each mitzvah performed as well as in his Torah study]. In addition, [in order for one to achieve the maximum supernal effects, it is necessary for one to possess] a clean tool of the trade. [This follows that which we] mentioned earlier [when quoting the following verse from Koheles]: “…For who can fix that which he distorted?” – [The] explanation [of this is as follows]: If, Heaven Forbid, [one] damages those [tools involved in spiritual pursuits], they will always remain blemished and broken, resulting in eternal worry and constant pain when [that person] remembers that his laziness [led] him [to suffer] all of this [harm. The tools of the individual which are used for spiritual pursuits] are not like the buildings of this world, for, if one [building] is damaged, a second expert can come and fix it. [The above] is not the case regarding matters of the desired objective, as the Tanna[3] said in [Pirkei] Avos (1; 14): “If I am not for myself, who is for me?” [The above teaching is the meaning behind] that which is written, “For who is capable [of fixing that which he distorted?[4]]”

[Chofetz Chaim’s note: Alternatively, “actions of G-d” can follow its simple meaning: The creation of the sanctuaries of holiness and of the angels, [is that] which The Holy One, Blessed is He, Creates as a result of the Torah [learned] and the mitzvos performed by the Jewish People in this world.]

That which is derived from all of our words, [is as follows]: Through guarding one’s tongue in accordance with halacha[5], the person merits to sanctify his power of speech, whereupon his Torah [learning] and prayers will be accepted Above, [in Heaven].

[1] Rechilus is talebearing.

[2] Zohar, Parshas Mitzora: “The prayer of one who has committed the [sin of Lashon HaRa] does not rise before The Holy One, Blessed is He, for the Spirit of Impurity has aroused itself upon him. Once he returns in repentance [from his sin of Lashon HaRa] and he has accepted upon himself to repent, what is written in reference to him? “On the day that he becomes pure he shall be brought before the Kohen”… (Vayikra: 14; 2)

[3] Tanna refers to rabbis from the Mishnaic era.

[4] RaSh”I notes that one is unable to fix that which he distorted in his lifetime once he passes away.

Therefore, one can do Teshuvah in his lifetime to undo that which he distorted. However, it is only he who can right the wrongs, as we learn in Pirkei Avos - “If I am not for myself, who is for me?”

[5] Halacha refers to Jewish law.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great format to an excellent translation, Robert. Keep up the good work!