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 26, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon ט"ז חשון - Cheshvan 16 - Forty-Sixth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Please learn today's segment of "Shmiras HaLashon" for the merit of an improvement in the situation of Perel Leah bas Sima.

Chapter 11

[In this Chapter, we] Shall Explain [Concerning] the Great Reward in this World and in The World to Come for Guarding One’s Tongue. [We] Shall also Explain [of] the Great Benefit of Peace

[In addition to the previously mentioned advantages derived through the avoidance of forbidden speech], there are also a number of holy benefits [that one experiences by guarding his tongue from forbidden speech. These benefits are listed as follows]:

1) By [guarding one's tongue from forbidden speech, the person] is thereby saved from all of the punishments that come as a result of this sin, as mentioned earlier.

2) By [refraining from speaking that which is forbidden, the person] is thereby confident that he will benefit [himself by coming closer] to [achieving] the “desired objective”[1]. Now, [once the individual does not speak that which is forbidden], he will [thereby lose the merits that he had thus far attained, thereby not being counted toward his
Heavenly reward]. For, if this would not be the case, [namely, that he would involve himself in forbidden speech such as Lashon HaRa], it is likely that not retain any [reward or merit for his actions], Heaven Forbid. This [teaching] follows that which [was] written previously, in chapter 3 and in chapter 6, quoting the Midrash.

3) Furthermore, [one who avoids involvement in Lashon HaRa] is called a man, as it is written [in Tehillim], “Who is the man who desires life…?”
(34; 13) For, if he would not [guard his mouth from forbidden speech], he would be in the category of creatures who do not speak. [The following teaching] is brought in the Midrash Shocher Tov[2]: “And the evildoers shall be driven like the sea…[3]” (Yeshayahu: 57; 20) – [This pasuk teaches that] just as the sea emits mud on its “lips”, so too do the evildoers emit [forbidden speech] on [their] lips, [it being something detestable, resembling] dirt.

4) Just as [one
who does not speaking that which is forbidden against his fellow] subdues himself from presenting prosecution [against that person], and, [on the contrary], with all of his power seeks [to find] an [indication of] innocence [from the perceived wrongdoing], similarly, Above, [in Heaven], the ministering angels will deduce his innocence. [This teaching follows that which is] brought in Midrash Mishlei[4].

Furthermore, by guarding one’s tongue, [the individual] merits to be enclothed in the Spirit of Holiness, as is written in the Holy Zohar, Parshas Chukas (volume 3: 183b): “All those who guard their mouth and tongue, merit to be enclothed in the Spirit of Holiness.”[5]

Also, through guarding [one's] tongue, [the person] brings himself an abundance [of reward] in this world. [This follows] that which is brought in Mechilta, Parshas Mishpatim (Parsha 20), on the verse “And you shall not eat trief meat [that is] in the field, you shall throw it to the dog.”
(Shmos: 22; 30) This comes to teach you that The Holy One, Blessed is He, does not deprive the reward of any creature, as it says “And for all of the Children of Israel, no dog barked... (Shmos: 11; 7) Are these things not a kal va’chomer[6]? If such is the reward for an animal, [for guarding their tongues], how much more so will [HaShem] not deny [the person's] reward [for guarding his tongue]…

[Furthermore], for every moment that one guards himself [from speaking that which is forbidden], he merits [to attain] an elevated level in Gan Eden. [This follows] that which the Gaon, Rabbeinu Eliyahu, of Blessed Memory, said [in his holy letter “Alim Li’Tirufah”] in the name of the Midrash, [where he wrote] that for every single moment that a person stops his mouth [from speaking that which is forbidden], he merits the hidden light which no angel or creature can imagine.

[The one who guards his mouth] is thereby also saved from [punishment in] gehinnom, as is [taught] in Midrash Tanchuma (Parshas Mitzora, siman 2), [as follows]: “If your desire is to be saved from gehinnom, distance yourselves from Lashon HaRa, and you shall merit [reward] in this world and in The World to Come, as it says ["Who is the man who desires life…"] (Tehillim: 34; 13)

[1] The “desired objective” refers to the goal and purpose of the person in this world, that being to fear HaShem and follow the mitzvos, thereby bringing the person reward in The World to Come. For certain mitzvos, a person is also rewarded in this world, though not at the expense of their reward in The World to Come. (See the first chapter of maseches
Peah”, the ten mitzvos being listed after the blessings recited prior to the study of Torah).

[2] Note from the
Kol HaLashon printing: This teaching from Midrash Shocher Tov, on the beginning of chapter 2 of Tehillim, though with different wording.

[3] The entire verse reads, “And the evildoers shall be driven as the sea, for they cannot be quiet and their waters drive out mire and mud.” (Yeshayahu: 57; 20) From here we learn that the evildoers disgorge “mire and mud” as does the sea. MaHaR”I K'ra points out that just as the sea does not experience peace, the evildoer never experience peace, as we will learn, G-d Willing, later in this chapter.

[4] This teaching is found in
Shocher Tov, parsha 11, on the pasuk, “Shocher Tov…”

[5] The Zohar explains that Queen Esther merited to be enclothed in the “Spirit of Holiness”, as it says, “And it was on the third day and Esther dressed in royalty…” (Esther: 5; 1) The Zohar explains that Esther merited to be enclothed in the Spirit of Holiness since she guarded her speech and did not reveal her lineage to anyone, as it says, “Esther did not relate her nation and her birthplace, for Mordechai had commanded her not to tell.” (Esther: 2; 10) Based on this pasuk, the Zohar teaches us that if one guards himself from speaking that which is forbidden, he merits to be enclothed in the “Spirit of Holiness”, also known as Ruach HaKodesh.

[6]The phrase “Kal Va’chomer”, literally meaning “light and stringent” is used to introduce, or can refer to, an a fortiori argument, whereby one draws a conclusion that is inferred to be even more certain than another accepted conclusion.

No comments: