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, November 13, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon כ"ד חשון - Cheshvan 24 - Fifty-Fourth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Chapter 13

[In this chapter, we] Shall Explain, that Due to this Sin [of Lashon HaRa, the Speaker] sins and Causes his Fellow to Sin

How greatly must a person contemplate [the severity of Lashon HaRa, so] that he will constantly be careful to avoid this bitter sin, for, it is known, that this sin is performed with [the involvement of] at least two people. Therefore, [the speaker of Lashon HaRa] sins and causes his fellow to sin with [his forbidden speech], for due to [the speaker of Lashon HaRa], his fellow came to [transgress] the prohibition against listening to and accepting Lashon HaRa, as well as other prohibitions which are explained in the introduction to seferChofetz Chaim”. Had [the speaker of Lashon HaRa] not related [the Lashon HaRa] to him, [the listener] would not have come on his own to violate this prohibition [of accepting Lashon HaRa. In this context], our Sages of Blessed Memory have already said [in Bamidbar Rabbah (21; 4)]: “More severe [is the action] of one who causes another person to sin than one who kills him, for the one who kills him takes him out of this world, [while] the one who causes him to sin, takes him out of this world, [as well as removes him from] The World to Come.”[1]

My brother, take note of the extent to which the Torah is strict upon us concerning [our obligation to] be cognizant [to] remedy [the situation of] another [Jew], for even if [one] notices an object of his fellow, resting in a place [where it would be considered lost], he is obligated to not ignore [that lost object] and [is required] to return it to [his fellow. This applies] even if that object is only worth a pirutah[2], [it being an object] from which [the owner] can only obtain little benefit. [The obligation to return the object] even [applies] if [one's] fellow is completely unaware [of its loss]. If the Torah commands us to [perform such acts of] good with [respect to] our fellow [Jew], [regarding] monetary matters, which only affect [the owner] in this transitory, perishable world, how much exceedingly more so, many times over, must one perform good for [his fellow] with respect to matters involving the soul which lives forever. How very much exceedingly more so, one must be careful, in any instance, to avoid bringing destruction to his soul, [as such] damage [inflicted upon the soul] is eternal.

[1] The entire passage from Bamidbar Rabbah reads as follows: “Distress the Midianites…” (Bamidbar: 25; 17) Why [are we commanded to distress the Midianites]? “For they have caused you distress…” (Bamidbar: 25; 18) From here our Sages have said, “If one comes to kill you, precede to kill him. Rabbi Shimon says, ‘From where do we know that one who causes another to sin is worse than the one who kills him? For the one who kills him takes him out of this world, [while] the one who causes him to sin, takes him out of this world, [as well as removes him from] The World to Come. Two nations preceded [to greet] Israel with the sword, and two [nations] preceded [to greet Israel] with sin. The Egyptians and the Edomites preceded [to greet Israel] with the sword, [as it says with regard to the Egyptians], “The enemy said, ‘I shall pursue, I shall overtake,… I shall unsheathe my sword…” (Shmos: 15; 9) [In reference to Edom, the pasuk states], “And Edom said to him, ‘Do not cross through within my [land], lest I come out to greet you with the sword.” (Bamidbar: 20; 18) Two [nations greeted Israel with sin, the] Moabites and the Ammonites. With respect to those who greeted [the Israelites] with the sword, it is written, “You shall not treat an Edomite as abominable [to prevent him from entering the Jewish People]…, you shall not treat an Egyptian as abominable [to reject him from entering the Jewish People…” (Divarim: 23; 8) However, regarding those who preceded [the Israelites] with sin in order to cause Israel to sin, [it is written], “An Ammonite and a Moabite shall not enter [into the congregation of HaShem], even their tenth generation, [they shall not enter the congregation of HaShem] for eternity.” (Divarim: 23; 4) (Note: The full verse reads with the brackets, in this instance.)

[2] The pirutah is the coin that represents the smallest monetary value. Halachically, the pirutah equals the value of a half barleycorn of pure silver (32.5 mg). The current value of a pirutah, according to this measurement, is approximately 1.35 cents.

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