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

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon ז כּסלו - Kislev 7 - Sixty-Seventh Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

[The actions that] the instigator of the quarrel [takes are] very wonder: For if someone else was to inflict a minor injury upon his son, even [if the injury was inflicted] unintentionally, [the father] would emit “torches” from his mouth, [they being directed] against [the one who inflicted the damage]. How much more so [would the father take it out against the guilty individual] if [that person] injured his son intentionally, causing [the son] to be bedridden. Even when the son is healed, [the father] will not be silent and will not rest until he retaliates against [this individual] in accordance with [the damage that was inflicted due to the] actions [of the attacker. Still, even after retaliating against the attacker, the father] will bear a grudge of everlasting hatred in his heart because of this [injury inflicted by the attacker. However], when [the father] brings all of these troubles upon his son due to this [injury inflicted upon his son, by thereby involving himself in a quarrel], it also being possible that they will die [as a result of this quarrel], Heaven Forbid, [the father will not desist from the quarrel, though it poses a [mortal] danger to his family. This follows] that which we have written earlier, in chapter fifteen, in the name of the Midrash, [where we learn] that even nursing babies were punished [in Korach’s quarrel against Moshe] due to this sin [of strife][1]. [A related teaching is found in Tanna D’Vei Eliyahu (Eliyahu Rabbah), chapter 21[2].[3]] [Though the father would react so harshly against another person who injures his son, when, as a result of his quarrel he may lead his son and family to die, Heaven Forbid], he [nevertheless] does not have any pity on them, and on the contrary, his disposition dictates that he hint to the members of his household that they [should join him and thereby help him] intensify his quarrel. We find such [a situation occurred with] Dathan and Aviram, who went outside to stand by the entrances of their tents, they, and their wives, and their children, and their babies. (Bamidbar: 16; 27) [This dangerous attitude of Dathan, Aviram, as well as of other instigators of strife], follows that which the pasuk says [in sefer Yirmiyahu], “The fathers gather the wood and the children light the fire”. [The pasuk in Yirmiyahu (7; 18) has a different text, which reads as follows: “The sons gather… and the fathers burn…”[4]]. [Such a dangerous attitude inherent in many quarrels] must only be due to the Yetzer HaRa blinding [the person's] eyes, and placing before him every pit and snare to become a flat valley.

[1] [The following is quoted from the] Midrash Rabbah, Parshas Korach (Bamidbar Rabbah: 18; 4): “Rabbi Berechiah said, ‘So harsh is strife, for the Heavenly Court does not punish [for sins, unless one is] twenty years old and over, and the Earthly court [punishes for sins committed] from thirteen years and up, [however], in the quarrel of Korach, babies [that were] one day old were swallowed into the lower levels of gehinnom, as it says, “…and their wives, and their children, and their babies.” (Bamidbar: 16; 27), “…and they and all that belongs to them descended alive into sh’ole…” (Bamidbar: 16; 33)

[2] Note found in the Hebrew
Kol HaLashon printing of sefer Shmiras HaLashon: See the beginning of chapter 20 in Eliyahu Rabbah, where it is explained that the explanation of the pasuk “on the lives of your sucklings”, means nursing babies. [A teaching related to] this pasuk is also brought in the beginning of chapter 21. Subsequently, the statement that “one should not see his father and his mother speaking excess…”, is brought. Rabbeinu derives that this is also in the category of something that is disgusting, for which nursing babies die as a result, see over there and you will expound and find that it is easy [to understand].

[3] The teaching from Tanna D’Vei Eliyahu is as follows: “Another explanation: “…Raise your palms to Him, for the life of your sucklings who are enwrapped in famine by the entrance of all districts.” (Eichah: 2; 19) [Based on this verse, our Sages] said, ‘A person should beseech [HaShem] for mercy upon himself and upon his wife and upon his children, as well as [for] the people of his household, so that none of them shall come to [perform] that which is reprehensible. [In addition], a person should not remain silent [if] he sees his father and his mother when they are speaking words of excess. If one acted this way [by refraining from silencing his mother and father when they speak words of excess], “he and they will not complete their days and their years, as it says, “Only guard yourself and guard your soul greatly…”” (Divarim: 4; 9)

The commentary Shai LaMora explains the following on the above passage from Eliyahu Rabba:

“Words of excess” refer to forbidden types of speech, such as Lashon HaRa. If one speaks words of excess, they fall into gehinnom. Rabbi Nachman bar Yitzchak says that even one who is silent and does not stop such speech, falls into gehinnom. (Shabbos, 33a)

[4] The entire pasuk states, “The sons gather the wood and the fathers burn the fire and the wives knead the dough, [in order] to make cookies for the “queen of Heaven” and to offer libations to other gods, in order to anger Me.” (Yirmiyahu: 7; 18) This pasuk comes to teach how the entire family would play a part in the sin of idolatry in order to “anger” G-d. So too, in our context, when members of the family join together to involve themselves in a quarrel, they all join together to go against HaShem and bring great punishment to themselves, chas v’shalom.

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