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, December 07, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon י"ט כּסלו - Kislev 19 - Seventy-Ninth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

One who is accustomed in [the attribute of] silence, is saved from many sins: [He is saved from the sins of] flattery, mockery, Lashon HaRa, lies, and insults. For, when a person curses and insults him, if [the target of this abusive speech] answers [the other person’s insults and curses with his own response, the person who insulted him] will continue to speak against him twice as much [as he would have had the victim remained silent]. Such said the wise man: “I hear a bad word and I am silent.” [Whereupon, he was asked]: “Why [do you remain silent]?” [The wise man answered], “If I respond and answer those that curse me, I fear that I will hear other curses [directed at me that will be] harsher than the first [curses].” In addition, [if a person] grasps onto the attribute of silence, everyone is able to reveal his secrets to [that individual, for], since he is not accustomed [to speak] many words, he will not reveal [the secrets of those who confide in him]. Furthermore, [such an individual] is not accustomed [to involve himself] in talebearing, regarding [one’s speech, the pasuk in Mishlei] states, “Death and life are in the hands of the tongue…”[1] (Mishlei: 18; 21) For a person accomplishes more with his tongue than with his sword, since [with the words that his tongue utters], the person [is able to] stand over here and send his fellow to [his] death, [though his fellow stands] far away from him. However, [with] the sword, [the person is] only [able to] kill [a person who] is nearby [to his sword]. For, [the power of the tongue is great and can affect such deleterious results and should thereby limit the amount that he speaks. From the fact that a] person was created with two eyes and two ears and two nostrils, and one mouth, [we can learn] that [the individual] should minimize the amount he speaks.[2]

[1] The entire verse is as follows:

“Death and life are in the hands of the tongue, and those that love it will eat its fruit.” (Mishlei: 18; 21)

Mitzudas David explains that Lashon HaRa leads to death at the hands of the tongue, while, words of Torah spoken with the tongue brings about life. “Those who love it”, meaning speaking a great deal, “will eat its fruit”, whether the reward for speaking Torah, or the punishment for speaking Lashon HaRa.

[2] Perhaps this is coming to teach us that since there is one mouth, in contrast to the eyes, nostrils, and ears, that one should limit their speech to a greater degree than that which they take in with their other senses. In fact, out of the five senses, the only sense that has one orifice is the sense of taste. One can feel with every part of their body, and possesses two eyes, two nostrils, and two ears.

No comments: