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

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon כ"ד כּסלו - Kislev 24 - Eighty-Fourth Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Furthermore, [in addition to avoiding speaking with someone concerning an individual whom he hates], he should avoid standing among a group of people. Even if he needs [to stand among that group] for a given matter of necessity, he should shorten [the amount of time that] he is situated [among the group], unless he recognizes [these people, and knows] that forbidden speech will not be found in their midst. Even if the entire group [is comprised of] upstanding people, and one sinful person is found among [these upright people, that sinful person who resides in their midst] corrupts the [upstanding] people of the group, and, [in such a situation], it is fitting for him to extricate himself from [their midst]. At the very least, at the time [when he is amongst this group of people, he should] grasp onto the attribute of silence as much as is possible. [This follows] that which is written in seferRosh HaGivah[1], [as follows]: “Be careful, my son, regarding that which Shlomo HaMelech, Alav HaShalom, [wrote in Mishlei]: “Do not speak into the ears of a fool, for he will scorn your words of intelligence.”[2] (Mishlei: 23; 9) Therefore, one should be careful to avoid a banquet that has one-hundred [attendees, if] a fool or a mocker is in their midst. How much more so [does the above apply] to the person who is wise in his own eyes, he being the true fool, as it says, “one who is wise in his [own] eyes is a fool”.[3] [In such a situation], strengthen [yourself] and sit in silence, and don’t talk about anything at that banquet, for even if you were to speak all types of wisdom, he will be victorious over you, and you will take disgrace [in exchange], for such did Shlomo say, “[When] wickedness comes and disgrace comes…”[4] (Mishlei: 11; 2) Even if you wish to speak with your fellow who is similarly [upright, like] you, be careful that [your words] will not be heard by that [fool] even [if you are] behind the fence, [make sure that your words] shall not reach his ears. Regarding such [a situation], it says [in Mishlei], “Do not speak into the ears of a fool”, [the pasuk] does not say, “Do not speak with a fool” (Mishlei: 23; 19). [The necessity of being cautious with one’s speech within ear-shot of the fool], is tried and true, [for] I have tested [out] this [teaching] a number of times at happy occasions which celebrate a mitzvah, and I have found [the aforementioned teaching to be] the case. My son, because of this [danger inherent in the fool overhearing your words], run from such a banquet, for such a [fool] brings shame to all of the participants of the banquet, or, [at the very least], grasp onto [the attribute of] silence and be saved.

[1] Pg. 19a, beginning with the words “הזהר בּני” – “Be careful, my son…”

[2] See
Mishlei (26; 5) for a pasuk with similar wording.

[3] The
MaLBI”M explains this pasuk from Mishlei, as follows:

The type of fool mentioned in this
pasuk is the “k’sil”. The MaLBI”M explains that the k’sil is familiar with certain aspects of wisdom, but due to his desires, he wishes to remain ignorant of a great deal of wisdom. With regards to a typical fool, who is unaware of wisdom, there is a possibility that he can become receptive to wisdom, as he doesn’t have any ulterior motives to reject that wisdom. The k’sil, however, will scorn your words of intelligence, for he willingly rejects wisdom in favor of his desires.

[4] The entire
pasuk reads as follows:

“[When the man of] wickedness comes, disgrace comes [with him], and with those who are modest, [comes] wisdom.” (
Mishlei: 11; 2)

Metzudas David explains that disgrace comes along with the man of wickedness, for he will shame people.

MaLBI”M explains that the “zade” – “wicked person” argues with truth and wisdom, intentionally transgressing truth and wisdom with contempt. Disgrace comes with such a wicked individual, for he chooses a contemptible lifestyle, in direct contrast to the honorable life of truth and wisdom.

Thus, according to
Metzudas David, the wicked individual shames others, and according to the MaLBI”M, shame comes with the wicked person, for he lives a shameful.

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