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 21, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon א טבת - Teves 1 - Ninety-First Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

To what is [publicly scorning one’s fellow for a wrongful action that he performed] comparable? [Such public scorning is comparable] to a [person] who has a son who behaved in an improper manner, and he went before his father and publicized this matter before the masses. [For publicly embarrassing his son, the father] will definitely have a great complaint against [this individual], saying [to him as follows]: “You should have rebuked him privately concerning his behavior, and [if you would have done so], I would have loudly proclaimed my gratitude [to you]. However, you should not have gone [about,] immediately publicizing [my son as having acted improperly, thus leading to his suffering] public shame and scorn! [Due to your action of publicly shaming my son], I observe in reference to you, that your intention was not to acquire the truth, for if [such would have been your intention], it would have been better, both for him and you, had you rebuked him [privately] for [his improper behavior]. However, your [true] intent was to [publicize] your fellow [as being] guilty and evil, and to [thus] be happy at his misfortune, [you only did so] because [you are] heartless!”

[The above] is precisely the case with regards to [the relationship between] The Creator, Yisbarach, [and] B’nei Yisrael[1], His holy nation, for they are considered as children [with] relation to [HaShem], as the pasuk states, “You are children to HaShem, your G-d…” (Divarim: 14; 1) [HaShem] is happy [about the] good [that befalls the Jewish People], and is troubled by the trouble and shame [that befalls them] (as is [taught] in [maseches] Sanhedrin (46a).[2]) [This person who publicly shames his fellow Jew, in essence], goes before The Father, Who fills the entire land with His Glory, and brings shame to His son before others for no purpose. What pleasure does [HaShem] obtain from this [embarrassment inflicted upon His son]? The RaMBa”M has written [the following] rule for us with regards to the mitzvah of “And you shall love your fellow [as you love] yourself.” [We learn in Hilchos Dayos (Chapter 6; Halacha 3)], that a person should have consideration for the money and dignity of his fellow, [just] as he would be anxious [to preserve] his own money and dignity[3]. [Similarly, we learn as follows in] Tanna D’vei Eliyahu (Eliyahu Rabba: Chapter 28; 18): “My sons whom I love, is there anything that I am lacking that I seek from you? What do I seek from you? Rather, that you shall love one another, and respect one another, and fear one from another, and that there shall not be found among you a sin, and robbery, and a disgusting matter, so that you shall never come to be blemished. Therefore it says [in sefer Michah], “He (i.e. HaShem) tells a person that which is good, and what does HaShem request of you, only to perform justice, and love kindness, and walk modestly with your G-d.” (Michah: 6; 8)…”, see over there[4].

[1] “B’nei Yisrael” refers to the Jewish People.

[2] The gemara in maseches Sanhedrin, states as follows:

“Rabbi Meir said: “At the time that a person is suffering [as a result of a sin that he committed – RaSh”I], what does [HaShem’s] Presence say [to express Its displeasure]? I have a heavy feeling from My Head, I have a heavy feeling from My Arm. [From here we see, based on the context in this Mishna, that HaShem] is troubled concerning the blood of the evildoers that is spilled, how much more so [is He troubled] concerning the blood of the righteous [that is spilled].”

[3] This halacha quoted in the Mishneh Torah, states as follows:

“It is a mitzvah for every person to love each and every [member] of the Jewish People as [he loves] his [own] body, as it says, “…And you shall love your fellow as [you love] yourself…” (Vayikra: 19; 18) Therefore, [every person] must speak of his [fellow Jews’] praise and [must] have concern for his money, as he would have concern for his own money and [as he] would desire his own honor. [On the other hand], one who derives honor from the disgrace of his fellow does not have a portion in The World to Come.”

[4] Shai La’Mora, the commentary on Tanna D’vei Eliyahu, explains that HaShem does not want the Jewish People to act in an improper manner. HaShem does not want there to be “sin” among the Jewish People. “Sin” over here refers to the transgressions committed in the area of the relationship between man and HaShem. “Robbery” refers to the transgressions of the Jewish laws between man and his fellow man. “A disgusting matter” refers to negative character traits and negative desires, which are truly disgusting matters.

From the above teaching from Eliyahu Rabba, we learn of the great importance of ridding ourselves of negative character traits and all sins, including the transgressions between man and HaShem and the sins between man and his fellow. In the context of seferShmiras HaLashon”, we learned that the RaMBa”M explained of the importance of exhibiting concern for a fellow Jews’ money. Here, in Eliyahu Rabba, we learn that complete disregard of one’s fellows’ money, such as robbing from him, is the example given that represents the sins between man and his fellow person. Clearly, disregard for another’s money is disregard for “loving one’s fellow as oneself”.

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