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, August 19, 2007

Shmiras HaLashon ד שבט - Shevat 4 - One-Hundred-and-Twenty-Third Day

© 2007 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

There are some [people] who are accustomed [to involve themselves in the sin of] Lashon HaRa due to the [intensity] of [their] anger. [These individuals who are prone to anger, in our context], are [those individuals, who] by their very nature [are] irascible, it being easy for [that person] to get angry about anything. [Concerning such a person], when he becomes angry, it is impossible for him to restrain himself, and he speaks of all of that which occurs to him, [regardless of its permissibility]. For such a person, we do not have any advice [to offer him which he could use to assist himself in] guarding his tongue [from speaking that which is forbidden], for at the time that his anger overpowers him, he is not in his right-mind. [In order for such a person to overcome his habituation to forbidden speech, it is essential for him] to uproot this evil characteristic [of anger] from his [very nature].

Whoever has a brain in his head needs to run from this evil attribute [of anger] as he [would] run from a fire. For [the person] is clearly aware that due to this evil attribute [of anger], in the future, on The Day of Judgment, he will definitely emerge [with a verdict of] guilty. [The person should be aware that he would emerge guilty on The Day of Judgment due to his attribute of anger, for it] is known that one who has a majority of demerits, falls in the category of [those who are] evil. [This follows that which] our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in masechesNidarim” (22b), as follows]: “[Concerning] all of those who [regularly] get angry, it is known that his sins are more numerous than [are] his merits, as it says [in seferMishlei”, “and one who is habituated to anger [possesses] numerous intentional sins.” (Mishlei: 29; 22) [Concerning the reason why] they have used the term “פּשע” – “intentional sin”, [is that] at the time of the [person’s] anger, The Torah and the mitzvos are completely ownerless [to] him, as our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in maseches “Nidarim” (22b), as follows]: “[Concerning] all of those who get angry, even HaShem’s Divine Presence is not of any importance to him.”[1] Our Sages of Blessed Memory have [also] said [in masechesShabbos” (105b), as follows]: “[Concerning] all [of] those who tear their clothes [out of a state of] anger, should be considered in your eyes as one who worships idols…” What is [the] pasuk [that is the source for this teaching]? “You shall not have a foreign god within you”. (Tehillim: 81; 10) What is a foreign god that [resides] within the body of a person? You would say that this is the evil inclination of anger.”[2]

[1] The entire text in this section of the gemara states as follows:

“Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: ‘[Concerning] all those who get angry, all types of gehinnom rule over him, as it says [in seferKoheles”], “And you shall remove anger from your heart, and you shall cause [the] evil [inclination] to pass from your flesh…” (11; 10) and “evil” only [refers to] gehinnom, as it says [in seferMishlei”], “All the actions of HaShem are for His sake, and also the evildoer [is prepared] for the evil day.” (Mishlei: 16; 4) Not only [is the aforementioned the case], rather, abdominal pains rule over [the person who is regularly angry], as it says, “…And HaShem shall give you, an angry heart, faintness of sight, and anguish of the soul over there [in exile].” (Divarim: 28; 65) What is the thing that brings faintness to the eyes and causes anguish to the soul? You would say, [that it is] abdominal troubles [that causes one to experience faintness of eyes and anguish of the soul].

At the time that Ulla went up to The Land of Israel, two people from Mechoza, [a district on the Tigris], escorted him. [At one point during the journey], one [of the escorts] got up and slaughtered his fellow. [The murderer] said to Ulla: ‘Did I act properly [by murdering the other individual]? [Ulla] said to him, ‘Yes, and cut open his neck’. When Ulla came before Rabbi Yochanan, he said to him, ‘Perhaps, Heaven Forbid, I [encouraged] one who was committing a transgression?’ [Rabbi Yochanan] said: ‘You saved your life [by saying that to him]’. Rabbi Yochanan was surprised: ‘Let’s see, it is written [in reference to] Bavel, “…And HaShem shall give you an angry heart over there…” (Divarim: 28; 65) [Ulla] said to [Rabbi Yochanan], ‘At that time, we had still not crossed the Jordan [River and therefore had not, as of yet, entered Eretz Yisrael]’. Rabbah bar bar Huna said, ‘[Concerning] all of those who get angry, even HaShem’s Divine Presence isn’t considered important before him, as it says [in “Tehillim”], “In accordance with the height of his anger, [the] evildoer [behaves] as if no one seeks out his actions, all his thoughts are that there is no G-d [to judge him for his actions].” (10; 4) Rabbi Yirmiyah from Difti said, ‘[One who gets angry] forgets his learning, and he increases [his level of] stupidity, as it says, “…For anger rests in the bosom of the fools.” (Koheles: 7; 9), and it is written [in “Mishlei”], “…and a fool will utter foolishness.” (13; 16) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak said, ‘[Concerning one who gets angry regularly], it is known that his merits are more numerous than are his demerits, as it says, “…and one who is habitually angry, [possesses] numerous willful transgressions.”’ (Mishlei: 29; 22)”

[2] The teaching in masechesShabbos” (105b), concerning anger, states as follows:

“…We learned in a Baraisa, [as follows]: “Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar said in the name of Chilfa bar Agra, who said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri, ‘One who tears his garments out of anger, and one who breaks his vessels out of his state of anger, and one who squanders his money out of anger, should be considered in your eyes as akin to one who worships idols; For such is the craft of the evil inclination, today he tells you to do this [action], and tomorrow he tells you to do this [action], to the point [that the Yetzer HaRa] tells [the person] to worship idols, and he goes and worships [idols, in line with the dictates of his Yetzer HaRa]. Rabbi Avin said, what is the pasuk [which is the source for the teaching that one is akin to an idolater if he causes destruction out of a state of anger]? [The pasuk
which is the source is found for this teaching is as follows]: “You shall not have a strange god within you and you shall not bow to a foreign god.” (Tehillim: 81; 10) What is the foreign god that [resides] in the body of the person? You would say that this is the evil inclination.”

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