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, August 21, 2007

Shmiras HaLashon ו שבט - Shevat 6 - One-Hundred-and-Twenty-Fifth Day

© 2007 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

[In addition to those whose anger leads them to speak Lashon HaRa], there are [also] those [who fall prey to the sin of Lashon HaRa] due to [the attribute of] mockery. [In our context, the one who involves himself in the sin of mockery refers to the person who] accustoms himself [in the trait of] mockery and [who comes] to [associate with] the group of people who are mockers. Therefore, [such a person] will also consequently [come to] be drawn to mock [other] people as well as to deride them.

Therefore, one who wishes to cleanse his soul [from the sin of mockery], will contemplate [concerning how] serious the prohibition of mockery is, in a number of respects. [The sin of mockery is so severe], for aside from [the fact that] he himself to sins, [mockery] being one of the four things for which [the person] does not greet The Countenance of HaShem’s Divine Presence, as our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in masechesSotah”, 42a][1], he also brings the masses to sin, for he causes them to increase [their level of involvement] in [the attribute of] mockery. The greatness of the punishment for one who leads the masses to sin is known, [that being] that he is not provided [a sufficient opportunity] to perform tishuvah for this [sin], as our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in “Pirkei Avos” (Chapter 5, Mishna 18)][2]. Aside from all of this, [the person who associates with mockers, is] involved in idle chatter, even if [his association with them] doesn’t involve that which is [otherwise inherently] forbidden, he [still] causes himself to lose the time in which he would have otherwise been able to involve himself in words of Torah [study], and [thereby] acquire the life of The World to Come. [By wasting his time in which he could have spent involved in Torah study by allowing idle chatter to take precedence over that Torah study], it appears that [the person] is intentionally scorning the words of HaShem and [of] the reward of The World to Come. [This follows that which our Sages] have said in “Perek Chelek”, [in masechesSanhedrin” (99a)], on the pasuk, [in ParshasShilach”], ““For he has scorned the word of HaShem…”[3] (Bamidbar: 15; 31): Rabbi Nihorye said, ‘[This refers to] anyone for whom it is possible to involve himself in Torah [study] and he [nevertheless] does not involve himself [in the study of Torah].”[4]

[1] The rest of the quote from the gemara is as follows:

“The group of mockers [are not received by HaShem's Divine Presence], as it is written, "...He withdrew His hand [from being with] mockers" (Hoshea: 7; 5), the group of flatterers, as it is written, "For a flatterer does not come before Him." (Iyov: 13; 16), the group of liars, as it is written, "One who speaks lies will not be established before My eyes." (Tehillim: 101; 7), the group of speakers of Lashon HaRa, as it is written, “For you are not a G-d who desires evil, evil will not dwell with You.” (Tehillim: 5; 5)” You are righteous HaShem, evil will not dwell in Your habitation.”

[2] The text of this mishna from “Pirkei Avos”, states as follows:

“All those who bring merit to the masses, does not have sin come through him, and all of those who cause the masses to sin, is not provided a sufficient opportunity to perform teshuvah. Moshe [acted] meritoriously and brought merit to the masses, the merit of the masses is dependent upon him, as it says [in ParshasHa’Azinu”], “…he performed the meritorious acts of HaShem and [taught] His laws [to] Israel.” (Divarim: 33; 21) Yiraviam sinned and brought the masses to sin, the sin of the masses is dependent upon him, as it says, “Concerning the sins of Yiraviam the son of Nivat, that he sinned and that he brought Israel to sin…” (Milachim I: 15; 30)”

[3] The entire pasuk reads, “For he has scorned The Word of HaShem, and he has nullified His commandment, that soul shall definitely be cut off, its sin is within it.” (Bamidbar: 15; 31)

[4] There are a number of other explanations brought in the gemara as to what this pasuk is referring to. According to Rabbi Yishmael, this pasuk refers to one who performs idolatry, as the Jew who performs idolatry is scorning The Word of HaShem, that being that which HaShem directly told The B’nei Yisrael at Har Sinai, when He commanded not to have any gods, that HaShem is The only G-d.

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