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, November 25, 2007

Shmiras HaLashon י שבט - Shevat 10 - One-Hundred-and-Twenty-Ninth Day

© 2007 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Chapter 14

In this Chapter [we] Shall Explain [of one of] the Cause[s] of Lashon HaRa, [specifically that] it Comes [About] as a result of [one’s] being accustomed [in the Trait of] Haughtiness

[In addition to the previously discussed negative character traits that often lead one to speak Lashon HaRa], some [people speak Lashon HaRa] as a result of the [attribute of] haughtiness [that resides within them], that being that [the person] considers himself to be a wise person and a [distinguished] man among men, [in contrast to] everyone else [who he] views as lowly. Therefore, [as the haughty person looks down upon other people, he] is determined to make fun of his fellow. Furthermore, [the attribute] of haughtiness leads one to become jealous and hateful of [those] who [are] viewed as honorable by the people of the city. [This haughty individual] will be envious and bear enmity against [those who are respected], for he imagines that his [own] honor is diminished as a result of [those who are respected], and he says [to himself]: ‘If not for [these other people who are honored], I would be described among people as being a distinguished person.’ [This haughty individual who feels that his honor is being diminished at the expense of the honor shown to others], will examine and seek out [the] hidden secrets [of these honored individuals], in order [to obtain] some [compromising information] to relate against [the honored individual], whether it is true or false, so as to diminish [the stature of] his name with respect to [the] other people [who had shown him honor], and to [thereby] display his superiority over [this other person], to lower his stature, to shame him and embarrass him. At times, due to [his] haughtiness, [the person] will [lead himself to be involved in] all four categories [that comprise] “חשמ"ל” – “Chashmal”, [[this being an] acronym [for]: “Flatterers” – “חנפים”, “liars” – “שקרנים”, “speakers of Lashon HaRa” – “מספרי לשון הרע”, [and] “mockers” – “לצים” – [this acronym is] based on the gemara [in maseches] “Sotah” (42a).[1]] [This haughty individual] will speak of shameful [matters] concerning his fellow [in order] that he will [thereby] be honored and his fellow will [consequently] be scorned. [This haughty person] will glorify [himself] through [his] lies as well as by [relating positive] attributes [concerning himself] which he [in reality] doesn’t possess. Because of his haughtiness, he will constantly flatter evildoers, and will not rebuke them [for their wrongs] so that they will not [come to] hate him and [thereby] detract [from] his honor. Therefore, one who wishes to purify his soul from this bitter sin [of haughtiness], will constantly consider the greatness of the shame of [the attribute of] haughtiness. [The attribute of haughtiness is shameful], for how can a person become haughty, [considering that he] began his existence [by being] formed from a putrid drop, and in the future he will go to a place of dirt, maggot and worm, and they will consume him little by little.

[1] The relevant passage in masechesSotah” (42a), states as follows:

“Rav Yirmiyah the son of Abba said: ‘Four groups [of people] do not receive G-d’s Divine Presence: The group of flatterers, the group of liars, the group of mockers, [and] the group of speakers of Lashon HaRa. The group of mockers [do not receive G-d’s 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 habitual speakers of Lashon HaRa [do not receive G-d’s Presence], as it is written, “For You are G-d who does not desire evil, evil will not dwell with You [in Your midst].” (Tehillim: 5; 5) You are righteous HaShem, evil will not dwell in Your abode”.

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