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, January 01, 2008

Shmiras HaLashon י"ז שבט - Shevat 17 - One-Hundred-and-Thirty-Sixth Day

© 2008 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Chapter 16

In this Chapter, [we shall] Explain [Concerning the] Lashon HaRa that results through [the Trait of] Complaining

There are certain [individuals, concerning whom] the cause of their becoming accustomed [in the] sin [of Lashon HaRa] results from their involvement in the trait of complaining. [In our context, those who complain are specifically the type of people concerning whom] it is [their] practice and habit to complain and grumble, [such a person] will constantly [conclude that] his fellow [relates to him with] ulterior motives, [both in] action and [in] word, even though [in reality] his fellow acts honestly with him and never acted toward him with malice. [Such an individual] will judge every matter negatively, and [will] not [view his fellows actions] positively, and [will thereby conclude that] every unintended sin is an intentional sin, and will suspect the other person as having committed the action in spite. [The above characteristics of the complainer are noted by Moshe in parshasDivarim”] as it says, “And you complained in your tents and you said, ‘Due to HaShem’s hatred of us, He brought us out [of Egypt]…’”[1] (Divarim: 1; 27) Take note that one who is afflicted with this evil trait [of being prone to complain], will consequently constantly not [succeed] escaping from the sin of Lashon HaRa, for no matter what [action] his fellow performs or [what he] says, it will appear to [the complainer] that his fellow intended [his action or words] to be [directed] against him.

Behold, one who saves himself from this evil attribute [of complaining], will contemplate concerning the evils that result from this despicable attribute, and will thereby be saved from it.

[1] The pasuk states as follows:

“And you complained in your tents and you said, ‘Due to HaShem’s hatred of us, He has taken us out from the Land of Egypt, in order to give us over into the hands of the Emorite to destroy us.” (Divarim: 1; 27)

As the Chofetz Chaim notes, this pasuk demonstrates that the person who is prone to complain, will even come to be critical of those who are assisting them, ignoring the obvious reality that what is being done is for their benefit. In the context of this pasuk, it was clear to all of the B’nei Yisrael that HaShem redeemed us from the Egyptian servitude in order to fulfill His promise to bring us into the Land of Israel. However, subsequent to the sin of the spies, many people complained against HaShem, claiming that the reason for their redemption was to deliver them into the hands of the Emorites in order to be destroyed. Though such a statement is completely irrational, it is an apt description of the complainer who finds fault with his fellow no matter how much his fellow’s action demonstrate the contrary.

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