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 08, 2008

Shmiras HaLashon כ"א שבט - Shevat 21 - One-Hundred-and-Fortieth Day

© 2008 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

Take note, [that] in general, the person should be aware that as long as the law relating to a given matter has not been made very clear to him, that [being that he is uncertain whether] this matter [is or] is not [included] within the category of [the sins of] Lashon HaRa, R’chilus[1], or strife, [under such circumstances] he should be careful to refrain from speaking [of that given matter. The above is true] even if the [evil] inclination entices and encourages him [to speak of the given matter], by saying that there is an element of a mitzvah [involved] in [speaking of this] matter and [that by relating it] he will merit [life in] The World to Come. Notwithstanding [the arguments posed by the Yetzer HaRa, the person] should not heed [his arguments], for [by ignoring the words of the Yetzer HaRa, the person] will, at the very least, definitely be spared of Heavenly Judgment. [The person should ignore the words of the Yetzer HaRa], for even if it is the case that [by not denouncing the other person], he did not act in accordance with the law and he will [consequently] be asked in Heaven, “Why didn’t you denounce so-and-so in reference to such-and-such a matter? Wasn’t there an element of a mitzvah [involved with speaking against that person for his actions]!?!” [In response, to the Heavenly query, the person] will be able to answer [as follows]: “I had a doubt [as to the permissibility to speak against the other person and] therefore acted passively[2]!” [In contrast], if [the person heeds the arguments posed by the] Yetzer HaRa when it entices him to deride or to quarrel with [the other] person by [claiming that] an element of a mitzvah exists in such behavior [and he acts against the other person] though he is uncertain [as to the permissibility of such an action], what will he do if it will be made clear to him that he did in fact [transgress the prohibition] of Lashon HaRa or strife, and it was the Yetzer HaRa who deceived him in this [matter]? What response will [this person offer] Above, In Heaven, [to justify his having wrongly acted against his fellow]? He will not be able to [justify his behavior by] responding that [he sinned as he had a] doubt [whether it was permissible to act against his fellow], for this is not [a justification], as [one who is a state of] doubt should not have spoken [against his fellow].

R’chilus” is talebearing.

[2] The phrase that the Chofetz Chaim uses that is translated as “passively” is “שב ואל תעשה” which is literally translated as “sit and do not act” and can also refer to the performance of
mitzvos where someone remains passive.

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