Dreaming of Moshiach

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Guard our Tongue - Stories

King David taught: “Which man desires life, who loves days of seeing good? Guard your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit...” (Tehillim 34:13-14). Therefore, it is only natural that the Chofetz Chaim, zs'l, taught us how to guard our tongues from the evils of lashon hara[+/-] show/hide text

Today, 24 Elul is the Chafetz Chaim's Hillula. May his merits help us to guard our tongue and protects us all, Amen.

The Talmud relates (Avodah Zara 19b) that R’ Alexandri once walked through the streets announcing, as would a peddler, “Who wants life, who wants life?” Everyone crowded around him and begged, “Give us life!” He quoted our verse, “Which man desires life... Guard your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit...”

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The “Yehudi HaKadosh", zs'l, once told his Chossid, Reb Simcha Bunim of P'shischa, zs'l, to set out for a trip. Although the Rebbe didn’t tell him where to go, Reb Simcha Bunim knew there was a reason behind the strange request. After hours of traveling with the Chassidim, Reb Simcha Bunim stopped the wagon at the inn to feed the group. They ordered a dairy meal, for they were concerned of the Kashrut of the unknown owner. “Sorry, but all I carry is meat meals.” The Chassidim asked a million and one questions about the standard of Kashrut of the meat. A voice came from a man behind the stove; “Chassidim-chassidim, why do you ask so many questions? Why are you SO careful what goes INTO your mouth? You ask every detail to know whether or not it’s permitted to eat. Yet, when it comes to the words that come OUT of your mouth, do you stop to THINK if it’s permitted?” Reb Simcha Bunim overheard the whole incident and realized the purpose of the Rebbe sending them on the mysterious journey. He gathered up the Chassidim and returned to the “Yehudi HaKadosh."
The “Yehudi Hakadosh-Holy Jew” wanted the Chassidim to understand that it’s more important to guard your tongue from Lashon HaRah than eating TRAIF!!!

An amazing incident that took place approximately 40 years ago.
Outside was fierce battling. Rav Elya Lopian was in the shelter, huddled with the fearful group. Would they survive the exploding bombs all around? A man suddenly called out, “they’re speaking Lashon HaRah here!” “Really?” Reb Elya asked in surprise, “Then we must leave this place right away!” The danger felt by Reb Elya Lopian was due to the Lashon HaRah being spoken. He ran through the streets, dodging the bullets and explosives till he found a physically and spiritually safe haven. Shortly afterwards, a bomb landed on the first shelter where the slanderers were!
(This little anecdote can send shivers up anyone’s spine) Reb Yitzchok Blazer died and appeared to his friend, Reb Chaim Berlin, in a dream. “The judgment in heaven is very strict, though the sins of the tongue are the most strict!”

The Old City of Yerushalayim; Approximately 80 years ago, lived a woman who, for many years, wasn’t able to have children. This is her story. It was a long hard day of scrubbing and washing. Doing the laundry was no simple task. A lot of backbreaking work went into each piece of laundry to be cleaned. Finally the day was coming to an end. The sheets were spotless, ready to be hung to dry. She came into her home and collapsed from exhaustion. As she sat recovering from her exhausting day, she heard what seemed to be her whole day’s work down the drain. She ran out to find her sheets cut down from the line and lying in the mud. She was mortified. She saw her neighbor run inside with the scissors in hand. Although about to cry, she restrained herself and started the whole chore from the start. She wanted terribly to share her frustration with her husband, but restrained herself from speaking Lashon HaRah. (This story should end here, but there’s more).

Soon after, the neighbor came to apologize. What inspired her? After her horrific act, she entered her home to find her son burning hot with a fever. She realized this was no mere coincidence and perhaps she was being punishing her for her cruel action only minutes earlier. The women forgave her neighbor with a complete heart, and the following year she was rewarded dearly for her silence. She gave birth to a son who grew up to be the greatest Halachic mind today; RAV ELIASHAV SHLITA!

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והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו