Thoughts from Sefer Shemiras Haloshon

Adapted in memory of Ed Levine – Henoch Leib Ben Mordechai
By Rabbi Benjy Simmonds

Thought 1
The Chafetz Chaim asks us to reflect on the powers of speech, hearing and seeing are all embedded within our Neshomos. Our Neshomo speaks, listens and sees. The more care we take with these the more we are preserving the holiness of our Neshomo and fulfilling life’s purposes.

Thought 2
Always remember, speaking negatively about another is Loshon Hora a) even if it is true b) even if you have already heard if from someone else, c) even if is merely insinuating negativity.

Thought 3
It is equally forbidden to listen to negative remarks about another person. If a person is in company and Loshon Hora is being spoken he or she must try and stop it. If he can’t he is duty bound to walk away.

Thought 4
A person who is careful about his or her speech is bringing Hashem’s protection “Shomer Piv U’leshono Shomer Misoros Nafsho”. He who guards his mouth and tongue protects his soul from harm. We all look for ways to protect ourselves from “Soros”. This is a real defensive shield.

Thought 5
It is equally forbidden to speak Loshon Hora about a child, a relative or spouse (this can be even worse). In some cases there are extra dimensions and layers to the Aveiro (sin) eg if speaks Loshon Hora about a Rov, Talmid Chochom, widow, parents etc.

Thought 6
The Chofetz Chaim tells us that to speak Loshon Hora on Shabbos compounds the wrong – it deeply affects the sanctity of Shabbos and our ability to gain spiritually from Shabbos. On Shabbos we spend more time with our friends and family we should be extra careful not to talk about other people in any kind of negative way.

Thought 7
We have a paramount duty to educate our children about these matters. Children should be discouraged in the strongest possible way from talking about their friends, telling tales and name calling. “Educate a child according to his way, so when he grows old he will not depart from it” (Mishle)i. The ability to exercise self control in speech is a life skill which should be taught to a child and reinforced as early as possible.

Thought 8
The Chafetz Chaim asks the question, “Why is the urge of the Yetzer Horah to speak Loshon Horah son strong?” One of the answers given is that the power of our speech is itself so strong – we can use it positively for Torah and Tephillah – that the Yetzer Horoh “wants” to see it misused and destroyed. The lesson for us – let us preserve this wonderful tool we have – for good only.

Thought 9
Using speech correctly and controlling ourselves contributes significantly to the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash. If we were asked to donate money to build the Beis Hamikdash – we would to do willingly, then why not use our great gift of speech to help achieve this goal.

Thought 10
If you see or hear about another Jewish Person apparently doing something which is wrong and that person is normally someone who would keep the Torah and observe Mitzvos, you are duty bound to withhold from judging the person negatively and to sincerely believe that there is a sound explanation for the persons conduct. However to now go and repeat what you saw or heard is strictly forbidden. By speaking about it you are deemed to have made a negative judgement.

Thought 11
Many people assume it is permitted to speak Loshon Horah about another person “as a joke” – “it doesn’t matter it was only meant as a joke”. This is incorrect. There is not heter to speak Loshon Horah as a joke.

Thought 12
There is a general mitzvah to follow the ways of Hashem. One of these is to be compassionate to others. The Chofetz Chaim says that by exercising self- control in speech, and not speaking ill of others one is following the ways of Hashem, as this itself in act of compassion.

Thought 13
Man differs from other creatures by his ability to conduct intelligent speech. This in one of the main components of man’s unique profile. Let us only use them for good.

Thought 14
Think how many times in your life comment has been made by someone about you which caused you harm or embarrassment. Think how much destruction Loshon Hora has caused in Jewish History. Think and think again. It pays to think.

Thought 15
When it comes to Mutkzeh we say “Don’t touch” its Shabbos today”. Says the Chofetz Chaim – so with Loshon Horoh, when we think we might be approaching a “Loshon Horoh situation” say to ourselves “Don’t touch: its Muktzeh”.

Thought 16
We all know that it is very hard to manage speech. It is the way of the Yetzeh Horoh to teach a person that he cant do this so he shouldn’t try. That is a falsehood in itself. Don’t fall for it. Hashem only gave us Mitzvos that we can do. This is one of them.

Thought 17
Try to exercise absolute control from speaking wrongly for an hour, then two, then three, then all the time. A person can train himself by progression.

Thought 18
Having heard all we have, by exercising self-control in speech a person becomes a “better person” – less full of tension, and more at peace with others. Difficult as this is to achieve it is really a “smart target” for all of us “KOL YOMECHO BE-SHOLOM – all your days are in peace”.

Mon, 26/06/17 | 2 Tammuz 5777

 Shabbat Korach

Shabbat begins at 9:27pm

Candle lighting is between 7:56 pm and 8:05 pm

Shabbat ends 11:00 pm





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