Taming the Tongue
LESSON ONE: The Shechinah Departs
DAY ONE: Nov 14th, 2015
Prayer for Divine Assistance- (Siyata D’Shmaya)
Master of the Universe, may it be Your will, Compassionate and Gracious G-d, that You grant me the merit today and every day to guard my mouth and tongue from [speaking] evil talk (loshon hara) and gossip (rechilus). And may I be zealous not to speak ill even of an individual, and certainly not of the entire Jewish people or a portion of it; and even more so, may I be zealous not to complain about the ways of the Holy One, Blessed is He. May I be zealous not to speak words of falsehood, flattery, strife, anger, arrogance, hurt, embarrassment, mockery, and all other forbidden forms of speech. Grant me the merit to speak only that which is necessary for my physical and spiritual well-being, and may all my deeds and words be for the sake of Heaven. Amein.
Material covered in this Lesson:
Taming the Tongue book
• Chapter 1
[Lessons from the Chof. Chaim Book] – if you have this book, please read:
• Pg 50 & 84- Definition of Lashon hora, Day 18, 20, 21
lashon hara – evil talk
rechilus – gossip
hotzaas shem ra- slander
Definition of lashon hora:
Lashon Hora literally means “evil talk”. It is defined as information that is either demeaning or potentially harmful to another person, whether emotionally, physical harm or harm to ones reputation.
It is also lashon hora even if the demeaning statement does not bring harm to anyone. (like whispered talking, thoughts that you keep to yourself, etc.)
Most lashon hora is defined as TRUE statements. Truths about a person such as speaking about their lifestyles, finances, physical appearance or anything said about a person – whether negative or positive truths- it is still lashon hora.
When the statement is negative and untrue or inaccurate it is called
hotzaas shem ra- slander.
• We are taught in the Chofetz Chaim’s Daily Lesson #20 that the sin of evil talk causes the Shechinah- presence of HaShem to depart. (Midrash -Devarim Rabbah 5:10)
• HaShem has said that we (He and I) all cannot dwell in this world together when we speak evil. (Arachin 15b). The Word tells us that HaShem’s presence is Holy and that His people should be Holy. When we are not, He cannot dwell in an unholy vessel.
• Meaning HaShem can only help us with understanding the creation when we use our members in Holy ways. When we do not, His presence leaves until our members become a Holy conduit once again. This is only done when we repeat and turn away from speaking evil.
• David describes men who speak lashon hora as “people who have teeth like spears and arrows and whose tongues are as sharp as a sword” (Tehillum 57:5-6)
• One who causes strife among friends is despicable in the eyes of HaShem. (Mishlei 6:16-19)
• Sefer Yereim explains that when someone goes to speak evil about someone, they first look in all directions to make sure that the person of subject is not present. He forgets that Heaven still hears us.
• Those who listen to lashon hora are equally guilty as if it came out their own mouths because they do not stop the person talking.
How do Words affect our lives?
• They can bless us or keep us in curses.
• Even the meaningless chatter about tv or exchanges at work change us from within- when watching gossip on Entertainment tv or TMZ- we start to only want to be fed on garabe news, news about celebrities….then we want more- rumours and gossip
• At work, our tasks diminish and we chat more with co-workers instead of actually working. We start to talk about the new person or our boss, we become harsh
• When we compare each other at home with other people, we become harsh, we complain, we look for faults in others just so that we can talk about it with others.
• In our spiritual life, we become spiritual aborted. The more we speak evil about other people, the less we can hear HaShem speaking.
• HaShem then gives us over to our sins.
• It becomes harder to repeat and turn back to HaShem.
• We hurt our own spiritual body. We are taught that the body of the Messiah is ONE- echad. When the foot is not working, we can not walk in unity. If the eyes can not see, the whole body falls. We can not talk evil about someone in the body without hurting the body as a whole.
Summary of this course
1. Learn about lashon hora and the affects it has on ourselves, our friends and our spirit
2. Understand the ways in which we are speaking evil and bring those things to our awareness
3. Learn how to speak proper and learn how to control the root of evil speech- the mind and the heart
4. Repent, change our speech and use the tongue to bless HaShem and others instead of bringing them down.
For questions related to this course, email us at Rebbetzin@cmy.on.ca and we will answer them in the appropriate lesson date. For prayer about your tongue, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.