21 January 2017

The Value of Torah Learning

The Value of Learning Torah
Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi In Lev Aarons Yeshiva In Jerusalem: (Jan 2017)

20 January 2017

Parashas Shemos:  Easy Come, Easy Go?

Parashas Shemos
Rabbi Pinchas Winston

In your opinion, which was a more difficult exile for the Jewish people, the one in Egypt or the Babylonia exile that ended with the Purim miracle? I would have thought the Egyptian exile was the worst, given all the torture and death to which the Jewish people were subject. Babylonia ALMOST resulted in genocide, but never got that far.

To my surprise, the Zohar says that the Babylonian exile was worse, and the reason is both interesting and instructive. The Jewish people had been used to suffering for a while, between famine and all the years spent in Egyptian exile. When things got worse, the Zohar says, they just adjusted themselves and bore the burden.

It was different with respect to the Babylonian exile. The Jewish people had been on their own land for hundreds of years. They had prospered greatly and even had the Temple for a long period of time. They were used to God being among them. When they went into exile, they lost everything, and the change was extremely dramatic and difficult to bear.

That being the case, what does that say about our exile until now. After the Holocaust, the Jews rebuilt themselves and went beyond past levels of success. Our generations were born into prosperity and have enjoyed relatively universal acceptance compared to all the anti-Semitism from the last 1,000 years at least. Life and history has been good to us until now. We have grown accustomed and even more dangerous, attached to our way life.

Remember the story in the Talmud about the wealthy woman who had to fend for herself as the Roman invasion took its toll on Jewish independence and prosperity (Gittin 56a)? In the end, it wasn’t a Roman spear or catapult that killed her. It was her inability to overcome her pampered living and then suddenly being exposed to something filthy on the road that caused her to die. 

What can we say about our current exile? Even the word itself sounds greatly exaggerated. On one hand, we are not a unified nation living in Eretz Yisroel with a Temple as our centerpiece. On the other hand, life as a Jew has been amazing, for secular and religious Jews. The freedom to live and to practice Judaism is unprecedented in exile at least over the last 1,000 years. In a nutshell, the Jewish people have had it great post-Holocaust. 

Pampered? Tremendously. Dangerously so? We may yet find out. This is why we are fighting so hard to maintain the status quo. We know what life can be like for the Jew, and we dread it. We’d like to believe that the gentile world has moved on since the Holocaust, but many suspect it hasn’t. Now those fears are starting to appear substantiated.

“It is only fair for the Palestinians to have a state of their own,” the argument goes. “It is only right, and legal, that Israel vacate lands they annexed since 1967,” the proponents of a two-state solution argue. “Israel is the one holding up peace,” Israel’s detractors complain bitterly.

What about Gaza? Even though the Arabs never gave anything, Israel worked unilaterally and vacated the premises at great cost to her people and the economy. In the end, we received a terrorist state against which we have fought wars in the meantime, at great cost to the people of Israel and the economy. THE WORLD SAID NOTHING.
The Palestinian educational system has not changed to make possible peace and to make possible trust. This is because it is based upon an ideology that will not change until Moshiach comes. The same ideology is what has greatly increased the crime rate of Western nations that accepted Arab refugees with open arms and no conditions. THE WORLD SAYS NOTHING.

I could go on for pages about why giving the Palestinians their own state, especially with international support, is a bad thing, not just for Israel, but for the world. No need. It would not make the slightest difference to the situation, because the people responsible for slipping the noose around Israel’s neck and tightening it are not acting logically. Their perspective towards reality and the Jewish people, and certainly towards peace, is distorted, very distorted.

This makes it sound as if I am saying that I know this because I have a good handle on reality. It is true, except that it has nothing to do with my IQ, EQ, or any other facet of me. It has to do with Torah. Torah is the most accurate vision of reality we have because it comes from the Source of reality, God Himself. Without Torah, even a person with the best of intentions cannot really fathom reality in any really accurate manner. You have to be an Avraham Avinu to have the ability to do that.

Of course, if you only learn the Written Law, you only get a part of the story. The gentile came to both Shammai and Hillel wanting to convert on the condition that he only have to learn the Written Law (Shabbos 31a). Shammai rejected him outright, and Hillel showed him how he could not properly convert without learning the Oral Law as well. 

This also includes Kabbalah. Torah is never “all or nothing,” but it does demand that a person not stagnate in his learning. As one progresses through Torah, he or she gets more of the big picture, a more accurate vision of reality and how to navigate it. The deeper one delves into Torah, the deeper a person’s version of reality will become.

Perception is a function of assumptions. There is a new book out about how the brain fools us into believing inaccuracies in life. I did not read the book, but I assume that what the author means is that incorrect assumptions about life result in distorted perceptions of reality. It is a person’s distorted perception of reality that leads to abuse, abuse of self, abuse of others, abuse of life.

There are two ways to pick up assumptions about life. They can be learned or they can be absorbed from life itself. The Torah, which is the word of God, teaches correct assumptions, in order to allow a person to develop correct perceptions and to choose a meaningful path in life.

We have an educational system because we have little faith in a child’s ability to assume correctly about life and its experiences. The idea is to pass on accumulated wisdom to the next generation to help them to avoid the mistakes previous generations have made. The trouble is that secular educational systems fall far short of the most important assumptions about life. This is why society can be so off in its approach and solutions to problems, such as the one in the Middle-East.

This is how it was supposed to work. The Jewish people received Torah from God, and were supposed to become experts in it. The Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Court, was supposed to exist to oversee the entire educational operation, and to make sure that the Jewish nation stayed on spiritual track.

The gentile world was supposed to learn Torah as well, but only as much as was necessary for them to be righteous human being (i.e., keeping the 7 Noachide laws). The Jewish people were supposed to educate and guide them, answering all questions that arose which they could not resolve according to the Torah framework in which they lived. 

This, of course, did not happen. Instead, the non-Jewish world educated itself. Some Torah concepts managed to make it into their societies, but they adapted them as they saw fit. They even used many against the Jewish people, forcing conversion or offering death as an alternative. 

This is the way it has continued until the world got to where it is today.  Torah is not only not held in high esteem, it is ridiculed. Jewish advisors exist, but not to impart Torah wisdom. Many stand with the gentile world today against the Jewish people, wondering what it will take to eliminate the distinction between Jew and gentile altogether. 

One of the reasons why Jews have always stayed in exile too long is because they have assumed that others would not do unto them what they would not do unto others. By the time they found out otherwise, the means to do anything about it were gone. By the time they realized how different their enemy’s assumptions about life were from theirs, they were already victims of their enemy’s mistaken perceptions.

Here we are, once again, late in history facing off against nations of the world whose assumptions about history are very different from ours. We keep trying to re-educate them, but they won’t be re-educated. We don’t have the credibility, and many don’t even have the credentials. Those who do are off to themselves waiting for Moshiach to make the world the way it is supposed be.

The question is, what can be done at this late stage? How do we protect ourselves against false assumptions and perceptions that are bent on reducing the size of Eretz Yisroel and endangering the Jewish people? The opportunity for preventative medicine is gone. The patient is already sick and in need of a cure.

There is only one. We see it in this week’s parsha. The same thing happened in Egypt. When we came to Egypt, we commanded respect. We had a chance to maintain that respect, and soften the exile. Instead, we abandoned the ways of our fathers, and instead let the Egyptians go their own direction. The result was all the harshness of exile that eventually followed.

By the time the situation became intensely bad, there was no way to reverse the trend. The only solution, one into which we were forced in the end, was to cry out to God, not our local congressmen. We became compelled to beg God for His help, not the leader of a superpower. After all, it’s God’s world, His history, created for man to come to recognize and acknowledge his Creator, not to reject Him.

You can be sure that whatever happens from this point onward will be to this end. The sooner we realize it, the sooner we can end the insanity that is backing the Jewish people into a very dangerous corner.

19 January 2017

Parshas Shemos – Rashi’s Prediction

Roy S. Neuberger

In today’s Parsha and in today’s world we have arrived in Golus.

As I write, it is Motzae Shabbos Parshas Vayigash and I have just learned of the petira of the Torah luminary Rabbi Moshe Shapira, zaicher tsaddik livracha. One by one, our gadolim are leaving us, those who were the leaders of the entire Nation of Israel. We read in this week’s parsha, “Yosef died and all his brothers and that entire generation.” (Shemos 1:6) This, my friends, is Golus. The face of Hashem is hidden and darkness surrounds us.

The outgoing President of the United States and his Secretary of State have let their feelings bubble to the surface and the bubbles are not pretty. The United Nations blames us – just us! – for all the troubles of the world. As Dovid Hamelech says, “I am peace, but, when I speak, they are for war!” (Tehillim 120:7)

Almost forty three years ago, my wife and I met Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. At that time, we were totally new to Yiddishkeit. We had never been to Israel, and we didn’t want to go to Israel. We believed that the Jews had stolen the Land from the Arabs. Then we started attending the Rebbetzin’s “Hineni School.” We learned the famous Rashi on the first words in Chumash, “Beraishis bara Elokim ….” The very fact that this is the opening Rashi indicates that we should pay close attention.

Rashi asks why the Torah, which is a book of laws, begins with the account of creation. This is his answer: 

“If the nations of the world will say to Israel, ‘You are bandits, for you conquered the land of the seven nations [who inhabited the land of Canaan, you] will say to them, ‘The whole earth belongs to the Holy One, Blessed Is He. He created it and he gave it to the one found proper in His eyes. By His wish He gave it to them and by His wish He took it from them and gave it to us, [the Children of Israel].’”

Was Rashi a novi? He is describing the exact scenario which we are witnessing in the world today, almost a thousand years later! The United Nations, which purports to represent all the nations of the world, has just said to us, “you are bandits,” exactly as Rashi predicted!

Implicit in Rashi’s words is the answer to their accusation. Hashem made the world. He apportions it to whoever is “proper in His eyes.” He gave the Land of Israel to the children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. We are those children!

“Give thanks to Hashem. Declare His Name. Make His acts known among the peoples…. Remember His covenant forever … that He made with Avraham, and His vow to Yitzchak. Then He established it for Yaakov as a statute, for Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying ‘To you I shall give the Land of Canaan, the lot of your heritage.’” (Divrai Hayamim I 16:8-18)

The entire grasp of Reality lies in whether one recognizes the Existence of the Creator of the universe. “Rabos machashavos b’lev ish … many designs are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of Hashem, only it will prevail.” (Mishlei 19:21) The conclusion here is very simple: the United Nations is of no consequence. It is reminiscent of the “world government” which the nations tried to create in the Dor Haflaga. (Beraishis 11:1ff) Hashem dispersed them “over the face of the earth,” and such is the fate of all those who rebel against the Ribono shel Olam.

We should not be surprised that the entire world has declared war on us. Did not Bilaam say, “hen am levadad yishkon … they are a nation that shall dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations.” (Bamidbar 23:9)

As for us, let us remember the words of Dovid Hamelech, who says three times in Tehillim 118, “all the nations surround me.” Midrash Tehillim explains that this passage refers to the three-stage War of Gog and Magog. (Redemption Unfolding) What is Dovid Hamelech’s prescription for survival? We should listen carefully to these words.

“B’shaim Hashem ki amilam … in the Name of G-d I cut them down.” (Tehillim 118)

A group of men sits around a table at the United Nations. They raise their hands to vote. Do you think the fate of the Holy Nation of Israel is influenced by how many hands go up? “The hands are Esav’s hands!” (Beraishis 27:22) But Hashem is listening for the voice of Yaakov. If that voice is speaking “in the Name of G-d,” then we have nothing to fear from the “hands of Esav.”

“Hashem said to Avraham … ‘I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you.” (Beraishis 12:1-3)

The nations of the world actually understand that we are the source of their blessings. Even anti-Semitism is explained by this. Why in fact do the nations hate us? Why is “sina” the root of the word “Sinai?” The world knows that we are close to Hashem. They hate us because they want to rebel against Hashem and live without moral restraint. Hashem does not permit this; He institutes laws to guide mankind toward sanctity. But the nations do not want this and so they attack us, because we are the representatives of G-d, against Whom they are trying to rebel.

It will not help them. 

When “the wicked bloom like grass, and all doers of iniquity blossom … it is to destroy them ‘til eternity.” (Tehillim 92) Soon we will see those who curse us destroyed by their curse, and those who bless us blessed beyond measure.

* * * *
Roy Neuberger, author and public speaker, can be reached at roy@2020vision.co.il.

© Copyright 2017 by Roy S. Neuberger

The Theme of Ohr From Bereshis into Shemos

The Ohr of Bereshis into Shemos

Yosef's death is reported in the very last verse of the book of Genesis. The coffin that he is placed into is known in Hebrew as aron - a word derived from the very same three letter root that spells the word ohr - light. The light with which  G-d lit up creation on the first day, and which only now, with the reconciliation of Yosef and his brothers shines without restraint, with Yosef's death has been locked up with him inside his coffin, shut away, again, from the world. 

Midrash tells us that Yosef's coffin was then lowered to the bottom of the Nile River, (ironically, in Hebrew called Ye'or, from the word for light), and there it would rest in profound darkness until the day that Israel, fleeing from Egyptian slavery, would fulfill its word to Yosef, raise up his casket and bring it with them through forty years of desert sojourn and into the land of Israel to be buried in Shechem, in the plot of land purchased by his father Yaakov.

The book of Genesis ends in a darkness which will only grow darker when, in the opening verses of Exodus a new Pharaoh arises who does not know Yosef and Israel descends into the darkness of slavery. For one hundred and thirty years darkness reigned in Egypt. 

And then "A man of the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw him that he was good, she hid him for three months." (Exodus 2:1) "Good," like the light G-d created on day one, and then the mother of the child placed on the very same Nile which contained the coffin of Yosef "a reed basket, smeared with clay and pitch" (ibid 2:3) and inside it, the infant Moshe. 

When Pharaoh's daughter comes upon the basket and opens it the light of the first day of creation, the light of brotherhood and reconciliation will be released into the world, never to be hidden away again. A new chapter in the creation of the world and man's place in it, will begin anew.

 The light of brotherhood and the light of creation will shine as one light at Sinai where G-d and man will form an eternal covenant and a new light of the knowledge of G-d will fill the world.

Source: Temple Mount

Rav Ammon YItzchak Speaks in New Jersey / Eretz Yisrael

Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi has returned to America after his whirlwind Torah lecture series to heal the Neshomos of Jews in Israel. The Rabbi spoke in Jerusalem, Bet Shemesh, and Bnei Brak, and other cities of Eretz Yisrael. [Expecting his next English lecture wherein he  summarizes his experiences in Eretz Yisrael]  

In Bnei Brak the Rabbi spoke of:

התקפה על השם - נמסר בבני ברק - 2017 בבהכנ''ס יביע אומר

Now we will be privileged to hear from Rav Amnon YItzchak with his Torah perspective of reaching into the Neshomos of Israelis

The Prayer for Gog and Magog

January 12 – Bnei Brak Video here
January 15 – Herzeliya
January 16 – Beit Shemesh Video here
January 22 – Kiryat Arba (will be available here
February 1 – Elad (will be available here

All lectures LIVE on Shofar TV

Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak - New Jersey (English Subtitles)

Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak – Judaism Christianity Islam What is the truth? 

18 January 2017


They Smell Blood!

The onslaught against this government is similar to the efforts hurtled against Netanyahu when he ran for Prime Minister. One can hear the diatribes spewing from Kerri's poisoned mouth (an amalakei rasha gamor) and see the invisible hand of his vindictive once superior (in mouth and deed) behind the (reshayim) leftist's  fueled onslaught against Netanyahu and anyone on the so-called Right. They are even out (trying) to get Deri again!

The coordination of attacks from many sectors of society are poisoning the public with their evil contortion of words in a rush to indict Netanyahu BEFORE the Inauguration.

One can see the layout of strategic coordinated arrows of venom jumping out from the pages of The newspapers. I can only attest that which I discern from the (English) Jerusalem Post. Is it any different in the Hebrew papers?One could almost declare that the new editor is staunchly implanted in the left leaning headlines of his paper.

Front Page Trial of Words:

"Kerry at Davos forum: Netanyahu is 'affecting ability to make peace ... American credibility is 'on the line'."

"Yair Netanyahu questioned [....]"

"Majority believes PM is guilty"

"Head of police probe to retire [...]"

"Glick going to ... Inauguration!” 
(saying he will represent Jerusalem???)

In my estimation”they" are trying to prevent the Geula.  Much travesty can occur. “They” are trying to indict the PM BEFORE Friday, January 20. “They” do not want to see the “Rise" of Israel and the purported support of Trump FOR Israel.  However, HaShem uses just such moments of disarray to move history forward. Each day is explosive. We are only hours away from the Inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45 President of the United States. The “Erev Rav” in collusion with the evil Leftists/Liberals of America.

§ § § § §


COMMOTION AND MYSTERIOUS behind-the-scenes maneuvering of preparations for Trump's swearing-in should raise huge alarms. Does one not see a similarity between events in Israel and those in America? There is a confluence of events taking place.

UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION exposes groups plotting criminal activity at Trump inauguration. "a spokesperson for #DisruptJ20 says that the goal of his organization is for Trump to be inaugurated “amid complete chaos”… It is during this type of confusion and disruption that such an assassination could take place.
Butyric Acid Attack at the Pre-inauguration Ball.

EXCLUSIVE: TRUMP OPERATIVE ROGER STONE SURVIVES ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT – Doctors suspect longtime political adviser poisoned with radioactive substance used to murder spies Infowars

Why Has The White House Suddenly Released A Strategy For Dealing With A Catastrophic Meteor Impact? from Zerohedge.


LAST MINUTE CHANGE IN SECURITY AT INAUGURATION REMINISCENT OF JFK IN D EALEY PLAZA:  Without explanation and just a week before inauguration, President Obama has suddenly announced he is removing the Major General in charge of the DC National Guard who helped plan and was set to oversee event security that day, effective right in the middle of the ceremony the very minute after Donald Trump is sworn in as president. The termination is unprecedented and out of decorum with such a high state function taking place, raising serious concerns about the vulnerabilities and gaps in security on such an important day. Not saying that anything is going to happen, but it's hard not to notice and raise questions when the scenario is being made plausible.

Rabbi Glazerson’s Video of THREAT OF NIBIRU - 5777 ROME - MASHIACH:


Listen to the dialogue in this audio/video about what people are seeing and experiencing from the affects of Nibiru. [Published on Jan 14, 2017]

Planet X 2017 – This planet would stop at the edge of the solar system, about ten times larger than Earth and 500 times heavier than Pluto. Researchers have not yet directly observed the planet but result in the existence of the planet based on the impact Planet X has on several Kuiper belt objects.

The circumferential plane of planet X makes an angle of thirty degrees to the circumferential plane from that of other planets. Because the ninth planet is so massive and has a track that is slightly tilted in comparison with those of the other planets, the whole solar system is – with the exception of the sun – tilted.

The Book of Kings and The Attempt to Dethrone Netanyahu

The Book of Kings begins with the story of the elderly King David being told that there is a movement afoot to crown Adoniyah ben Hagit his successor instead of Solomon.

When David understands what is being done behind his back, he swears to stop the coup and crowns Solomon king that very day even though the time for the coronation has not yet arrived. The king understood that he must not let the fire of rebellion continue to burn and that he must act quickly, before it became too late.

I  [ HaRav Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat]  write this in the context of an investigation against the Prime Minister and the calls that he resign. Anyone who reads the stories of the two Justice Ministers, Daniel Friedman and Yaakov Ne'eman, (who announced that they intended to change the Justice Department and were also subjected to investigations that prevented their doing so, ed.) learns that this method is the one used by those who have failed at the ballot box.

They use the legal system to eliminate political opponents under the guise of fairness and justice, so that the public does not object.

If anyone thinks that the rumors and investigations against the Prime Minister come from a desire for clean, honest government, along come the daily leaks against the Prime Minister that absolutely do not stand the test of morality and justice - and they reveal to us that someone here is working hard to eliminate the Prime Minister.

These leaks did not make the headlines by accident. Someone took care to leak and publish them in order to mislead you, the public. To break the Prime Minister's spirit and mislead the Attorney General.

They want you to delude yourself into believing that it's not so terrible to discard an elected Prime Minister because we can bring someone with 'cleaner hands’.

Do not let them win.

They want to undo the will of the voters and crown someone who does their will. Even if the Prime Minister is replaced by a right-winger, he is likely to fall in line with their agenda as did Ariel Sharon. Every future Prime Minister will then fear their power and reach. Do not believe a word that comes out of their mouths.

They want to carry out an illegal coup and they need you to believe in these rumors.

The people voted for Netanyahu and one does not topple a prime minister for cigars and meetings with journalists. 

Shimon Peres was NOT ousted over this, and neither should Netanyahu be.

We must stop them. This is also a danger to democracy and to Israel.

HaRav Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat.

*List of Justice Ministers since Begin:  Tamir Nissim Moda'i Sharir Meridor Libai Ne'eman Netanyahu Hanegbi Beilin Sheetrit Lapid Livni* Ramon Sheetrit* Olmert* Livni Friedmann Ne'eman Livni Shaked

**It seems to me that there is a concerted effort to take down the present government. As a side note: "A close ally of Shas chairman Aryeh Deri and three other people were remanded in custody on Tuesday over suspicions they blackmailed a member of the ultra-Orthodox party who abruptly resigned from the Jerusalem city council last year. After he tendered his resignation, the councilman reported the incident to police as extortion, saying he was targeted by fellow Shas members [....]

17 January 2017

It's Outrageous!

"Every person is granted a certain amount of words to speak during his lifetime, except for that which pertains to Torah and mitzvos. Thus, every person can add some years to his life by carefully choosing what to speak about (Derech Pekudechah, 34)” 
[*footnote 37, following article below]

It's Outrageous!**

"Addressing the media at the faction meeting, Netanyahu scolded them for what he described as 'a huge media campaign against me designed to topple the Likud government’ […] describing the situation as 'outrageous'.”

[…] The prime minister claimed that certain members of the press were acting not just as journalists but also as “investigators, judges and hangmen” in an effort to politically decapitate him.

“An entire investigation is being conducted on television,”... “Every evening they are disseminating selectively and carefully filtered transcripts and deliberate lies on the two issues in question,” referring to the steady stream of broadcasts by Channel 2 on recorded conversations between the prime minister and Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes.

“So I want to say to you […] in a democracy, governments are changed at the polling booth, not through orchestrated pressure on the attorney-general and the law enforcement services [… .]

§   §   §   §   §

The following is from Life Insurance and Loshon Hora:

Have you ever wondered why at the end of Shemonah Esrei we first ask Hashem, “Guard my tongue from evil...and then request from Him, ‘Open my heart to Your Torah...’”? The Chofeitz Chayim1 says, “These two requests flow naturally from one another. One’s Torah maintains its value only when one guards his tongue; otherwise the Torah is considered worthless.2 3  We therefore first pray that we may merit to speak properly and only then do we ask Hashem for the merit to study His holy Torah.”

Continuing, 4 “It never ceases to amaze me how people are looking for mystical charms and blessings from our great sages for success and livelihood. But what possible value is there in these amulets and blessings if, G-d forbid, this person routinely violates the sin of loshon hora and the sin of rechilus? The Torah5 specifically promises this person that he will be cursed: ‘Cursed (‘arur’) is the person, who secretly hits his fellow Jew,’ where Rashi explains this as pertaining to loshon hora.6

If people would listen to me, I would advise them even further: They should be especially careful to avoid this sin and not to in any way actively cause any ‘bad’ to their fellow Jew, especially in the realm of theft or violence or oppression and deception and other similarly ‘bad’ actions (most certainly these reasons are a major catalyst towards the loss of a person’s wealth, to the point where he is left with nothing... Nevertheless, if my advice is followed then obviously, this person’s assets will be blessed far more than using any mystical amulets. Everyone knows that the curses in the Torah are always preceded by Hashem’s blessings: ‘blessed is whoever does not hit his fellow Jew - and all of Israel answered Amen to this.’7 Most assuredly this blessing will come true and will endure.8

...There is yet another great and holy benefit that evolves from disciplining one’s language. That great benefit is peace!9 If one is very careful about one’s speech he will remove from himself the jealousy of others. People will like him and will confide secrets to him. People will not gossip about this person because they hold this person in high esteem. It is said in the name of the AriZal that measure for measure, as you are discreet about other people, they will be discreet about you…”10

Why is Torah study equal to all the mitzvos11 and speaking loshon hora equal to all sins combined?12 The Chofeitz Chayim explains:

“Other commandments involve limbs such as the hands or feet. Deeds accomplished with the more physical parts of the body do not have the same spiritual impact as those executed with one’s thought and speech, which are more spiritual in nature. When G-d created Adam, the Torah says that, ‘He blew into his nostrils a spirit of life and the man became a living soul.’13 Onkelos translates the phrase ‘living soul’ as ‘speaking soul.’  Thus, speech represents the spiritual aspect of a human being.14 Since they both entail speech, Torah study is the ultimate mitzvah, while loshon hora is the ultimate sin.”15 16 17

For this reason, the Vilna Gaon comments18 as follows: Until the day he dies, each day man must impose restrictions, to discipline himself... through restraining his mouth19 and his desires; that is true teshuvah! All the benefits of Olam Haba evolve from this.20 Shlomo HaMelech alluded to this in mishlei,21 ‘A mitzvah is a candle22 and Torah is illumination...23 but the pathway for life is (self) imposed discipline.’ This is greater than all of the fasting and lashes in the whole world (combined).24

However, the person who consciously closes his mouth, who refrains from loshon hora, will earn in Olam Haba the radiance that is stored away for those people who are tzaddikim. The Gaon from Vilna comments in the name of the midrash that for every moment man keeps his mouth closed,25 he earns the merit of receiving a holy radiance (whose benefit) is far beyond the comprehension of any angel or being.26 Therefore, Dovid HaMelech warns us, that whoever wants an everlasting life in Olam Haba and wants to see good in this world should guard his tongue from speaking evil.27

Practically speaking, the prohibition of loshon hora applies whether one disparages the other person by speaking about him or by writing28 about him. Additionally, there is no difference whether one speaks the loshon hora explicitly or merely hints it.29  It is considered loshon hora regardless of how the information is conveyed.30 The Torah prohibits loshon hora that is spoken even light-heartedly or in jest. Since the speaker’s words are, in fact, derogatory, this type of speech is forbidden even though it does not stem from hatred and the speaker has no intention to disparage the other person.31 Moreover, the prohibition of loshon hora can apply even if the speaker does not specify whom he is speaking about.32 It is forbidden to speak loshon hora about any Jew33 to one’s parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, a spouse or in- laws.”34

Napoleon Hill said, “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”

The Noam Elimelech35 identifies loshon hora as one of the mitzvos which people do not take seriously, causally trampling with their heels.36 Likewise, the Chofeitz Chayim says, “People have become used to saying whatever happens to come out of their mouth,37 without first considering that perhaps what they say is considered rechilus or loshon hora.”38 Nevertheless, we are all human and make mistakes. As Shlomo HaMelech states, “There is no man so completely righteous on earth that he (always) does good and never sins.”39 Hence, “If your yeitzer hara vanquished you today and you used language that was forbidden. Tomorrow, stand up again, strengthen yourself and again do battle against the yeitzer hara and be triumphant over him. Even if G-d forbid, the yeitzer hara should again battle you and win, still, you must get back up and strengthen yourself to battle against him again and most certainly you will (eventually) be victorious. Anyone who seeks to sanctify himself will receive assistance from HaKadosh Baruch Hu to overcome his yeitzer hara40 and defeat him because Heaven will always help those who try to improve themselves.41

What’s the solution? In the end of the preface42 to Seifer Chofeitz Chayim, he states:

If you toil very much in the Torah’s words, HaKadosh Baruch Hu will remove the yeitzer hara from you.”43 I thought to myself that perhaps, if people study this seifer and seriously consider its contents – which have been compiled from all of the works of the Rishonim that deal with this subject – then the yeitzer hara will not as much power with regard to this sin.44 If one takes a small step toward refraining from this sin, then eventually he will able to refrain from it completely, for this sin is one that is governed to a large extent by habit. Indeed, Chazal say that one who seeks to improve himself is granted Heavenly assistance...45

With Hashem’s help, by taking the Chofeitz Chayim’s advice to guard our tongue; may we merit soon that our mouth will be filled with laughter and our tongue with glad song, upon Him bringing us back to Tzion!46

1. Shemiras HaLoshon-volume 2, chapter 1, “הגה"ה–כתיב במשלי ”.2

2. The Chofeitz Chayim says, “One who speaks loshonhora*or rechilus**loses the little Torah one has acquired” (Shemiras HaLoshon-volume I, Sha’ar HaZechirah, chapter 7, “בוא וראה עוד כמה”). In addition, “His prayers will not be elevated before HaKadosh Baruch Hu because he has been infected with a spirit of defilement…” (Zohar Parshas Metzorah, volume III 53a, Targum).

*Disparagingly of another person.

**Informing another person of the negative things that someone said about him or did to him, causing... ill feelings between the listener and the person spoken about or harm to the person spoken about.

3 The Gemara does say, “Torah study protects one from punishment and saves him from sinning”(Sotah21a. See also Shemiras HaLoshon, Sha’ar HaTorah, chapter 3 “בו יבאר” and “בוא וראה”. In addition, see Nefesh HaChayim 2:15, 4:2, 11, 13-17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 28, 30, 31, 32 and 33, where he elaborates on this subject).

Yet, “...Someone whose mouth is always open (talking) and does not take care (to guard what comes out of his mouth) -even if he learns all six orders of Mishnah and all of Shas several times over, when he arrives On High he will not find even one single Gemarathat will protect him because each one, each page of his Torah learning, has dragging behind it a spirit a repulsive force of impurity and defilement that hangs over it…” (Shemiras HaLoshon-volume II, Epilogue, chapter 1, “והנה אם האדם בזה”).4

4. Ibid. chapter 9,“ובאמת לפלא”.5

5. Devarim 27:24.6
6. See Shevuos 36a.7
7. Sotah 32a.8
8. Shemiras HaLoshon-volume II, chapter 10,“ואם היו שומעים”

9 Regarding peace, see Uktzin 3:12; Shoftim 6:24; Zohar, Parshas Vayikra 10b; Avos1:18; Berachos 8a; Sifra, Bechukosai 1:8 “שמא תאמרו” -link:http://bit.ly/1A3lizO; Rashi to Vayikra 26:6 “ונתתי שלום”; Mishlei17:1; Artscroll Bava Metzia 59a, note 30 and Gittin 59b.

10 Shemiras HaLoshon–volume 1, Sha’ar HaZechirah, chapter 11 “עוד יש מעלה”.11

11. See Shabbos 127a.12

12 See Yerushalmi, Pe’ah1:1.

13 Bereishis 2:7.1

14 Shemiras HaLoshon-volume I, Sha’ar HaZechirah, chapter 7, “והוא כעין מה שאמרו חז"ל”.15

15 Ibid. chapter 1.

16 The Yerushalmi explains that a person is incidentally punished for that sin in this world, but the worst part of his punishment will be reserved for him in Olam Haba (Shemiras HaLoshon –volume 1, Sha’ar HaZechirah, chapter 3 “עוד נוכל לומר”). Therefore, Hashem tells us, “If it is your desire to be protected from Gehinnom, then stay away from loshon hora and you will merit reward both in this world and in Olam Haba.” (See Shemiras HaLoshon–volume 1, Sha’ar HaZechirah, chapter 11 “גם הוא נצול על ידי” and Zachor L’Miryam, chapter 14, “איתא באגדתחז"ל”). As Mishlei states, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from trouble”(21:23).17

17 Imagine, Reuven needs to buy something and he has no cash or credit card on him. Shimon, his friend, lends him his credit card. Reuven buys what he needs. Then he thinks to himself, “I’m sure he won’t mind if I buy a few more things.” Reuven then decides to fulfill what it says in Avos(4:2), “One mitzvah leads to another mitzvah”. Basically, he buys one thing after the other, until Shimon’s credit card is maxed out. Reuven comes to Shimon and says to him, “I’m now in debt. Can you pay it off?”…

In the words of Rabbeinu Bachayei: “When we speak lashon hora about someone else, we take his sins upon ourselves and he takes our mitzvos!”[(Chovos HaLevavos, Sha’ar HaKniah, chapter 7 “והשלישי כשיתפרסם ענינו. See The Power of Speech by Yehuda Cahn, pages 31-38, for explanation. Bear in mind, one who speaks lashon hora alone, transgresses 31 Torah prohibitions and gets 3 curses (see Seifer Chofeitz Chayim, Hilchos Issurei Loshon Hora, Mekor Chayim, Lavin and Asee’in). Now, he also acquires the other person’s sins. Any thinking and rational person should ask himself, “Is that really a good bargain?!”

There’s more. The Chofeitz Chayim says, “When a Jew speaks loshon hora against his fellow Jew and brings up complaints against him, he thereby brings about accusations in Heaven against the Jewish people and he empowers the Accuser indict the Jewish people.Thissin brings plague, swordand murderto the world. Woe to those who awaken this evil force, who do not guard their tongues and pay no heed to this! They do not realize that the ways of Heaven reflect the ways of the world, both for good and bad. [Through evil talk,] the Great Serpent Satan] is aroused to voice accusation against the world” [(see Zohar, Parshas Pekudei264b). See Shemiras HaLoshon –volume1, Sha’ar HaZechirah, chapter 2 “ואם מדבר לשון הרע”].

We know that,“There is nothing that stands in the way of Teshuvah”(MishnahBerurah128:129 and Rambam, Mishnah Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah3:14). Yet, the Zohar tells us, “With regard to everything, HaKadosh BaruchHu can eventually forgive a person* except for loshon hora.” [(See Shemiras HaLoshon–volume 1, Sha’ar HaZechirah, chapter 2“והנה כאשר נתבון” and Nefesh HaChayim 4:22). For an explanation of this, see ThePower of Speech by Yehudah Cahn, pages 34-35]. Regarding doing teshuva for loshon hora, see Seifer Chofeitz Chayim, Hilchos Issurei Loshon Hara, klal4, halachah12 and for rechilus, see Hilchos Issurei Rechilus, klal 4, halachah 3.

*However, sins committed against one’s fellow man are not atoned for on Yom Kippur unless he asks his fellow for forgiveness first (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch131:4. See also Orach Chayim 606; Yuma 87a-b and Mesillas Yesharim, chapter 11 “כלל של דבר”).

18. In his holy letter known as Aleem LeTerufah.

19 The Zohar says, “Whoever guards his speech will merit to be clothed in G-d’s Divine Spirit” [i.e. ruach hakodesh (Parshas Chukas 183)].

20 I.e. a lifetime of self-discipline. Elsewhere, the Vilna Gaon says, “The main way to merit Olam Haba is through guarding one’s tongue. This is more important than any Torah or good deeds he has”(Iggeres HaGra). Similarly, the Chidah says, “Whoever wants to get Olam Haba cheaply, guard your tongue from evil…” [(Maris H’Ayin to Avodah Zarah 19b) see the first page, second paragraph].

21 6:23.

22 I.e. a weak light.

23 A much brighter light.

24 Shemiras HaLoshon–volume 1, Sha’ar HaTevunah, chapter 2 דקדקו חז”ל גם.

25 I.e. he does not respond at all to a provocation. For the Gemara (RoshHashanah17a) says, “When a person ignores insults, Heaven ignores his or her sins.” Rabbi Moshe Cordovero points out that it is far better to achieve atonement for a sin by suffering an insult in silence than to undergo physical punishment which may interfere with one’s ability to perform mitzvos or study Torah (Tomer Devorah, chapter 2. See also ThePower of Speech by Yehuda Cahn, page 226).

26 Ibid. Sha’ar HaZechirah, chapter 11 “גם עבור כל עת ששומר ”.27

27 See note 21 and Shemiras HaLoshon–volume1, Sha’ar HaZechirah,vchapters 10 and 11.28

28 I.e. emailing, texting, Facebooking, Twittering, Skyping, Blogging or Commenting on a website (http://bit.ly/14YbeM7).

29 See Hilchos Loshon Hora 1:8.

30 I.e. Facial expressions, body language, or any other means of insulting or belittling someone.

31 Hilchos Loshon Hora 3:3.

32 Ibid. 3:4. In addition, if one’s intention is merely to “make the truth known,” not to denigrate the subject, his words are still forbidden as loshon hora (Ibid. 5:1).

33 It’s also forbidden to speak loshon hora about a simple unlearned person and even worse it it’s spoken about a Torah scholar (Hilchos Loshon Hora, Mekor Chayim 4).

34 See Hilchos Loshon Hora 8:1-4; see also 12 and 13.

35 On Parshas Shelach.

36 See Rashi to Devarim 7:12 תשמעוןעקבוהיה”

37 Every person is granted a certain amount of words to speak during his lifetime, except for that which pertains to Torah and mitzvos. Thus, every person can add some years to his life by carefully choosing what to speak about (Derech Pekudechah,#34). The Zohar says, “Every word a man utters rises upward, splitting heavens to reach its destined place”[(Parshas Metzorah55a) see Yeshayahu 51:16]. Conversely, harmful talk creates a world of falsehood and brings about destruction in the high worlds. ‘Woe to those who see but do not understand what they see’”(Parshas Tzav31b). As Amos says, “He[i.e. Hashem] recounts to a person the words he spoke”(4:13).

38 Sefer Chofetz Chaim –English Translation, page 18 (Israel Bookshop Publications).

39 Koheles 7:20.

40 See Sukkah 52a and Chovos HaLevavos, Sha’ar Cheshbon HaNefesh 3:21“ועשריםוהאחד”.41

41 Shemiras HaLoshon–volume 1, Introduction, “כן דבר ממש”.42

42 Hakdamah L’Sefier Chofeitz Chayim, “גם לבד”


*regarding the damaging effects of loshon hora, see Life Insurance and Loshon Hora –
The above text on Lashon Hora was from a link within a comment to Tochacha for our Generation, and with permission of the commenter, included above is the explanation from his link. I’ve tried to be faithful to his layout and editing. Should a discrepancy appear, please notify me via a comment to this post.

**Needless to say, we lost the First and Second Bayis due to our sins. What will it take to wake up to the reality of what is happening in our world today. No leader of any country will save us. We must save ourselves, improve our ways and beg Hashem to save us before the 49th level.

***Middah Kneged Middah: ""there’s only the Divine will, with all else merely a distraction from the lessons we’re intended to draw that are truly relevant to our lives […] the things anti-Semites say and do are tools of instruction for us, often in uncannily corresponding ways […] they often have an unerring sense of who we Jews are and what we ought to be. And even when they don’t, Hashem uses them to achieve His ends, which are to return us to Him.” AND “They [the Jewish People] angered Me by believing in a non-god, and I will anger them by means of a non-nation.”(Devarim 32:21).

See also: The 72 Types of Afflictions; The Real Problem is Always Us; By the Rivers of Babylon(just because);

After compiling this post, this compilation of the extreme seriousness of the laws of Lashon Hara made me cringe. And so a word of caution is shared here to those who read and write blogs, foremost me.

And also a word (or a few) from Reb Dov bar Leib of End of Days blog:

"May I remind posters that while we always have to be careful about Motzi Shem Ra (slander) with regards to talking about anyone (Jews and non-Jews alike), we now have a new challenge now that Jared Kushner (a Jew) will be one of Donald Trump's top advisers. We also have to steer away from Lashon HaRa in addition to Motzi Shem Ra, that is bad things said about a person EVEN IF THEY ARE TRUE IF the information about him is not publicly known and therefore discoverable from multiple sources. If true information about a Jew is private info, we are not allowed to discuss that information about another Jew unless the public has to be warned about the dangers of doing business with him or about the general danger to the country that he is set to serve. Extraneous information about his private dealings EVEN IF THE INFORMATION IS TRUE is considered gossip and tale-bearing that is forbidden when talking about another Jew EVEN IF THE INFORMATION IS 100% TRUE! I know that avoiding Gossip and Tale-bearing is a daunting task when the person being talked about is in the public eye. We have a tendency in Western Culture to want to expose people who have vaunted positions to additional scrutiny when discussing the "facts" about their personal lives. So with a Jew though we have the additional burden of not speaking Gossip about him even if the "facts" are True. Again Not engaging in Slander when the information is False and Defamatory applies to every human being."
"By the way, the Laws against Lashon HaRa even if the information is TRUE also apply to righteous gentiles. Those laws Do NOT apply to speaking about non-Jewish Resha'im. Exposing the Truth about rashayim is of greater urgency than the desire to not gossip about them. But even if one is speaking about a Rasha, we only make claims about him which are True."