As we read through this week's Torah portion, Kedoshim ("Holy People" - Leviticus 19:1-20:27), I want to continue to highlight some of the teachings that God gave to His people. On Monday we talked about the concept of leaving the corners of the field for the poor to glean.
Today I want to speak of lashon hara, the "evil tongue." This concept is found in 19:16,
"Lashon hara is a weapon manufactured soley from words, yet the Torah considers the harm those words create to be massive. So sharp a wedge does lashon hara drive between a [person] and [God] that it even deprives him of Divine assistance in a time of need...
Lashon hara destroyed the Beis HaMikdash [the Temple] and keeps it in ruins today. The [Temple] was the Shechinah's dwelling place among [God's] chosen people...
Not only does lashon hara deprive a [person] of the fruits of his labors in Torah, it actually causes those [labors] to be exchanged for sins." (Chofetz Chaim: A Lesson A Day, quotes from pg. xxxi-xxxiii)
Be encouraged today that even though we cannot stop this fire of lashon hara in our own strength, but with God's help we can! We can do "all things through Messiah who strengthens us!"
Have a great day and don't forget to get your free drink at Carvel Ice Cream!
Thanks to the New York Times for the picture!