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The True Power of Speech

Given in 2002 before Tisha B’av

Defining Losh Ha’Ra

We know that the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred. On this idea, The Chofetz Chaim says that the Talmud brings down that the concept of loshon ha’ra—slanderous, derogatory speech causes baseless hatred. But why was the Temple destroyed due to this? G-D takes His holiest place and destroys it due to slander? How do we understand this?

We also know that the Jewish nation has been in exile for thousands of years and that this too is due to loshon ha’ra and baseless hatred. This is what the Chofetz Chaim tells us. Why should the Jews be so long in exile from this? Not only are they in exile but there’s something else.

There was a great man who lived about two hundred years ago, Rabbi Rafael from Hamburg, who made a remarkable statement which the Chofetz Chaim brings down in his writings. He says that every single problem the Jews have ever had from the beginning of Creation is due to loshon ha’ra. It is a critical concept even for today’s times. Why is it that loshon ha’ra can create so many tragedies from the beginning of time itself?

Everybody wants mazal--luck, good fortune. We all want this in terms of livelihood, children, marriage. Why is it then that, as it is written, a person’s personal mazal is destroyed because of loshon ha’ra? I will present further Talmudic, rabbinic statements that will demonstrate this. If you think you understand the concept of slander and baseless hatred, you are greatly mistaken.

Let’s look at more rabbinical statements on this. G-D can say: I could save you from any number of calamities, tragedies, problems, but on one condition, that you don’t speak loshon ha’ra. G-d Himself says this. Why is it that G-d says that if you refrain from speaking loshon ha’ra, He will remove or minimize the problems that you have?

There’s another Talmudic statement that says: what is the greatest of all the mitzvos?--learning Torah. We daven each morning that talmud torah kneged kulam—the learning of Torah (and its commandments) surpasses everything. The Talmud then asks: what is the greatest sin?—speaking loshon ha’ra. How can that be?--worse than desecration of the Shabbat? How can it be? The rabbis don’t exaggerate. If that is what they say, that is what they mean. How do we understand this?

There is a midrash—rabbinical exegesis that says that Ahav, a king of Israel for many years, presided over a generation that worshipped idols. As a result, it was a sinful generation but the midrash tells us that, despite their sinful status, they never lost a battle when they warred. How? In that entire generation, no one spoke loshon ha’ra. It’s hard to believe that they could worship idols yet not speak loshon ha’ra but that is what it says. Therefore, they were always victorious. In the generation of Saul in the generation of David, they lost battle after battle even though the average child of that generation was able to expound or sermonize on a particular pasuk—verse forty-nine different ways. Yet they lost battles because they spoke loshon ha’ra despite the depth of Torah they learned.

Chazal—rabbinical sages say: Moshe sees one Jew hitting another Jew and asks him, “Rasha—evil-doer, why are you hitting your fellow Jew?”

The culprit turns to him and answers, “Who made you the boss? Are you going to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian?”

The verse continues, surmising Moshe’s thought; “achen nodea ha’davar---surely the matter is known,” commonly thought to mean that the murder he, Moshe, committed of an Egyptian is known to Pharoah. But Rashi says, no, that is not what Moshe meant. Rashi says that Moshe asked himself: why is it that the Jews have been in such a terrible exile for so many hundreds of years? Rashi concludes that Moshe realized how the bondage was due to loshon ha’ra. The Jews in Egypt worshipped idols but Moshe saw that the idol worship wasn’t a sufficient explanation for the length of their exile and concluded that the cause had to be loshon ha’ra.

We have to understand a few key points:

What constitutes loshon ha’ra? It is any communication that can harm another person. It doesn’t matter if you speak it or write it. Even if that communique is true, and especially if it is true, it constitutes loshon ha’ra. If that statement is false, it is worse than slander; it’s defamation.

We have to ask ourselves, when G-D created the world, what concept did He employ?—din—justice. How is “justice” defined? The narrow understanding is that, if you do a bad thing, then you are punished but it is much broader. If you do “act A,” then “act B” follows. This is called “cause-and-effect.” Why did G-D do that? G-D wants a person to earn his Future World; it does not come for free. He must observe the mitzvot--commandments and do acts of kindness. If he doesn’t, he jeopardizes his Future World.

If that is the case, and if we know that cause-and-effect is operative, then we must ask who judges the acts of man? Does G-D judge the actions of the Jewish people?- no. A verse says that G-d doesn’t look at the sins of Ya’akov; He does not involve Himself in the judicial process. G-D knows what someone will do 6,000 years before he does it. G-D loves the Jews and doesn’t want to get involved, so who does?—a beis din shel l’mala--Heavenly Tribunal. What does this mean? We learn from the Talmud that in exactly the same way G-D runs the upper worlds is the way we run things here. Judicial procedures operate the exact same way.

Heavenly Tribunal and the Concept of “Measure-for-Measure”

Everything that happens to a person is the result of the decree of that Heavenly Tribunal. If that is the case, when do they judge a person? Let’s suppose that a person commits 2000 sins in a given week. Does this mean that the tribunal convenes that many times? Not at all. If sin doesn’t invoke the judicial process, what does? G-D created an angelic being called the “Satan,” who acts as a prosecuting attorney. He brings kitrugim—prosecutions. He is the only one who can initiate the process of convening the tribunal to examine the acts of a given person. So, we see that all problems are caused by these prosecutorial actions of the Satan.

We must now ask: is it possible to stop him? Can you imagine the power of such knowledge, the ability to stop all the problems, tragedies a person has? Bar none, it would be the most valuable knowledge. How do we stop him?

As I said, the result of “act A” leads to “act B” but that’s not wholly accurate. There is a peculiarity which is called “mida kneged mida”—measure- for-measure. “Act A” doesn’t lead invariably to “act B” but, instead, to the mirror image of “act A.” When you act contrary to G-D’s Will, the inverse of that is the recompense. Why does G-D do this? It’s because it is truly just and so that you can figure out what sin or crime you committed by examining the retribution meted out to you. Employing the system of measure-for-measure, it is possible to intervene in the judicial process. How?

Imagine someone comes over to you and says, “I owe you money and it is due today. I don’t have it so do me a favor and extend the terms of loan or let me pay in installments.” You think, okay. What are you doing? You are extending mercy and compassion. Therefore, let’s assume that a person has been found guilty by the Heavenly Tribunal. Can they, the other members of the court, demand of the Satan that he execute judgement? No. They go to the file cabinet and take a look at the person’s “file,” so to speak. If they discover that the person has done acts of kindness, they are compelled to extend mercy to the defendant. They then have the grounds to suspend the judgement allowing the defendant to repent, to do teshuva. If he does, the entire case against him is thrown out of court.

We now see the value of measure-for-measure in its ability to stop the process or impact the outcome in the defendant’s favor. Imagine you say to someone, “You did me a tremendous injustice but I’ll forgive you.” What you are doing is called “ma’aveer al midotov”—overlooking a trespass made against him. When your file is scrutinized, such a deed will get the case against you likewise thrown out of court. So powerful is the concept of measure-for-measure!

But how to keep the Satan from bringing a kitrug—prosecutorial action in the first place, from convening the tribunal? Imagine your soul is sitting in a courtroom and the Satan is prosecuting you. What is the nature of the instigation of this trial? --loshon ha’ra. Any communication that will harm another person is what defines loshon ha’ra. Isn’t that what a trial is, the job of the Satan speaking incriminatingly of you in order to ensure that justice is carried out?

Here is the secret brought down in the Zohar, from the Chofetz Chaim in many, many writings and from many of the great sages of Israel. Just like measure-for-measure can stop the judicial process, it can also initiate the judicial process. When you speak slander against someone, what are you really doing?---condemning another Jew. So, the Satan has the right to condemn you one time. Every condemnation you utter is a prosecution against you. Slander has the power to make all your sins available to the chief prosecutor, the Satan.

On a work-break, you get on the phone and call a friend and, during the course of this conversation, you have spoken five hundred prohibitions of slander. You can now be prosecuted five hundred times. It is as if you called the police and confessed to five hundred crimes. “Come and get me!” you might as well say. That’s crazy, you think, but that is exactly what you do when you speak loshon ha’ra. Speaking slander is like going to the Satan’s door, ringing the bell and, upon his opening it to you, you say, “Let’s go to court!” and he is only too happy to oblige, and you’re the defendant.

Who is judged? Aside from you, the person who listens to the slander is also judged. The third defendant is also the person who is the subject of the slander. Why should he be judged? He could object saying: Isn’t it bad enough that I was slandered? I also have to be shlepped into court?

Yes, he is subject to judgment because of the concept called “ayin-ha’ra”—evil eye. It is a misunderstood concept. Because of the lofty nature of the Jewish neshama, if you look at another Jew and question his position, the court will decide to launch an inquiry, an investigation, into whether he deserves to have what he has. Most of the things a person has are due to G-d’s love. Most of what the Jews have are gifts, are not deserved. So, the last thing a person wants is to have such an inquiry into his deservedness or lack of it. The Talmud warns that, when starting any worthwhile venture, don’t speak of it. Others might give you an ayin ha’ra and the venture will be unsuccessful or what you’ve gotten will be taken from you.

Ninety percent of the Jewish people are judged daily either because they slandered, listened to slander, or were the subject of the slander. Incredible! It isn’t the sins of the Jews that cause their problems but the loshon ha’ra. It reveals everything. It destroys mazal. Why? The Jewish people do tremendous numbers of mitzvos, acts of kindness, so why is their mazal so poor, whether regarding livelihood, marriage, children, or good fortune in general? They’re constantly in court being found guilty of loshon ha’ra. Their good mazal doesn’t come to fruition.

If you don’t engage in such harmful speech, if you observe shmirat ha’loshon—guarding one’s tongue, the Satan cannot speak against you. If you don’t listen to it, the tribunal cannot listen to the evidence against you. Even if you are the subject of someone else’s slander, you are protected by having guarded your tongue and refused to listen to slander, measure-for-- measure.

I’m not telling you to cannot sin but just to guard your tongue. We all sin so we have a way to protect ourselves so why not use it? I will tell you four magic words that will help to guard your tongue. “IS-IT-WORTH-IT?” If you know you’ll be prosecuted, is it worth it to speak, to listen?--of course not.

You may say, “You mean that if I don’t speak loshon ha’ra I will never be judged?” Not really. If a person sins, there are only two ways to deal with it. He will either repent or he will suffer. Suffering expiates the sin. For all those sins for which you did not repent, there has to be a judicial inquiry, resulting in a prosecution. So, you could think, this happens even if I don’t speak loshon ha’ra. So, what is the difference whether I speak loshon ha’ra or not?

Every Jew has to make a decision. Either he speaks loshon ha’ra and the court convenes to prosecute him in a procedure which is unstoppable but for which the punishment can be mitigated or thrown out due to his merits borne of acts of kindness or he can refrain from speaking slander and he is not taken to court and having his sins automatically scrutinized. G-D will not intervene in any way in such proceedings.

If teshuva is not undertaken, who determines the type of suffering to be endured?—G-D Himself. G-D is avinu malkeinu--our Father and King. A Jew commits a sin and it is between him and G-D. G-D asks that we repent and He refrains from meting out punishment for a year, regardless of the Jew’s lack of merits for such a suspension of judgment in the hope that the person repents. In G-D’s courtroom, G-D doesn’t have to defend His actions.

A year passes and you don’t repent even though G-D sends you to all kinds of lectures that deal with the sin you did. A year later, G-D says: You’ve been given a year and you didn’t repent so now I will begin the process of expiation. G-D has to give you a wake-up call. He will spread the suffering over many years making it easier to bear. Had you spoken loshon ha’ra, you’d be in the tribunal of the Satan and receive your retribution all at once. Even when G-D decides upon retribution spread over time, it affects your possessions and not your body.

Imagine were we to totally refrain from speaking loshon ha’ra. We would be in G-D’s personal courtroom subject to His judgments alone. What a difference to the quality of our lives!

Now many questions can be answered:

1- Why does G-D say that, were we to refrain from speaking slander, harsh judgment would be mitigated? It’s because the process would be between you and Me. Regardless of your lack of merit, I will deal mercifully with you. In the other court, what could they do for you if you have no merits?

2- Is loshon ha’ra the worst of all sins? Desecrating Shabbat is worse. Is it worse to commit the crime or call the police and announce you committed a crime? If you desecrate Shabbat, but speak no loshon ha’ra, the Satan isn’t alerted. It’s between you and G-D. When you speak loshon ha’ra, all your sins are exposed and subject to inquiry and prosecution in the court where G-D does not intervene.

Historical Perspective

Why is it that in the time of Ahav, though they worshipped idols, they never lost a battle? That generation didn’t speak loshon ha’ra. The prosecuting attorney, the Satan, didn’t know of their idol worship; it wasn’t exposed. Their idol worship was known only to G-D who dealt more mercifully with them.

At the time of King Saul and David, however, they lost battle after battle even though they didn’t worship idols and were steeped in Torah. Why? --they spoke loshon ha’ra.

Moshe Rabbeinu said, I know that the Jews worshipped idols in Egypt but why would they be in such a terrible exile unless they spoke loshon ha’ra? Without doing so, there is no judgement. Moshe recognized that they did speak so when a Jew informed on him regarding the murder of the Egyptian. Therefore, “surely the matter is known,” means that the matter of their idol worship is known to the Heavenly District Attorney, the Satan himself, and that is why the Egyptian exile was such a terrible one.

Consider the discrepant consequences of speaking loshon ha’ra versus not speaking it. This is the first dimension but there is a much greater dimension that answers the question as to why the Temples were destroyed, why we are in such a protracted exile, and why all the problems of the Jews fundamentally come from loshon ha’ra. This concept is the basis of all Jewish history and because we are unaware of its profundity, the Satan dances on our heads.

This information reveals how you can stop the terrible anti-Semitism in the world and the bloodshed in Israel. What is the information?

The Divine Agenda and the Shefa—Divine Flow of Holiness

G-d creates the universe with what is called a shefa—flow of holiness, a Divine energy or force. He sends forth this force and everything that exists must receive this force which is connected to G-D like an invisible cable. Were someone to cut the cable from which you derived this holy force, you would instantly cease to exist. In order to maintain your existence, this flow must be maintained.

Adam was given the commandment to refrain from eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Had he obeyed, we cannot know the precise condition of Creation, what it could have become. He didn’t obey because the snake, the mouthpiece of the Satan, tempted him to do that sin. In doing so, Adam bought into, gave credibility to, what the Satan was saying, believing in what the Satan was saying.

G-d says: Until now, your job was to ignore the advice, the temptations, of the Satan. But since you have given credibility to him, to his argument, you must destroy him, destroy the prosecuting attorney, destroy evil itself, obliterate it. But how?

You can supplant, replace, Adam with the Jewish people. It became their job to destroy the Satan, the chief prosecuting attorney. G-D cut the cable from which the Satan derived his sustenance and, just before the Satan was to have expired, G-D connected it in a “Y” formation so that the single cable split, half going to Adam and half to the Satan. As a result, every Jew became connected to the Satan. Because there is a limited flow of this Divine energy, only one side can have it. This means that the relationship of the Jews to the Satan is one of survival, of combat, an inverse relationship, a see-saw. If one side is deserving of the flow, the other side is deprived of it and begins to wither and die.

Who determines which way it flows?—the Jew! The Satan, this prosecuting attorney, does not determine the direction of the flow. If the Jew does mitzvos, he brings down the Divine energy and he becomes spiritual, interested in learning Torah, observing the Torah. He’s not interested in materialism; it doesn’t concern him anymore. If all the Jews do all the mitzvos, then the Satan dies. That is how it is possible for the Jewish people to destroy evil. If the Jews are sinning, they become more materialistic, less spiritual, and the Satan is empowered and becomes greedy. In fact, the Satan is the only angel who can grow as the sins of the Jews proliferate, and diminish in power as the mitzvos of the Jews proliferate. No other angel has this capability.

Do we see this in the Torah? Yes. We see it in the episode of the turmoil of Rivkah’s pregnancy when she carried the twins Ya’akov and Esav in her womb. She went to the prophets Shem and Eber to consult them about this and she was told that each will become a nation with a similar inverse relationship; when one nation is dominant, the other will be feeble. Rashi says this. The Jewish people come from Ya’akov, and the nation of Esav is presided over by the Satan. We learn this when Ya’akov wrestles with the angel of Esav whose angel is the Satan.

When a Jew sins, can the Satan take the Jew’s Divine energy?—not at all. He must first take the Jew to the heavenly court. If the Jew is found guilty, he can both punish him and take that energy, but remember; ninety percent of the way a Jew is judged is based on loshon ha’ra. He has to get the Jew to sin and get him to speak loshon ha’ra; then the Satan has access to the Jew’s sins. The survival, the existence of the Satan, is dependent on both the sin of the Jew and the loshon ha’ra he speaks, listens to, or is the subject of.

Why is it such a terrible thing if the Satan grows in might? What is the result? We know that the beis ha’mikdash—Holy Temple was destroyed 2,500 years ago and we lost the Divine Presence. Where did G-D go? He went into exile. The Satan confronts the Divine Presence and says: the Jews don’t want You; I want You. The Jews sin and are, evidently, not interested in having You amongst them. I want to be yonek—nourished off the Divine Presence’s holiness. G-D allows this because the Jews have rejected it.

What does the Satan want with it? He wants the understanding of the nature of G-D and to distort it and give it to the nations of the world so they, in their sheer numbers, will overwhelmingly influence the Jews to further abandon G-D, further empowering him, the Satan.

The Historical Evidence

Can we identify this in history? –yes. Within approximately 150 years of the time of the destruction of the Temple was when many of the religions and dominant world ideologies were founded. Western civilization is based on Roman civilization which based itself on Greece’s culture and world-view. When did Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Socrates, the foundational authors of that civilization, live? It was approximately 150 years from the time the Jews lost the First Temple and these burgeoning ideologies began to distort Torah truth. The world could then begin to influence the Jews to abandon their Torah, empowering the Satan further.

We know that the Second Temple was destroyed by sinas chinam—baseless hatred caused by, and causing, loshon ha’ra. G-D leaves our midst and the Satan can demand his due. What emerges?—another distortion of G-D’s Word: Christianity. Ever wonder why Christianity appears as it does? It is a distortion of Judaism. Christian doctrine says that they are the “House of Israel” whereas the Torah says Judaism is. We say that Judaism is the Torah and they say their New Testament is the Torah. They say they have the messiah. Christianity is a mirror image of Judaism. Ever wonder why it appears so? The Satan could take the energy of the Divine Presence and give it to the world as a distorted ideology.

What has been the result of this distortion of two millennia? What the Heavenly prosecuting attorney has done is give over to the Christian the power to do evil within the purview of their very ideology, given them the success which allows them to persecute the Jews. What has been the result of Christian domination for the last 2,000 years? I will tell you; the Satan has given the power to those within that religion who want to do evil, to become the agents to persecute the Jews. Think of it: persecutions, exiles, holocausts, expulsions, inquisitions, crusades. All these are a result of the loshon ha’ra of the Jews which has given such awesome power to the heavenly district attorney.

Let’s look at what has been happening in the last millennia. The Torah uses the expression “b’ita achishena”---in its time I will hasten it which means that G-d will hasten the coming of the mashiach. The Zohar points out that “b’ita” is really “b’eit heh” (the letter “heh” representing the number “5,” therefore saying, “the time of ‘5’”). This indicates that, at the end of the 5000th year, which is the beginning of the 6th millennium, which is equivalent to the Gregorian year 2240, the messianic Light begins to descend. This is what the Zohar says.

Messianic Light

What does this mean and what is this Light? It is the revelation of total reality. The mashiach reveals to us that which is, now, incomprehensible. It is the revelation that the physical universe emanates from the spiritual universe and all emanates from G-D Himself. It reveals the internal structure of the entire Creation. Why does it come down at end of the 5000th year? The Talmud tells us that this world will last for 6,000 years and then begins the process that culminates in the Future World. That means this world has only 238 years left [at the time of this lecture].

Another indication of this time-line is in the book of “Psalms,” Tehillim, written by King David, says, “1000 years in our eyes is like one day in Yours.” Since the world was created in six days, it is equivalent to 6,000 years. The seventh day is Shabbat so that seventh day is equivalent to the Future World. This is the “Creation Calendar.”

The year 1240, which is equivalent to the end of the 5000th year, is the beginning of the 6th millennium, which corresponds to Thursday night. Friday begins right after the 5th day, or Thursday 6pm. What is Friday? It is the time when the Jew prepares for the Sabbath. Therefore, given that Thursday at 6pm is erev Shabbat which is equivalent to the year 1240, this is when the messianic Light began to descend as an unbelievable preparation for the coming of the mashiach. Did this really occur?

Yes! In the Gregorian year of 1240, equivalent to the year 5000, the Zohar, the fundamental text of the secret doctrines of Judaism, says that the secrets of Torah itself began to be revealed and expanded upon. The Kabbalah is the beginning of the understanding of the messianic Light.

But remember, if the Jews speak loshon ha’ra, they are subject to judgment and punishment and, more than that, the Satan can take that energy, that Light, for himself. What does that look like, when the messianic Light is in the hands of the Heavenly prosecutor? You really know but you are not accustomed to hearing it this way; it looks like science.

What is science? It is the ability to understand the internal structure of the physical universe. If you are a biologist, you study DNA, pathogens, bacteria, etcetra. If you are physicists, you are studying sub-atomic particles, the internal structure of matter. What enables this?—the messianic Light. Science is like a knife. In the hands of a surgeon, it cures; in the hands of a killer, it kills. The Satan takes this power to perceive the fundamental nature of the universe and gives it to the nations of the world that they will use it to drag the Jews away from Judaism. How? Did you know that the world was never atheistic until the advent of science? The world always believed in a supreme being, whether it be one or many. It believed in a deity of some sort. Science brought about the replacement of religion with science. The Satan’s objective is to make Jews so enamored of science that they abandon Judaism. Do you know how many Jews we’ve lost because they’ve gone, instead, into the world of science?

Let’s look at 1990. That is equivalent to 12:00 noon Friday. What happens at that time? The sun begins to descend never again to rise. The Jew begins to prepare for Shabbat with tremendous intensity. The Light begins to descend with tremendous force. What has been happening since 1990? Science has been growing in leaps and bounds. Daily, there are 7500 scientific journal articles published. This means that the sum of human knowledge doubles every 5.5 years. Nine of ten scientists that have ever lived live today. Scientists themselves cannot fathom the incredible growth in scientific knowledge. There wasn’t much of a difference between the life of a person who lived in 1840 A.D. and one who lived in 1840 B.C.E. The difference between the life-style of a man who lived in 1840 A.D. and one who lives today in 2002 [the year of the lecture] is incomprehensible. The amount of messianic Light since the Jewish year 5750, comparable to Friday noon, is enormous. But, where is the Light going?—to the nations of the world, the secular world, predominantly.

What is happening to the Jewish people? So many have abandoned Judaism. Additionally, we see the rise of anti-Semitism and bloodshed in Israel. What does all this mean? This is fundamentally because the Satan takes the holiness that should go to us.

If you refrain from speaking loshon ha’ra, then you are hardly ever judged. If you are hardly ever judged, you will not be prosecuted and will retain all the mazal you deserve. The Satan will not be able to take from your Divine flow and not be able to destroy the Jewish people and not be able to partake of the messianic Light. The reverse of this occurs when you engage in loshon ha’ra. Speaking slander is, bar none, the greatest destructive force to the Jewish people.

What got the Jews out of Egypt? It says in the midrash that the reason they got out was because they refrained from speaking loshon ha’ra. G-D wanted to take them out of Egypt because, after two centuries, they had descended to the 49th level of spiritual defilement. They were supposed to be there for four centuries. But the problem was that the Satan correctly argued that they didn’t deserve to be saved due to their idol worship and slanderous speech. So, G-D appealed to them directly: My children, you must help Me; you must stop the Prosecuting Attorney yourselves. Somehow, the Jews realized they had to stop speaking loshon ha’ra and, as a result, the kitrugim—prosecutions stopped and G-d was able to take them out.

In another verse, it says “hein goalti etchem acharit k’reishit”—the second redemption will be as the first. The final Redemption will be accomplished similarly, the Jews refraining from slanderous speech. Have you ever wondered why there has been a great rise in consciousness over the last 15-17 years about refraining from harmful speech? It is no accident. We are entering the messianic era; we see it clearly all over. What G-D needs to accelerate the process is what He needed at the time of Egypt. G-D says: My people! You must help me! Stop speaking loshon ha’ra. Stop the power of the Satan to prosecute and I can accelerate the process! He’s begging us.

There was a lake upon which a king’s family had gone boating. In the boat was his queen, the princes and princesses. Suddenly, a wind comes up and overturns the boat and the king observes his family drowning. What can he do? He sees an officer and calls out to him, “Save my family!” The officer jumps into the lake and does so. What sort of reward do you think the king will give this officer? Likewise, when you refrain from engaging in loshon ha’ra. It’s not only your personal fortune that you preserve and restore; you save the family of G-D. What will G-D give you for such a contribution? The Chofetz Chaim says that your reward is incomprehensible, even to those “at the top” of the Future World. We can change exile to redemption. This is the greatest secret known to man as revealed by our rabbis.

You must know the laws of loshon ha’ra to know when such speech is permitted and when it is forbidden. If you don’t engage in it, the Redemption comes. The power of speech determines life and death. Let us all grab this commandment and bring the Redemption and, finally, be with our Father in Heaven for all eternity. Thank you.


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