We are happy to introduce a new series by Mrs. Tova Younger to be featured on the Oorah Spirit, with tips on shmiras halashon, guarding your speech. The laws of permissible speech are numerous and complex and this series will not attempt to catalogue them. (For that, we recommend the works of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, better known as the Chafetz Chaim, conveniently translated to English and presented in bite-size pieces in the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation’s A Lesson A Day and A Daily Companion.) Rather, these tips are presented to give you ideas that will hopefully help you in mastering positive speech.
Everyone deals with challenges in their lives. Many are searching for a path to follow that will yield them rich spiritual improvement- with some improved materialistic standards as well! Fact is, we needn’t go to far-off places to seek a blessing from righteous individuals, living or not. Working on our speech patterns is one of the most powerful tools we have.
Consider these facts. We observe the laws of Shabbos but once a week , the laws of kosher foods a few times a day. Shmiras halashon, governing how we may speak, is applicable all day long. Thus, being careless about this mitzvah will cause us to accumulate many prosecuting angels. Happily, the opposite is true as well: being careful will bring us much reward as we come close to Hashem through proper observation of this precious mitzvah.
The good news is that today we are very fortunate, with so many books, articles, lectures and more, each providing us with the laws of proper speech in an easy-to-comprehend manner.
Yes, it’s all easy enough to study, but keeping the halachos, the laws, is another story. That is harder than ever. Most people today are in touch with many more people than was possible in years past. We read about people all over the globe, we travel, maintain long distance relationships, and have larger and extended families. We meet people in school, on vacation, at parties and at work. Although we can benefit from all these interactions and gain a lot with each relationship, there is always the danger lurking. An innocent speaker doesn’t realize that a seemingly innocuous remark is actually portraying the subject in a bad light. A truly fine comment is made, but the response is lashon hora (a prohibited category of speech). It seems impossible to converse and avoid it.
Don’t despair! The ideas that will be presented, ranging from improved mindset to practical avoidance, on how to conquer our yetzer hara, evil inclination, will enable you to emerge victorious in the fight against lashon hora.
Look out for the first tip of the series in the next issue of the Oorah Spirit!
Tova Younger moved to Eretz Yisrael with her family nearly ten years ago, where she became a writer. Her book, Hands-on How-to’s for the Home and Heart is a collection of tips and techniques to enhance your life, spiritually and practically, and includes over 50 easy recipes! You can purchase it at jewish-e-books.com. Hear tips on the Akeres Habayis Hotline – 212 444 1900 ~ option – 4 – 6. NEW! Practice your Ivrit, and enjoy tips! Call Kol Haloshon 1-718-906-6400 – ’1′ – ’5′ – ’5′ – ’23′ – For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org