Rav Elya Lopian Chooses Bombs Over Bombshells
Lashon Hara is a very dangerous matter for those “in the know”. Rav Elya Lopian was such a person. During the war years he was once hiding in a shelter because of the artillery bombardment raining down mortar shells on the city. Deep in thought, his concentration was suddenly disturbed by another person who was frantically telling him that the people were speaking Lashon Hara. Rav Elya said in that case we better run away from here immediately.
This story as retold in B’Yad HaLashon (pg 235 in the name of the Sam HaChaim) does not end there, and you can probably guess the ending. However for our purposes we do not need to continue.
Whether Rav Elya was afraid to stay because of the spiritual danger or the physical danger caused by speaking Lashon Hara, is not our issue. What this story clearly teaches us is that Lashon Hara to Rav Elya Lopian is a real tangible danger. It is cause enough to run out of a relatively safe haven to the streets where bombs are exploding all around.
“Zachor Eis Asher Asa Hashem L’Miriam BaDerech B’Tzaischem MiMitzrayim”
The Ramban and other Rishonim count, among the Mitzvos Aseh Min HaTorah, the mitzva of remembering and saying with your mouth each day what Hashem did to Miriam when she spoke about her brother Moshe. The Chofetz Chaim in Shaar Tvunah Perek 12 says that being Mikayem this mitzva can save you from the aveira of Lashon Hara. More than just saying the pasuk, says the Chofetz Chaim, one must think about the incident in order for it to have its intended effect.
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Listen to RevachL’Neshama’s Shemiras HaLashon Yomi in their audio section. Two halachos a day according to the Luach. http://revach.net/audioarchives.php