Hi, LASHON HARAH INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS WORD
Hope all is well.
As we’ve seen, the portion of Kedoshim is full of commandments.
Some are rituals. And some are ethical obligations.
Among the ethical obligations is a ‘biggy”.
Lashon Harah. Gossip.
“Do not go around as a gossiper among your people”. (Leviticus, 19:16)
In Jewish tradition?
Gossip is one of the worst things we can do on this earth!
Lashon Harah is saying something negative about another person.
Even if it’s true!
Something that can cause any kind of damage.
Like physical or emotional pain. Damage to reputation. Or monetary loss.
(There are very specific guidelines on sharing information for constructive purposes.)
We’re constantly bombarded with gossip. And it’s hard to keep our sensitivity.
But here’s something that happened to me recently.
… My wife sent me to a home improvement store to buy a ceiling fan that was on sale.
(She thought I could handle that assignment!)
There were hundreds of ceiling fans. I finally found the sign I was looking for.
But the space was empty.
I checked over and over again. No luck.
A very nice salesperson asked if I needed help.
I said, “I’m looking for this fan. But it looks like you’re…”
He laughs. And stops me in my tracks.
“Rabbi. Don’t say it. Please.
You know the power of a word? Just don’t say it.
Maybe we’ll find one”!
And we did.
… Does G-d ever send us a message? A little “tap on the shoulder”!
“Be careful. You’ve been slipping!”
There is such an idea in Jewish tradition.
But you probably need to earn such V.I.P. treatment!
Do I qualify?
My mother might have said yes!
But I doubt it!
… One thing I know for sure.
I can use that experience to become a better person.
And if next time I’m about to share a juicy piece of gossip?
I remember buying the ceiling fan. And think of those words?
“Rabbi. You know the power of a word? Please don’t say it!”
… I probably won’t say it!
All the best,