SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Introduction: Curses
This segment concludes the Chofetz Chaim’s introduction to his sefer. Its overriding message is that this seemingly innocuous sin called loshon hora is so destructive to our service of Hashem that it is impossible to ignore its repercussions. The Chofetz Chaim concludes with his closing argument — a section on curses. Not only does a person stunt his spiritual growth and amass countless sins for himself by speaking loshon hora; he actually makes himself the object of two curses written in the Torah.
The first is “Cursed is one who strikes his fellow in secret” (Devarim 27:24). As Rashi explains, the speaker of loshon hora, who whispers derogatory information about others in private, is the subject of this verse.
If a commandment has become irrelevant to a person so that he totally ignores it, then he is included in the curse “Cursed is he who does not uphold the words of this Torah to do them” (Devarim 27:26), and he is classified as a “rebel with regard to one sin.” When a person speaks loshon hora freely and without restraint, it is as if he is saying, “Hashem, You gave me many important things to do — Shabbos, kashrus, Torah study — but shmiras haloshon just does not fit into my particular lifestyle.” Regarding such an attitude, the Chofetz Chaim states,”his sin is too great to be borne” (c.f. Bereishis 4:13) — an expression used by Scripture and our Sages for very severe sins.
The Chofetz Chaim concludes: “And I ask you, my dear reader, to read and reread this Introduction, because more than anything else, it will help you succeed with shmiras haloshon.”
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