A Lesson A Day – Definition

SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM

Definition

      One who does not exercise proper caution in matters of speech may find himself inadvertently fanning the flames of hatred. It is forbidden to mention an incident or other piece of information which might remind the listener of a situation where he was wronged by someone. To relate such information is to speak avak (lit, the dust of) rechilus. The speaker transgresses even though he has no intent of causing the listener to recall the wrongdoing; the Sages hold the speaker responsible for not having exercised proper caution in mentioning that which might reawaken ill feelings.

SEFER SHMIRAS HALOSHON

Choose Your Company

      Scripture states: “Withdraw yourselves from the man whose life’s breath is in his nostrils, for with what is he deemed worthy?’’ (Yeshayahu 2:22). Zohar comments (Parashas Tetzaveh):

      With these words, the Holy One, Blessed is He, commands and cautions man to guard himself from those who have turned away from the path of good to that of evil, who have contaminated their souls … And how is man to know whose company he should seek and whose he should avoid? By gauging an individual’s anger, one can determine what sort of person he is. If when anger comes upon a person, he guards the sanctity of his soul and does not allow it to be uprooted and replaced by that “foreign god” [that is anger], then he is a person whom it is fit to be near. However, if he does not guard the sanctity of his soul, allowing it to become uprooted so that the “other side” can dwell in its place, surely he is a person who rebels against his Master, and it is forbidden to seek his company …
He is the person who “tears apart his soul in his anger” (Iyov 18:4); he tears apart and uproots his soul because of his anger, and allows a foreign god to dwell within himself.

      Regarding such a person it is written, “Withdraw yourselves from the man whose life’s breath is ‘in his nostrils’,” [meaning,] whose sacred soul is torn apart and contaminated by his anger .1

      Thus, it is imperative that one rid his heart of anger so that he will be saved from Gehinnom and will merit entry into the World to Come.

      1. In Scripture, the term “charon af” denotes outwardly displayed, flared-up anger. The expression metaphorically refers to flaming nostrils (see Rashi to Shemos 15:8).

Taken from my
A Lesson A Day
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