On Sunday, August 21, Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, CEO of Chazaq and rav of Congregation Charm Circle in KGH, shared an enlightening shiur on the power of sh’miras ha’lashon for a merit for a rfuah sh’leimah for Netanel Shai ben Devorah. This was the Number 45 shiur of this weekly shiur on sh’miras ha’lashon, which was started last August by the grandfather of Netanel Shai, Tuvia Sablosky, as a z’chus for this baby who was born with his jaw locked tight so he cannot eat, etc. The Biala Rebbe advised the family to do these shiurim for a z’chus for a r’fuah sh’leimah.

Rabbi Meirov began by stating that, “Our words are very, very powerful!” He quoted from Mishlei, written by Shlomo HaMelech, that life and death are in the hand of the tongue. Rabbi Meirov added that one who watches his mouth will be saved from difficulties.

In T’hilim, David HaMelech writes, “Who wants life, guard your tongue from speaking evil…”

This is something we have to work on. The Chofetz Chaim taught that there are 17 sins associated with lashon ha’ra. Rabbi Meirov taught that words are like an arrow, and once the arrow is shot, you can’t bring it back. He shared the famous story of the man who asked his rebbe how he could do t’shuvah for speaking lashon ha’ra. The rebbe told him to go take a feather pillow and climb to a high place and scatter the feathers from the pillow. The man did this and came back to the rebbe and said that now he felt he was cleansed. The rebbe said that now he had to go gather all those feathers in order to be cleansed of the sin. This is impossible, and sadly this is what happens with lashon ha’ra. “The sin of lashon ha’ra is difficult to rectify. It is something we don’t take lightly. We have to work on it.”

Rabbi Meirov pointed out that the statement that life and death are in the hand of the tongue is so true today when a person can use his hand to text, blog, or email lashon ha’ra. How many lives are ruined by the click of a button? One click can ruin a person’s reputation forever.

The word chayim in Hebrew is spelled with a ches, then two yuds in the middle, and then a mem at the end. The ches stands for cham or passion or energy. A person who has passion is alive. Then switching the letters at the end to mem ches, you have the word moach, which means intellect. A person needs to use his intellect to serve Hashem. The two middle letters stand for Hashem’s name. This is the most important part. You have to use your intellect and passion to serve Hashem.

Also, Rabbi Meirov pointed out that if a person is b’simchah, then he won’t speak against others. Robby Newman says if you want to change your mazal, then the key is in the Hebrew letters of the word mazal. Mem is makom. You have to be in the right place. Zayin is time. You have to be in the right place at the right time. And Lamed, most importantly the lashon the words we say affect our mazal.

There is also a lesson in the alef-beis. The letters samech, ayin, pei, and tzadi teach a lesson in sh’miras ha’ lashon. Samech is closed off. Keep your ayin, eyes, closed from forbidden things, and your peh, your mouth, closed to forbidden things, and then you will be a tzadik, a righteous person.

The word nega, blemish, and the word oneg, pleasure, have the same Hebrew letters: ayin, nun, and gimel. The ayin is in a different place in both words because how you look at things is the difference between pleasure or a blemish. A person has to work on himself to see the good.

When working on sh’miras ha’lashon, we must remember that Hashem sees and hears everything, and all our actions are written in a book. Yitzchak wanted to bless Eisav, and Rivkah said: No, the blessing goes to Yaakov. It says in the pasuk, “Ha’kol kol Yaakov, and the hands are the hands of Eisav.” Our strength and power come from our voice, our mouth. This is how we fight other nations.

Rav Ovadia Yosef taught a lesson from the Pesach Seder. It says the wise son what he says, the wicked son what he says. We learn from here that the characteristics of a person are determined by his words.

The Zohar teaches that whenever we speak, our words go up to Heaven. When we speak lashon ha’ra, an angel grabs those words and puts them aside; but when we daven, those words are thrown into our prayers so that lashon ha’ra ruins our prayers.

He concluded that these shiurim should bring a r’fuah sh’leimah to Netanel Shai ben Devorah, and we have to ask Hashem for what we want and we have to know how to ask. We have to watch our mouths and know the power of our words and our thoughts. We should merit to see redemption speedily in our days.

By Susie Garber