Chofetz Chaim – Introduction (3)
It seems obvious that the reason the Torah is so strict regarding this
sin is because it arouses the great accuser against the Jewish people,
and through this, many people are killed in many countries.
The Zohar in parshas Pikudei says as follows: “There is a certain
spirit that stands against habitual speakers of lashon hara. For when
people arouse lashon hara, then, that evil spirit rises above where it
is called ‘Quarrel,’ and rests upon the arousal of lashon hara people
spoke and enters the above, and this arousal of lashon hara causes
death and destruction in the world.
“Woe to those to those who arouse this lashon hara and do not guard
their mouths and tongues, for they do not know that through this
arousal below depends the arousal above, whether for good or for evil.
And all who speak rechilus against this world cause this great snake
to speak rechilus against the world, and all this is because of the
arousal of lashon hara, when its arousal is found below.”
We could say that this is the meaning of the Gemara in Erchin:
“Whoever speaks lashon hara raises sins until the heavens as it says,
“They set their mouths in heaven while their tongue walks in the
world” (Psalms 73:9). This means: Even though the tongue walks in the
world, one sets one’s mouth in heaven. So we find in Tanna Debei
Eliyahu, that the lashon hara a person speaks reaches until the throne
of glory and from this we can understand the great destruction caused
to the Jewish people by those who habitually speak lashon hara.
Another flaw caused by lashon hara is that it prevents ones holy words
from arising to the above.
The holy Zohar in parshas Pikudei says as follows: “From the spirit of
this evil depend a number of other arousers of judgment, which are
appointed to seize this evil or filthy word a person emitted from his
mouth and afterwards he emits holy words from his mouth. Woe to them,
woe to their lives. These people cause to these other arousals of
judgment above to rule and flaw the holy place. Woe to them in this
world, woe to them in the next world, for these impure spirits take
the impure word he said with his mouth, and when a person emits a holy
word from his mouth afterwards, these impure spirits precede and take
that impure word and contaminate that pure word. The person does not
merit that holy word, and as it were, the power of sanctity is
If we look deeper into this matter we will find even more, that people
extend the spiritual damage into all the worlds and decreases their
light by multiplying this negative precept hundreds and thousands of
times in the course of their lives. Because even a small sin becomes
thick as a wagon rope when it is multiplied many times as Yeshaya
complained (5:18), “Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of
nothingness and sin with cart ropes.” The is like a silk thread
multiplied hundreds of times. How much more does this apply to this
sin, which is itself very severe and people commonly transgress it
hundreds of times. Certainly, the damage wreaked above is inestimable.