Chofetz Chaim – Introduction (5)
Therefore, I girded my loins like a warrior, and with the help of Hashem who grants man wisdom, I gathered all the laws of lashon hora and rechilus in a book. I collected them from every scattered place.
I divided the book into two sections. 1) The halachos of lashon hara. 2) The halachos of rechilus. Afterwards, I divided the laws into chapters, and each chapter into sections to facilitate comprehension, and in almost every section I added examples connected with it, in order that the reader should see how to behave in practice.
I called the book Chafetz Chaim after the verse (Psalms 34:13), “Who is the man who desires life, who loves days to see good. Guard your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile.” In order that the reader should not be overwhelmed by reading every law and its source due the lengthiness that sometimes results I divided the book into two. Above is the halacha resulting after studying the material. This is called Mekor Chaim, because a person’s speech comes from the part of the soul called the Chaya as it was written (Genesis 2:7), “And Adam became a living soul,” where the Targum translates, “A speaking spirit.” The commentary around is called Be’er Mayim Chaim, because it is the well from which I drew the inner Mekor Chaim.
Know, my brother, that I even showed the source of simple things in Be’er Mayim Chayim, in order that it should be clear to all that I did not write this book with the Middas Chassidus, but according to halacha.