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Friday, June 6

The Weekly Shtikle - Beha'alosecha

    We are commanded to remember the episode with Miriam that appears at the end of this week's parsha. Part of this remembrance is being careful not to speak lashon hara, which was the cause of Miriam's punishment. However, if we look at the pasuk, when HaShem rebukes Miriam and Aharon He says (12:8) "Madua lo yaraisem ledaber b'avdi beMoshe," how could you not be fearful of talking badly about my servant Moshe?! R' Yaakov Weinberg, zt"l, points out that this pasuk insinuates that the main issue with Miriam and Aharon was that they had spoken about Moshe, but if it were about someone else it would not have been so serious. But we know this not to be true for it is forbidden to speak lashon hara about anyone.
    R' Weinberg explains that this gives us an important insight into the essence of lashon hara. The principal mistake that one makes when he speaks lashon hara is a failure to realize the virtues of the person about whom he is speaking. Miriam and Aharon's error was to a more grave degree. It was their failure to recognize Moshe's greatness that allowed them to rationalize speaking badly about him. Had they realized the full greatness of Moshe, they never would have done so. It is this specific aspect of their misjudgment that HaShem focused on in His rebuke. Likewise, every Jew has his own inherent greatness. Anyone who speaks lashon hara about his fellow Jew fails to realize the true greatness of that person, at whatever level it may be, and therefore speaks badly about them.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Al Pi Cheshbon: Piles of Quail 
Dikdukian: The Impure

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