Shmirat haLoshon - Creating Long Term Relationships

            This post is dedicated in merit that Hershel ben Etya Sarah have a yeshuah.

Elisheva Maline 

The secret behind long lasting (and functioning) relationships is a well timed silence. People get angry and sometimes, many of us are the guilty holders of moments we lost it and blurted things we knew we'd come to regret later. Meaningless phrases like, "You never loved me!" or "I never loved you!" etc. often get hurled back and forth. Matters need not spiral out of control this way, though. If one takes the mantra, "Lose the drama, keep your mama" seriously, he will find himself heaving a sigh of relief after his anger has subsided. 

That being said, the quality among long term relationships stems from those whose bonding experiences are not just about self control. They are rife with loved filled glances and quiet humility. By humility, I mean, those moments when one opts for silence instead of shouting his actions from the rooftops. The reader might ask, "Wouldn't it be better to let one's beloved know that he took out the garbage or that he remembered to remind her parents to call her on her birthday? After all, powerful connections are formed from these every day communications." Yes, perhaps that is true. However, the idea of giving from a place of selflessness has no need for explanation. The receiving party can already feel their affection; that's stronger than words.

People have speculated over the origins of Rav Yisrael Meir haKohen's pen name, the Chafetz Chaim. After all, a Torah scholar is usually called after the best of his works, which in the Chofetz Chaim's case was the the Mishnah Berura. A story that is little known to the general public sheds light on the mystery. During the writing process of the Mishnah Berura (a clarifying of the Torah laws in a section of the Shulchan Aruch) the Chofetz Chaim used to sneak into the nearby forest of Radin, his Polish home town, and cry till the soil beneath him became wet and muddy. He would beseech G-d over and over, "Please don't let people know that I am a learned man. I do not wish for the outcomes of this work to allow me monetary or honorary gain. It was all for you G-d." His strongest desire was to give to a place of complete nullification. From this wellspring of unconditional love came the compilation of laws on Shmirat haLoshon.    

Less then a century later, a wonderful scholar by the name of Rabbi Yehudah Zev Segal earned the nickname 'the modern day Chofetz Chaim' thanks to the tremendous love he felt his fellow man. Whenever a person suffering from personal tragedy i.e. the death of a child, divorce, or financial issues etc., approached Rav Segal, the latter enveloped him in a blanket of warmth. While Rav Yehudah wept with those who were in pain, he laughed with them in their rejoicings too. Where did his transcendental ability to feel for the other stem from? His tremendous efforts in Shmirat haLoshon (guarding oneself from evil speech). The Rav took the mitzvah (commandment) so much to heart, in fact, that he compiled a day to day program for learning the laws of Shmirat haLoshon. His ability to exercise control over his speech allowed him to become a receptacle for others. After all, where loshon hara (evil speech) splinters relationships, Shmirat haLoshon creates bonds. May we continue to follow the teachings of our sages and work to make this world a better place. 

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