This post is dedicated in merit that Hershel ben Etya Sarah have a yeshuah.
By Shoshana Rosa
The Chofez Chaim dedicated his life to showing klal yisrael (the Jewish nation) the importance of guarding one's tongue from evil speech. After all, the root of all evils (such as jealousy, war, and divorce) is loshon hara (evil speech). One who trains his positive lens upon others will live longer (or at the very least, live happier). "Who is the man who desires life? The one who loves days and sees good therein" (Psalms 34).
For the first, and hopefully last, time, I perused several newspapers for information about the upcoming elections. My goal: picking out bits of slanderous speech as examples on what-not-to-do for my article. I didn't have to go far. The daily jaw as well as the social media happen to be swamps from where loshon hara is served up every morning for breakfast. The Chofez Chaim says if someone (or something) is wicked i.e. holding ground for aveirot (evil deeds which bring one further away from G-d), one is allowed, nay, one is obligated, to disown it.
I was also dismayed to find that the opinions of Americans regarding the presidential candidates are at a low ebb. Moreover, the runners themselves spend a good portion of time low balling each other. Apart from the fact that newspapers are not what I'd call classy reading, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz fight with the emotional intelligence of middle school children. It's common knowledge that both make repeated use of nicknames like "Lyin' Ted" and "a nasty guy" as well as other absurdities such as insulting each others spouses, "...going to spill the beans on your wife."
Oy, to what has humanity boiled down? Candidates for presidency used to have campaigns which smeared the competition for them. Apparently the 21st century has ushered in a batch of... let's call them Not Very Nice People. At this point, when I ask who they're voting for, friends and family answer, "The lesser of several evils." When the guys (and girl) running for leader of the United States start dragging America's name through the mud it doesn't reflect well on the country. After all, what is a country's reputation worth if its leaders work the polls by throwing spit balls at each other? It's sillier than the height of chuzpah, to use a Jewish term.
What we've come to expect from reality TV is now the reality of presidential debate. Stay tuned to see who reigns sovereign over one of the world's greatest free countries as well as outstanding examples of moral fiber. Or, better yet, just get the news second hand.
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