#19 – Speak Words of Torah

Another mitzvas aseh which is almost always something that a person violates by speaking lashon hara is “וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם”. We are obligated to speak words of Torah. Every word of Torah that we speak is a mitzvas aseh in itself. And obviously if we are speaking words of lashon hara we are not speaking words of Torah, and therefore we violate this aseh.

Explains the Chafetz Chaim, there will be many times when a person can’t speak in learning, and he’s excused for it. If you have to earn a living, you have to do various things, obviously you can’t be always speaking in learning. But there’s no complaint against you because you’re busy, you have other obligations, and you’re serving Hashem in different ways. But if you’re speaking lashon hara, you’re not serving Hashem. You’re not earning a living, you’re not taking care of your other obligations. What you’re doing is you’re just babbling on and not only are you violating all of the regular lo sa’asehs, additionally you’re being mevatel this mitzvas aseh of limud haTorah.

And explains the Chafetz Chaim that this is what the Gra says is the meaning of din v’cheshbon. At the end of our days each of us stand in front of the Heavenly Tribunal and we have to answer to a din and a cheshbon. What’s a din and what’s a cheshbon? Explains the Vilna Gaon, din is judgment. I’m judged for what I did right, for what I did wrong. That’s strictly for what I did at that moment. The cheshbon is a calculation of what I could have done during that moment. So for instance, if I speak lashon hara, one issue is I’m speaking lashon hara. Additionally, I could have been speaking in learning. There are two separate calculations, one is what I actually did and the other is if I didn’t do that where would I be? What could I have accomplished?

Explains the Chafetz Chaim, that’s exactly what the Torah is saying here. Meaning to say, “וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם” is a full mitzvas aseh d’oraisa. There will be many times when I’m excused, but certainly if I’m speaking lashon hara then I’m going to have to answer din and cheshbon. Number one, you spoke lashon hara. Number two, if you didn’t you could have been speaking in words of Torah. Oftentimes you’re excused, but certainly not when you speak lashon hara. And automatically you violate this mitzvas aseh when you speak lashon hara.