#5 – A Chillul Hashem

Another lo sa’aseh that’s very common when speaking lashon hara is “לֹא תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי”, do not cause a chillul Hashem. We are commanded to be mekadesh Hashem, to bring honor, to bring glory to Hashem. We are commanded not to bring a chillul Hashem.

Explains the Chafetz Chaim that when a Jew acts in certain ways automatically we are representatives of Hashem, we are Hashem’s chosen nation, Hashem’s chosen people, and there are certain activities that we engage in that are automatically either a kiddush Hashem or a chillul Hashem.

Explains the Chafetz Chaim that there’s no innate ta’avah, desire, for lashon hara. I may have a desire for certain activities, eating, procreating; there are various activities that I have a nefesh habehami, an innate animal drive towards them. There is no innate drive towards lashon hara. And even though there might be some occasions when there’s a certain story that you just have to tell, it just wants to burst out of your lips, the vast, vast majority of the reason why we speak lashon hara is just whatever, I want to tell you the story, it’s interesting, it’s funny, it’s cute.

Explains the Chafetz Chaim, don’t you recognize, that’s a chillul Hashem. Why? Hashem said don’t do it. Hashem gave 17 lo sa’asehs that revolve around lashon hara and 14 asehs. Hashem says don’t, warns us against it and b’shat nefesh, with total abandon, you go ahead and open your mouth and prattle.

Explains the Chafetz Chaim that is a chillul Hashem. What you’re saying is G-d’s words don’t matter to me, G-d’s prohibitions don’t matter to me, I don’t care. And even though we unfortunately don’t understand the gravity of the situation and even though we don’t understand the extent of the sin, the Torah warns us against it time after time after time and the net result is that almost every time you speak lashon hara it’s a chillul Hashem. Why? Because I’m saying that which the Torah says is forbidden I don’t care about. That which Hashem cares about I don’t care about. And almost automatically you violate “לֹא תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי”.