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Burst of Inspiration

#6 – Don’t Hate Your Brother in Your Heart

Another lo sa’aseh that we’ll often violate when we speak lashon hara is “לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ”, do not hate your brother in your heart. Explains the Chafetz Chaim, if I speak about someone when he’s not around, but if he were around I never would speak that way, what I’m demonstrating is I don’t really have that much regard for him. Meaning, I’m willing to hurt his reputation, I’m willing to hurt his fame or his stature. What that means is I’m acting in a way of a sonai, of a hater, one who hates him. If he were here I would never speak that way and if he’s not here I do speak that way. That violates a lo sa’aseh of “”לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ.

Now, the Rambam explains to us that “”לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ, don’t hate your brother in your heart means you’re not allowed to harbor those kind of feelings in your heart. Now, sometimes people make a mistake, they say great, I’ll tell him to his face, so that’s wonderful. Explains the Rambam that it’s true that if you speak it out you may not violate “”לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ, you’re violating “לא תקום”, “לא תטור”, you’re taking revenge or you’re taking netirah. You’re certainly not fulfilling ואהבת” “לרעך כמוך.

But the actual lo sa’aseh of “”לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ means don’t harbor hatred in your heart that you’re hiding from your friend. Why? Because what you’re doing is you’re harboring hatred that he can’t even protect himself from. So if you speak about a person when he’s not around, what you’re doing is you’re harming them, you’re damaging them. Obviously you’re acting as a sonai, you’re acting as an enemy. And many, many times when we speak lashon hara we’re violating this lo sa’aseh of “”לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ, don’t hate your neighbor in your heart. And this again is another lo sa’aseh that very often a person violates.

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