Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Shmiras Halashon

Dear friends and family,

Thank you for all your tefillos and for all of the tehillim that you have been saying individually or with the tzibbur.

At this time, we would like ask people to commit to learning shmiras halashon and starting a machsom l'fi as a zechus for Chaim. Machsom l'fi groups are arranged as a successful way to grow in the mitzvah of shmiras halashon and to bring merit to someone in need. A person who joins a machsom l'fi is very careful to guard their speech for 2 hours, specifically to avoid all types of negative speech such as lashon hara (gossip), rechilus (slander), demeaning words or anger.Each machsom l'fi group is made up of 9 people who take upon themselves 2 hours a day so that the merit created by the machson l'fi is a force throughout the day.

There have been many great yeshuos that have come about when people learn and practice shmiras halashon. So now at this time we are asking people to commit to refrain from speaking and listening to lashon hara for a 2 hour time slot during the day for 2 weeks. By pushing ourselves to have compassion on others and speak kindly of them, we hope that Hashem will grant heavenly compassion and a refuah shleimah for Chaim.

To join this program, you can either commit to not speak loshon hara for a specific amount of time (as described above) OR you can set aside time daily to review the halachos of shmiras halashon. Ideally, one should do both, but you should only take upon yourself what you know you can commit to,

To commit to joining the machsom l'fi program, below is a spreadsheet to sign up for the machsom l'fi with instructions as to what to do.

To commit to learning shmiras halashon daily, there are different ways to do so either by book, phone or email. Each one divides the halachos into small sections that make it convenient to learn a halacha a day.

By Book:

1) The Chofetz Chaim: A Lesson a Day, by Rav Shimon Finkelman and Rav Yitzchak Berkowitz (ArtScroll); or

2) The Concise Chafetz Chaim: A Page a Day, by R' Asher Wasserman (Feldheim).

By Email:

A daily email sent by the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Center that contains a daily halacha about shmiras halashon. You can send an email to to subscribe.

By Phone:

Call at 11am 212-990-8000 pin 3505# for Rabbi Shapiro's shmiras halashon lesson or call 845-356-6665 pin 3115# at anytime.

We encourage everyone to set aside a fixed time everyday to learn one halachah regarding shmiras halashon, either individually, with a chavrusa or as a larger group, as a zechus for Chaim and all other cholei yisrael.

Machsom L'fi sign up -

Below are some important Q & A you may have...

What does the obligation entail?

1. Choose the 2 hour time slot in which you will be careful not to speak or hear any time of negative speech

2. There is a daily kaballah that you may say at the beginning of your 2 hour time slot. Forgetting to say the kaballah does not invalidate your machsom l'fi; the most important thing is that you don't engage in any type of negative speech. You should, however, say the kaballah the first time you start you begin a machsom l'fi.

What should I do if I speak or hear lashon hara during my 2 hours?

One suggestion is to fine yourself in some way, such as giving money to tzedakah or adding more time when your watch your speech.

Will it work to the detriment of the person for whom I am dedicating my hours if I fail to keep my hours properly?

Your mishmeres can only add to the person's zechus. It cannot take away from it. It is still better to do something than nothing at all.

All this information has been taken from the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation website with their permission


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