Moshe tells our nation that Hashem will wage war for us and as long as we remain silent.’”
What does being silent in this case entails? It’s two things: tefillah and loshon hora.
The posuk says, “You have been shown [in order] to know that Hashem, He is the G-d; there is none other besides Him.”
If one can’t refrain from talking with his friends when he’s supposed to be conversing with Hashem, then how on earth can he expect to know our Creator?
In fact, the Kaf HaChayim says that if a person cannot control his talking in shul, it is preferable that he daven at home and not attend shul at all. In other words, “If you come to shul to talk (to your friends), where do you go to daven?”
The Creator says, “What does Hashem, your G-d, ask of you? Only to fear Hashem, Your G-d…”
Where else do, we mention fear? In the posuk, “My Sanctuary you shall fear.” To which the Seforno explains, “This commandment applies to all shuls and study halls that, in exile; take the place of the Sanctuary.” However, it’s not to fear the actual shuls and study halls that this commandment applies for. Rather, it’s to fear the One who commanded regarding these places. Our Creator tells us, “I wish that they would retain their present attitude to fear Me… meaning, that they serve Me with fear.”
How do we serve Hashem with fear? It’s one word: silence. As it says, “To You, silence is praise.” When we are silent and only converse with our Creator, we are praising Him!
Secondly, is speaking loshon hora. The Medrash says that if Jews are worshipping idols, but they live in peace, then in Heaven, the Accuser is not able to indict them.
Where’s the proof? The Gemara states the following:
“The generation of Dovid was all righteous people, but because there were speakers of rechilus (spreading rumors about one another) among them, they would go out to war and suffer causalities… However, the generation of Achav was idolaters; yet because there was no rechilus among them, they would go out to war and win. Why? Because they didn’t say rechilus (or loshon hora) about one another – they were at peace with one another
If one speaks during tefillah, then what on earth is he gaining by coming to shul other than to desecrate our Creator’s Name in public?! Regarding one who speaks loshon hora, Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai says, “If one has transgressed lashon hora his prayer does not go up in front of G-d because there rests on it a spirit of defilement.”
Why do people, to this day, talk during tefillah and speak loshon hora?
The Gemara says, “There are things that stand in heights of the universe, but which people treat lightly.” An example of this is tefillah which rises up to Heaven. A few pages later, the Gemara says that tefillah is one of the four activities which require strengthening. Rashi explains, “A person should strengthen himself in this constantly with all his energy.” As Dovid HaMelech states, “Hope to Hashem, strengthen yourself and He will give you courage and hope to Hashem.” This means that one must constantly strengthen himself during prayer to insure proper concentration.
Is it just tefillah? What’s the Gemara really trying to tell us? Anything that’s a spiritual matter, people tend to throw to the side. For example hilchos tefillah, hilchos loshon hora, hilchos v’dabeir davar, hilchos sheimos and hilchos berachos etc.
Therefore, it’s crucial that one familiarize himself with these halachos. As the Chidah says, “The only way a person will be saved from his yeitzer hara is through learning halacha.”
No one is perfect and people make mistakes. As Shlomo HaMelech says, “For there is no man so completely righteous on earth that he (always) does good and never sins.” However, to use the expression, “Ignorance is bliss” as an excuse is contrary to a Torah abiding Jew. In the words of Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz:
“Ignorance is not bliss; knowledge is of the utmost importance.” In Judaism, “Ignorance is not bliss; it’s a VIP ticket to eternal shame after departing from this world.”
Regarding tefillah, it’s worthwhile to learn Days Are Coming by Rabbi Moshe Silberstein, with oneself, family or are as a group in yeshiva; so, that we can prepare properly for the Redemption!
Dedicated in memory of Miriam Liba bas R’ Aharon – a tzadeikes in our time; Avraham Yosef ben Meir Dovid, Dovid Tzvi ben Yosef Yochanan, Kayla Rus bas Bunim Tuvia, Chana Tziporah bas HaRav Nochum Yehuda HaKohein, Dovid ben Uri HaLevi, Sarah bas Henoch Avraham, Dovid Avraham ben Chiya Kehos, Rafael Chaim Yitzchak Yaakov ben Binyamin Yehudah, Berinah Z’latah bas Reuven Yitzchak, Yosef ben Moshe HaLevi, Rafael Shachar ben Aharon, Aliza bas Henreias, Moshe ben Aliza, Yitzchak Hillel ben Aliza, Henreias Leah bas Aliza, Tuvyah Shlomo ben Naftali Tzvi HaKohein, Altah Soshah Devorah bas Aryeh Leibush, Mashah Tzivyah bas R’ Shlomo Zalman, Shmuel Dovid HaLevi ben R’ Yosef Moshe HaLevi, Yehudah Ruvein ben Meir, Esther Perel bas R’ Shlomo and as a merit for a complete recovery of Chayah Malka bas Bas-Sheva, Menachem ben Rivka, Rivka bas Esther Rochel, Shilat bas Louza Aliza, Daniel ben Louza Aliza, Avraham ben Louza Aliza, Yosef ben Ahuva Masuda and among the other sick ones of our nation.
To view this article with footnotes, go to https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/96503. For comments or feedback, please email [email protected]