Words of Chizuk – July 23rd, 2014
l’iluy nishmat Yuval Heiman who was just killed in Aza.
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Today was anti-lashon-hara day here in Har Nof. Some of you may be wondering what on earth I am talking about. Others are familiar with this “holiday” that is now “celebrated” all over the world, from New York to Yerushalaim to Jo’berg and everyplace in between. The story begins with two women who initially didn’t even know of each other’s existence. One was an Israeli woman from a Chassidic family deep in the heart of the jungles of Meah Shearim. She decided to create a new and higher level of awareness of the power of speech. What inspired her was her diagnosis. She was informed that she was suffering from a form of malignancy that is invariably fatal, and she decided that the best response would be to make every day she had in this world a day worthy of the gift of life. She recognized that negative speech is addictive, and is a cause of veritable spiritual death. She was young, enthusiastic, and not particularly subtle. The word spread like wildfire because it was true; your own positivity changes the way you look at life. When you tell others random and unnecessary negative information, you develop a cynacle and toxic attitude towards the people you encounter, and you become wary of even the people who are closest to you because you see their faults in fire engine red, while their virtues are left as background grey. You also change the awareness of your willing or unwilling audience. They find themselves filtering out idealism and optimism because they come to accept a more “grounded” view of others, one that is totally corrupted by the grain of truth in the negative information that is handed out with such generosity. The other woman was my dear friend Carol (Tzippa) Weinberger. She too saw the problem. As a therapist, she heard case after case of people who destroy themselves, their spouses, and their potential for any sort of relationship through negativity. She recognized that the villain is lashon hara, which literally means an evil tongue. She took her incredible organizational skills and saw to it that about a week before the Big Day everyone would receive a large poster sized chart in their mailbox. It would present you with a map of where classes were held in Yerushalaim and later anywhere in Israel. The classes begin in the morning, and go all day. There are classes in Hebrew, English, French and in later years even Spanish. They take place deep in Frumland, but also in outlying areas where you would not have known that the demand would be as great as it is. Virtually every area of communication is discussed on every level. There are even children’s events (and events that take place in the Old Age residences).The climax of the day is a major event with world class speakers in Binyanei Umah, Yerushalaim’s largest event hall. One day is Hebrew and the next day is English. The hall is always sold out except for the seats on the very highest level where the speakers look like ants. Since Carol’s passing, the large nighttime events still take place, but at this point volunteers from each participating neighborhood or area organize their own events. No more posters leaving you in awe of how fast what has turned into a movement caught on, and how powerful the message it carries is. Neve is the location of the Har Nof English classes. The dining room was full, as women of every age and every walk of life streamed in to hear me, Rabbi Nissel and Rabbi Katz. The Boston synagogue and various other halls are open for the Hebrew programs.
What is this really about?
Accepting the Yoke of Self Sacrifice
Rebbetzen Heller gives this class just moments after the tragic news broke of the murder of the three boys. Please download and share her words of guidance through this dark time.
Click the below button to start or download the MP3 from http://s3.amazonaws.com/audio.tziporahheller.com/Heller06-30-14.mp3