Sunday, 17 May 2009

Sefer Shmiras Halashon - A Protoype for Other Works?

Originally posted on Avodah during Hol Hamoed Passover

Shmiras Halashon deserves a longer review, but on Chol Hamo'ed I'll be briefer...

The sefer Shmiras Halashon is a tremendous compendium of machshava on why NOT to speak lashon hora, motzie sheim ra, and rechilus. Many may criticise it as "over-the-top" but when taking in small daily chunks as recommended by the limud yomi it makes a profound impact upon one's Machshava

I would likve to divert attention from the MAIN and most obviosu thrust of the work to two "fringe benefits" that imho make this Sefer a real treasure and a pardigm.

Treasure: Aside from the mussar and preaching against gossip, etc. I found the author's Call for Ahavas Yisroel even MORE compelling. It is really difficult to be 100% vigilant in our speech yomam volayla. However, we CAN turn our hearts around and learn to love our fellow Jew and to give him/her the benfit of the doubt "betzedek tishpot amisecha" As such this work's exhortations to love each other strikes a resonatn chord with me

Paradigm: This sefer is a treasury of Aggadah, Midrash, and Zohar on its topic. Bialik's Sefar Ha'Aggadah attempted to do the same for a number of subjects. However, it is quite limited in depth. The Shimras Halashon is a re-arrangement and a re-sequencing of classic Midrashic style texts the way the Mishneh Torah and Shulchan Aruch did a resequencing of Talmudic and Halachic Texts.

I would therefore love to see more sefarim based upon this model addressing different topics. The number of topics coulb bes nearly infinte but here are some
  1. Iyyun Tefillah
  2. Chaggim
  3. Business ethics [eg Moznei Tzedek, fair treatment of customers]
  4. Managment Ethics [lo sallin p'ulas sachi, fair treatment of employees]
  5. Bikku Cholim
  6. Nichum Aveilim
Just to name a few. And the Halachos need not be repeated. The ikkar goal would be to produce a systematic, and topical compendium of Aggadah, Midrash and Zohar in the same mold as the Shemiras Halashon, only the topics would differ.

The Sefer Mishnah Brurah has set a paradigm in designing modern Halachic comentaries [e.g. Badei Hashulchan] The Shmiras Halashon could do the same for machshava

Kol Tuv - Best Regards,

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