Al Chet 7

Exploring the Al Chet Prayer
Rabbi Shraga Simmons

7. For the mistakes we committed before You through harsh speech.
Speech is the unique human faculty, and is the way we build bridges between each other -- and through prayer, with God. That's why abuse of speech is considered one of the gravest mistakes possible. Ask yourself:
Did I speak to anyone in a harsh and forceful manner?
Did I gossip?
Did I engage in idle chatter that wasted my time and that of others?
Did I seek opportunities to elevate others with an encouraging word?

 Al Chet # 7
44 Roots of Mistakes

by George Brock

 

The Sin:  The Mistakes committed before You through harsh speech.

  •  Speech is the way we build bridges between each other and through prayer with G-d.
  •  That is why “abuse of speech” is considered- one of the gravest mistakes possible.

The Battle:  Is between dishonor and to offend (cursings and evil speaking) and

  • Honor and respect (blessings and rebukes).

The Cause:  The arrogant do not begin with respecting the differences in others, instead  they begin with pointing them out.

The Victory:  Is when one uses honor and respect- when talking about one's differences.

  •   Unity begins with honor and respect- seeing oneself as part of a whole united as one.
  •   Respect and honor are in harmony- even in discord.
  •   Again, we must learn to teach opposites- to create balance and harmony. (Examples:)
              1)  When one argues or gets angry- Respond; I did not mean to dishonor you.
              2)  When you offend someone- Respond; I did not mean to offend you, I only hoped towin your favor.
  • Many know the meanings of words- but not the practice of words. Honor and respect should add practice to the meanings of one's words.

The Goal:  Rebukes- are to help people follow truth; not to speak evil about people or to hurt others.

  • Blessings-  are to seek the Divine to bestow virtue and to justify them no matter the failing.
  • In rebuking- one serves man and in Blessing G-d serves man. Are these not the same garment? (both serving man).

“ If we would bless those- with what we have learned and rebuke those to whom it can benefit, showing honor and respect during the process- we would eliminate the mistakes we commit before Hashem through harsh speech”.

 

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