By Moshe at ilovetorah.com
There is a sense of stillness in the air. The nine days of mourning have begun and one can feel the blood and still heartbeat of our nation. When will Moshiach finally come? When will all the hate end?
One of the main reasons why the Bais Hamikdosh (Temple) was destroyed was because of Loshon Hara, evil slander. If it weren’t for this one sin, Klal Yisrael (the Jewish nation) would be in Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel) bringing korbanos (offerings) to Hashem. It is interesting to note that during the times of King Achav, when idol worship, the worst sin imaginable, was widespread, Klal Yisrael won all of its wars against every nation. When Saul was King, the children of Israel lost many wars. They were on an extremely high level when it came to Torah learning. It is said that the children in the generation of King Saul were able to give forty eight explanations on each pasuk (sentence) in Tanach (the bible, consisting of Torah, Navi’im, and Kesubim). If the children were able to do this, could you imagine what the adults knew? They were not guilty of idolatry. So how could it be that B’nei Yisrael was zocheh (deserving) to win the wars under King Achav and not under King Saul? The generation of King Achav never spoke Lashon Hara and that of King Saul did.
When a person sins, his avairos (sins) go completely unnoticed by the Satan until he speaks loshon hara. As soon as you speak loshon hara, the Satan brings your “file” of mitzvos and avairos to the Bais Din Shel Malah (Tribunal court). You bring judgement upon yourself. If you have not done many acts of chessed and kindness, the acts that can reverse the bad judgment decreed by Lashon Hara, then you will be judged not only for the horrible act of speaking badly against a fellow Jew, but also for all of your other avairos. Should you not speak loshon hara, you will still have to do teshuvah (repentance), but there is a good chance you will not get punished.
During these nine days of mourning, let us remember the mitzvah of loving one’s fellow. We should be far away from speaking negatively about anyone, and we should learn our lesson from the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash. Let us begin to train ourselves to see the good points in people.
The holy Nikolsberg Rebbe, shlita, was asked by a chassid (follower) how he could attain the ability to see spiritually. The Rebbe responded, “To see spiritually, you must first look at every person seeing only his good. Having perfected this, you will be able to see everything a person did from the day he was born, and the spiritual worlds will be open to you.”
If someone does something to upset you, make up a fairytale in your mind as to how the person really meant well. Reprogram yourself to not be angry in your heart but to rather show patience. There is not a single person in the world that has control over the events that happen to you. They all come from Hashem. When things do not go your way, do not try to force them. Find an alternate path. Know that Hashem is there to guide you, and talk your problems out to Him. When you sin, Hashem is slow to become angry with you. He patiently awaits your repentance. Be the same way with your fellow and hope that he will someday apologize. Let us teach ourselves to love and let us unlearn all the hate!