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The Gaon's Will

Excerpt from The Ethical Will of the Vilna Gaon:

A person stands judgment for every expression.

Even a passing remark is not ignored. 

Forbidden speech is the worst sin, as our Sages have stated: "These

are the sins whose fruits are exacted from the person in this world,

while the principal remains for him in the World to Come... and loshon 

hora is equivalent to them all."

What more need be said concerning this most severe of sins?

"All man's toil is for his mouth" (Koheles 6:7)

 - the Sages comment (Koheles Rabbah 6:6) that all the mitzvos and

Torah study of a person do not offset sinful speech.

"How should man occupy himself as his pursuit in this world? He should

strive to emulate a mute (Chullin 89a), and press his lips together 

like two millstones."  No a single evil utterance escapes from being 

recorded Above - Heavenly angels forever are sent to everyone to 

record every utterance.

"For a bird of the sky will carry the sound, and a winged creature 

will relate the matter" (Koheles 10:20).

"Let not your mouth bring guilt on your flesh and do not tell the

 emissary that it was an error" (ibid. 5:5).

Other Torah Thoughts

Torah Thought for 12/23/97:

to e-mail Steven Stein