The Great Exchange

We have learned before that when someone speaks Lashon Hara about you, all of your sins are transferred to the speaker and all of his mitzvos are transferred to you.  Quite the exchange!

However, halachah teaches that if someone asks you for forgiveness, you shouldn’t be cruel, and you should forgive them (see Shulchan Aruch 606:1). Therefore, if someone spoke lashon hara about you, but then asks for you forgiveness, you should forgive him.

The Ben Ish Chai zt’l asks: The lashon hara that was spoken against you redeemed you
from all your aveiros and gave you the speaker’s mitzvos. Who would want to forgive and lose all that good?! Wouldn’t it be wiser not to forgive the speaker of lashon hara, so you can remain with his mitzvos, and he remains with your aveiros?

The Ben Ish Chai answers that by forgiving your fellow man, all your sins will be atoned for, as the Gemara teaches “כל המעביר על מדותיו מעבירין לו על כל פשעיו” – Whoever forgives others, his sins are forgiven” (Yoma 23). So by forgiving, you will still remain without sins, so you may as well forgive your fellow man.

And although you will lose the mitzvos that you earned, nevertheless, forgiving is also a great mitzvah. Because by forgiving someone who spoke lashon hara about you, you are performing the mitzvah of Hashavas Aveida, returning lost items (because you are returning to him the mitzvos he lost due to his lashon hara). The reward for Hashavas Aveida is in accordance with the value of the item returned. So when one forgives, and gives back all the mitzvos he earned from the lashon hara, he will earn a great mitzvah of Hashavas Aveida.  Therefore Shulchan Aruch advises that one shouldn’t be cruel, and he should forgive his fellow man, because by forgiving you don’t lose anything at all. ~ R’ Elimelech Biderman Shlita

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2 Responses to The Great Exchange

  1. Lisa says:

    Good morning -thank you for all the daily chizuk -can you please resend me the one with Rabbi Belsky and “you are my sunshine“ thank you -take good care -stay safe and healthy Sent from my iPhone


    • Emuna Daily says:

      Thank you. You might be confusing this site with another. I never posted that story, but do know what you are referring to. This is from R’ Yechiel Spero:

      R’ Belsky was asked, “What is it that your mother did that enabled you to become a Gadol b’Yisroel?” You are probably wondering. Did he say that she was extremely tznius? Did he say that she would sit and recite Tehilim all day long and cry for his wellbeing? Did she light Shabbos candles early? Did she bake challah with extra special kavanah? And all the wonderful things mothers do for their children. But that wasn’t his answer. His answer was, “My mother would hold me and sing to me, ‘You are my sunshine, my only sunshine..”. When she sang that to him, it made him feel very beloved and that he can accomplish anything.

      When you infuse someone else with love, when you tell someone else that you believe in them, they can become great. This is not only a message for parents and teachers, but a message for all of us. If you want someone to accomplish, for example a friend that is down and out, they need help to accomplish what they need to in life, then infuse them with love. Tell them that, “You are my sunshine”; “You make my day”; “I believe in you”; You light up my world”. And when you do that, you infuse them with a belief in themselves that they can accomplish anything.

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