Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

22 Av 5759 - August 4, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Hashomrot - One Phase of Shemiras Haloshon All Year Round

While the Yom Iyun on Shemiras Haloshon was covered in the body of this paper, we would be terribly remiss in not reporting at least one facet of this year-round preoccupation for us, females of Am Yisroel. It is our `baby,' after all. We have chosen "Hashomrot" for girls.

A telephone interview with the coordinator of the Kabbolas Shabbos groups (we cannot mention her name -- everyone remains anonymous and no one takes credit for anything! But we can provide her phone number for more information: 02- 5382085)) in Yerusholayim tells us some fascinating figures:

There are some seven thousands girls who avidly attend the weekly Friday night groups: 400 in Hebrew and 100 in Yiddish. Many people make the mistake of thinking of shemiras haloshon as a prohibitive commandment, and even refer to it as anti-loshon horo. The Shomrot make it a point of highlighting the positive aspects of speech. Their approach is called Chochmas Hadibbur, the art and wisdom of proper and constructive speech. Their aim is to make positive speech a second nature, and within the group framework, certain situations and scenarios are created in which girls are supposed to come up with favorable judgments and positive actions and reactions.

With this in mind, the Shomrot have created a series of guidebooks for the group leaders, in Hebrew and Yiddish, which have become extremely popular. So much so, that seminary students from Mexico, Argentina, Gibralter, Texas and other places, studying in Eretz Yisroel, have taken them home to distribute. Then there are the entertaining and educational series of tapes for girls.

It is a fact that people involved in shemiras haloshon projects have found their yeshua in many various areas. One outstanding story is told of the woman who came to Rebbetzin Kaniefsky with a tearful plea for help. A vein in her eye had burst and the only way to prevent blindness and other damage was to undergo a very difficult operation. So difficult, in fact, that the surgeons were loathe to undertake the risk.

"There was one expert surgeon who was willing to try. I said that I first wanted to consult the rabbis, and have come here for your advice and blessing."

The Rebbetzin had a tried-and-tested method. "Accept upon yourself to heed your tongue from prohibited speech and resolve to study two halochos a day. If you do, you will have nothing to worry about." The woman returned to the specialist the following day with her reply. He examined her and to his amazement, found that surgery was altogether unnecessary. Her eye was healed!

The Jerusalem coordinator has numerous other stories to illustrate this same point.


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