Friday, July 06, 2007

Accentuate the Negative?

In response to a recent post, one reader made the following comment:

Lvnsm27 said... lashon hara is more interesting to people. But we need to think of the consequences. People just think of the popularity they'll have. They don't realize the punishment for this aveirah...

She's right, of course, but it did make me think about the emphasis she, and many others put on things. Why do we always tend to think about things in terms of "the punishment for this aveirah?" Why do we feel like we have to say, "I'm a bad boy, but please don't punish me, Abba?"

Wouldn't it be better to look at it from a more global perspective? Speaking Loshon HaRah is a bad thing to do for so many reasons; on so many levels. It's bad personally. It's bad communally. It's bad for business. It's just... bad. It gives us an excuse not to improve ourselves because, in our minds, we're better than the competition. But that still doesn't make us better. It doesn't really help us.

There are so many better reasons, in my mind, for us to avoid speaking Lashon HaRah, or committing other aveirot for that matter. Yet we usually wind up speaking in terms of punishment. Our teachers teach it to us in terms of punishment.

It's weird to me.

But then, maybe that's just my not liking the idea of being a little boy again...

Perfidious Jews

Interesting post about Pope Benedict XVI's decision to re-adopt the Tridentine Mass. And for those of you looking for the meaning of the word, Perfidious... well, there it is.

The American Israeli Patriot: The Tridentine Mass: One Step Forward or Two Steps Back?