Commitment to Avoid Lashon Hara


Legend has it that one Purim the Chofetz Chaim was blocked by a student of his. The student had been drinking and as the Chofetz Chaim got up from the table to go to another room, the student stood up and blocked the Chofetz Chaim’s way. But that was not enough for the student. He then demanded ransom from the Chofetz Chaim. He told the Chofetz Chaim that he would only let the Chofetz Chaim through the door if the Chofetz Chaim could promise the young man a share in the World to Come as great as his own. The Chofetz Chaim paused, looked at the student and said: I do not know what share awaits me in the World to Come. But I do know that any share I have is because from a young age I committed not to speak Lashon Hara (evil speech) about anyone. And I guarantee that if you make the same commitment you will get a similar share in the World to Come. The student sobered up quickly, considered the proposition and meanwhile stood aside to allow the Chofetz Chaim into the next room.

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