Lashon Harah, the True Pandora's Box. There was no evil, sickness, or death when the world was created. It was not until eating the forbidden fruit that these qualities were introduced into the world. But would Adam and Chava have eaten from the tree if the snake had not told them to do so? The snake giving these instructions to Adam and Chava was the first instance of Lashon Harah in the world. From this one act of Lashon Harah, death, disease, and life of adversity, were created.
This week's Parsha is Parshat Metzora. The Parsha discusses the purification process of Tzaraat (an affliction caused by Lashon Harah - speaking badly). Part of the purification process involves two birds. The birds represent mindless chatter, and by extension, the afflicted person who committed the sin. When a bird chirps or sings, it is not always with the intent to communicate. Think of a parrot who can speak entire sentences, but has no idea what it says. When one speaks Lashon Harah, they are not necessarily doing it with the right mindset, or are fully aware of the severity of what they are saying.
Many people do not appreciate the full gravity of Lashon Harah. If Lashon Harah was strong enough to open a Pandora's Box, then it is not something that should be taken lightly or ignored. We shouldn't be like the birds who chatter for no purpose, or like the snake whose one mistake changed the course of history and life as we know it. We should use our ability to communicate for good. In this day and age, with social media, it is infinitely easier to communicate and therefore infinitely easier to speak badly and spread hate. Speech is a gift that should not be taken advantage of. We should use this ability for good and not let it be destructive.
By: Sarah Posner (10th)