Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
The Goal of the Exodus - Don’t Slander!
Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 10:52:23 PM
Number of views: 324

"You shall not defile yourselves through any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am G-d who elevates you from the Land of Egypt." (Vayikra 11:44,45)

What is the connection between the Exodus from Egypt and the prohibition of eating insects? Why does the Torah juxtapose these two subjects? HaRav Mordechai HaCohen in his sefer, Al HaTorah, gives a profound explanation. Certain individuals are extremely careful not to swallow any insect, which is a serious transgression. These people painstakingly check fruits and vegetables with a microscopic lens to make certain that even the tiniest bug, not visible to the naked eye, enters their mouth.

Regrettably, some of these same people have no problem "swallowing up" another person through Loshon Hara and Slander. Certain, even Frum, Jews degrade and insult their fellow Jews. Disparaging and slanderous comments can destroy a person's life. Subjecting a fellow Jew to degrading and insulting remarks and comments, taking away his dignity, is more wicked than swallowing an insect.

Last week at an election rally for the Degel Hatorah party, which is part of the United Torah Judaism Knesset faction, a “Charedi” Rosh Yeshiva compared Israel to the Nazis. This person stated that, unlike the Jewish State, the Nazis knew that it was proper to separate men and women. Then he continued, “Israel is a state of idol worship. Even the Nazis knew that there should be separate living quarters for men and women.”

The political party that he spoke for is called United Torah Judaism. So I want to ask, is this Torah Judaism???

Where is the Charedi condemnation for this outrageous Slander and Loshon Hara against Israel?

For this reason the prohibition of eating insects is juxtaposed to the Exodus from Egypt. Just as G-d punished the Egyptian nation for enslaving, degrading, and slandering the Jews, so too will G-d exact punishment from those who slander and degrade their fellow Jews.

Perhaps, this is also the underlying message of King David when he cried out to his "frum" enemies, like King Shaul and Doeg, "I am a worm and not a man." (Tehillim 22:7) King David meant to say, Why do you, King Shaul and Doeg, as "Charedi" Jews, pursue, slander, and persecute me, saying that you would swallow me up alive? Make believe that I am only a worm. You would not think of swallowing a worm. After all - it's a serious sin, so why do you desire to swallow me through your Slander and Loshon Hara, which is much worse than swallowing a worm?

Unfortunately, King David's rebuke and painful critique is just as relevant and warranted today as it was then.

If only our leaders and politicians would learn this lesson from the Exodus.

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