For this week, I do a deep dive into the damaging effects of lashon hara (speaking negatively).

Blessings don’t come easily in this world. Everything of great value comes through hardship. Even peace itself comes from being diligent in bittul (self-transcendence), choosing how to navigate our reactions.
The deeper & more meaningful a relationship is the better the chances are of having difficult elements to work through. If you want to go deep in a relationship, there will be work to get through so that each person feels that they are being heard & loved in the way that they need. It’s similar in relationships between parents & children: the amount of love a parent feels for their child is indescribable, but it comes from a constant giving of one’s emotional & physical faculties. In the newborn stage, it’s waking up every couple hours to feed, hold or change the baby, when we just want to have one solid night’s sleep. When they are older, it’s a series of challenges that any human goes through & every parent wants to take on. But the connection could not be deeper & the love more profound because of those challenges on the journey. Through the hardships come the blessings.

Rashi says that “Yakov sought to dwell in tranquility”. But as soon as he did, immediately the troubles with Yosef & his brothers began, & instead of peace, Yakov ended up mourning Yosef, thinking he was dead for twenty years, only reuniting with him in his old age. It’s said that when a tzadik wishes to live at ease, Hashem says to them: “Are not the righteous satisfied with what is stored up for them in the world to come that they wish to live at ease in this world too!

There’s a song by Cage The Elephant that I remixed for my Bonnaroo album called “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.” It’s a play off the verse from Isaiah, “There is no peace for the wicked.” But Chazal say the same in regards to tzadikim, “The righteous have no rest.” & Job wrote that “man was born to toil” Essentially, in this world, we have work to do, & we can’t hope to sit idly by as our unique gifts & talents grow stale.

Thanks for reading! Much love & Shabbat Shalom!
– Erez

* Listen: Audio/Podcast version –

** Get your copy of the book: ‘LIGHT OF THE INFINITE: THE GENESIS OF LIGHT’ now available as Prime on Amazon! The second half of the book parallels the Parshiot (weekly Torah reading) of Bereishit/Genesis, which we are reading now!! – –


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