Lois Lauris con Pearls of Wisdom from the Rebbe of Szczuczyn: A Book of Revelations (English Edition)
I am a ghost writer.
I was a beloved Torah leader who personified the idea of derachecha darchei noam—The ways of the Torah are pleasing—in both my conduct and hashkafa—worldview and guiding philosophy. Anyone who approached me with a question walked away not only with the sage advice of the Posek HaDor—the foremost leading halachic arbiter of the Jewish people—but feeling my genuine ahavas Yisrael—love of Yisrael—and the knowledge that the eizah—advice— I had given was just what was needed.
I was born in Szczuczyn, Poland on January 26, 1839; and I died in Grodno, Poland on September 15, 1933.
I had a shop selling household provisions that my wife managed. However, the business was not successful, and I turned to teaching in order to support myself and my family. From 1864 to 1869, I taught Talmud in Minsk and Washilishok.
I served as the town rabbi of Radin for a short period. I resigned from this position to establish the Yashivas Chaim in Szczuczyn.
My first book Seeker of Life dealt with the Biblical laws of gossip and slander. Guarding of the Tongue is a comprehensive discussion of the Jewish concept of the power of speech. Clarified Teachings is a commentary on Jewish Law. Explanation of the Law contains analyses of halachic rulings. Gate of Distinction clarifies ambiguous statements of Jewish Law. This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen is a collection of tales based on my imprisonment at Auschwitz. My last book Magical Tales from the Rebbe of Szczuczyn is based on tales told by the Szczuczyn Chasidim with whom I grew up.
A discussion of lashon hara--derogatory speech about another person--usually assumes that the prohibition is rooted in the damage that it causes. But what damage do we cause ourselves by owning up to our own negative character traits? I am thinking of people who go beyond proper teshuvah—atoning for their sins—and habitually run themselves down. It is this constant negativity toward oneself that is forbidden because being overly self-critical is a slight against God, the Creator who made us. It’s one thing to take honest stock of who we are; it’s quite another thing to run ourselves down all the time (even if the charges are mostly true) without simultaneously appreciating what is good, decent, and even Godly within us. The self-directed lashon hara—gossip and slander—of speaking overly negatively about ourselves ignores the reality of God that forms the essence of every living soul.
In life, I was a modest and humble man. I did Justice; I loved Mercy; and I walked Humbly with my God.
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