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  Day 156 from
Chofetz Chaim: A Lesson A Day
The concepts and laws of proper speech arranged for daily study.

By Rabbi Shimon Finkelman  Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz 


Other Available Chapters
Day 17 
Day 167 


Day 156

SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM

Improper Behavior

A lawyer may not assist a client in committing an injustice. A lawyer may not represent a client in a lawsuit to attain payment which the client admits is not due him. Thus, a lawyer may not present medical bills which the client has informed him are fictitious. A lawyer, too, should seek the guidance of a halachic authority so that he will conduct his practice in strict adherence to Torah law.

Similarly, a therapist may not assist a client in living an immoral lifestyle. Jewish therapists must be guided in their work by qualified rabbanim who are well versed in the relevant areas of halachah.

SEFER SHMIRAS HALOSHON

Fear of God

In the Book of Tehillim (Psalms), King David declares: “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of HASHEM” (Tehillim 111:1). In the Book of Mishlei (Proverbs), David’s son, Shlomo, declares: “The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom [i.e. the wisdom of Torah]’’ (Mishlei 4:7). This is no contradiction, for as our Sages have taught, “If there is no fear of God, there is no wisdom; if there is no wisdom, there is no fear of God” (Avos 3: 21).

Elsewhere, Sholmo teaches: “If you seek it out like silver, and search for it like buried treasures, then you will comprehend the fear of HASHEM and knowledge of God you will find” (Mishlei 2:4-5). Those who search for silver or other precious items do not engage in such pursuits for a day or two. They pursue their quest relentlessly until discovery, and then begin the search for more. So it is with fear of Hashem. A Jew who forever ponders his Creator’s greatness and the good which He continuously showers upon man will forever attain yet higher levels of awe for the One Above.

Without such growth, one’s wisdom will do him little good. A person lacking in fear of Hashem will be uninspired to fulfill the mitzvos in all their details, no matter how well he has studied them. Moreover, his faculties will be unattuned to those laws which govern their use. Fear of Hashem inspires a person to guard his tongue, in accordance with the laws which he has studied. A lack of such fear causes one to ignore these laws.

 
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