This is my blog for topics of general, Jewish interest, named for the magazine I launched in 2005. I have additional blogs for other areas. Follow on Twitter or on Google+ under Ariella Brown. Please note that comment moderation is on, which could keep your comment from appearing right away.
The Shem m’Shmuel explains that what caught Rav Yanai’s attention was the peddler’s use of the word “sam,” literally, a spice. You can’t make a meal of spices alone, but any regular meal served without spice is bland and not satisfying. “Netzor leshoncha,” guarding against lashon ha’ra, is not just another dish on the menu of Torah, item number whatever of 613 possible choices. It’s the spice that goes into every dish that makes every dish more satisfying. It’s a defining value of the system as a whole. Read more in: Divrei Chaim: avoiding lashon ha'ra as a meta-value
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