Thursday, August 28, 2014


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Shoftim
3 Elul 5774/August 29, 2014
Pirkei Avos – Perek 1

One year when we arrived home in August after being away in camp for two months we found that our air conditioner wasn’t working adequately. The way I saw it, the big air conditioning machine thingy outside with the fan in it was working well. I was able to hear it. The air was blowing in the house, I felt that too. However, it couldn’t bring the inside temperature below 74 degrees. When the repairman arrived he agreed that the compressor was working (that’s ‘the thingy’ outside) and that there was adequate Freon.
He explained that the problem was much simpler – our filters needed to be changed. That was why the air conditioner wasn’t circulating the cold air properly. The repairman gave us a box of filters and instructed me to change them immediately.
When I unscrewed the cover and pulled out the old filter I found that there was so much dust that it completely obscured the filter itself. As soon as I replaced the filter there was an immediately noticeable change. The house cooled down rapidly and began working properly.
The Chofetz Chaim writes in Shmiras Halashon that when one speaks in a manner, or about topics unbefitting a Torah observant Jew - especially speaking loshon hora - it sullies his mouth and enervates his ability to accomplish things through tefillah.
If someone tries to chop down a tree using a dulled axe it will take him far longer and require far more effort to accomplish what he could have done with a sharp axe. When we use our mouths to say the wrong things it weakens the incredible power that our mouths wield, especially when we daven.
          It’s possible that one can daven properly, even having great kavanah. but the tefillah will be lacking some of its potency because his spiritual filters are clogged up due to his speaking loshon hara or other forbidden speech.
          If we want to ensure that our tefilos have all of the potency possible, we have to work on clearing our oral filters, making sure they are clean of oral debris and as effective as possible. Then we can be confident that our much needed prayers for ourselves, our families, and Klal Yisroel will ascend. Those prayers will penetrate the heavens and guarantee a year of growth, health, blessing, prosperity, and redemption for all of us and the entire world.      

Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
           R’ Dani and Chani Staum       

720 Union Road • New Hempstead, NY 10977 • (845) 362-2425