Devarim - Taking Every Word Seriously

אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר מֹשֶׁה אֶל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן בַּמִּדְבָּר בָּעֲרָבָה מוֹל סוּף בֵּין פָּארָן וּבֵין תֹּפֶל וְלָבָן וַחֲצֵרֹת וְדִי זָהָב

These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on that side of the Jordan in the desert, in the plain opposite the Red Sea, between Paran and Tofel and Lavan and Hazeroth and Di Zahav.
Devarim 1:1
Implicit Language
The language presents a simple, banality and seemingly straightforward description of events. But Rashi brings an added dimension to this narrative, explaining:
These [language] are words of rebuke, noting all of the locations that they angered G-d, so that the places are mentioned implicitly [without stating explicitly the low depths and rebellious actions of Am Yisrael] out of respect for Israel's honor.
The  nature of implicit language for rebuking the Jewish People starts right at the beginning of this parshah, from the very first word. This is the twilight time of the leadership of Moshe and he is setting the foundation for how the infrastructure for Jewish society should move forward. There is a statement by Ch'azal saying that the initials from the first word of the parshah form an implicit warning, and guidance for behavior.
The word is אֵלֶּה, representing the words אבק לשון הרע (Avak Lashon Harah)

Common Sins
Avak Lashon Harah is literally The Dust of Loshon Harah or The Dust of Slander.
The gemorah in Baba Batra explores the propensity and widespread tendency towards this behavior.
R. Amram said in the name of Rab: [There are] three transgressions which no man escapes for a single day: Sinful thought, contemplation or speculation in prayer, and slander [Lashon Harah].
‘Slander’? [How] could one imagine [such a thing]!
Baba Batra 164B
The gemorah seemingly accepts quite easily that illicit thoughts are made regularly and that poor concentration in prayer is rampant, but is surprised by the assertion that slander occurs so often, and is so common. It suggests that 'Surely it is quite possible to avoid slandering one's fellows!'

The gemorah clarifies this point, stating the nature of slander that is referred to.
But the dust [not actual, but hinted, Or implied slander] of slander [was meant].
Baba Batra 165A
Really it is this other form of slander that is deemed to be contaminating our behavior, running viral through our society, and eluded to by Moshe from the outset of our Parshah

The Nature of Lashon HaRah
What is this dust, this implied slander? First we should agree on what is slander, itself. Slander is an explicit statement that denigrates another, either present or not. There are specific conditions for this manner of speaking.
What is Lashon Harah?
a. Any communication that damages a person.
b. There must be at least three different people involved 1. Speaker 2. Subject 3. Listener
Lashon Harah is not mere gossiping, which is also a destructive form of speech. Lashon Harah is the starting point, the ignition, for destructive speech, and the difference should be noted.
- Lashon Hara - any derogatory or damaging (physically, financially, socially, or stress-inducing) communication.
- Rechilut - any communication that generates animosity between people.
Rechilut is often the repeating of Lashon Hara. For example, Reuven tells Shimon that Levi is ugly (Reuven spoke Lashon Hara [slander]), and then Shimon tells Levi what Reuven said about him. Shimon probably made Levi angry with Reuven, which is Rechilut.
The Dust of Lashon Harah
The destructive nature of Lashon Harah goes without saying, and the ease with which it can be executed is well known. Yet what constitutes the 'dust' of Lashon Harah? How does slander become implicit?

The gemorah in Mesechet Erechin explores this concept and gives a classic example.
What constitutes evil speech?
Rabbah said: For example [to say] there is fire in the house of So-and-so [Implying the fire of the oven, suggesting that they are wealthy and eating all the time.]
Said Abaye: What did he do? He just gave information?
Rather, when he utters that in a slanderous fashion: ‘Where else should there be fire if not in the house of So-and-so? There is always meat and fish’ [Behind that apparently innocent phrase lurks the slanderer's purpose.]
Erchechin 15B
This is an even wilder form of speech, indicative of cynicism and other forms of speech. Whereas in the 'traditional' lashon harah, the slander is direct, explicit, and clearly depicted, this form is almost a clever detour for getting around the sin of slander.

The Legacy of Mosh Rabbeinu
So is his 'closing act', Moshe seeks to raise awareness about this ever-present and virulent condition of speech. In his address to the nation, his rebuke for their behavior starts with the implicit nature of slanderous speech. He warns against habituating yourself to this behavior, and against convincing yourself that no sin was accrued since 'you never said anything outright against anyone.'

The Approach of Tisha B'Av
Parshah Devarim always preludes the week of Tisha B'Av, the week for marking the destruction of the Temple. Commonly, the reason for our current exile is out of the sin of 'sinat chinam' or baseless hate. Perhaps as a step towards correcting this condition, Moshe Rabbeinu's words should be well heeded. We should take measures to diminish and outright avoid 'lashon harah' and slander. We need to go the extra step and not even venture into thinking we can be so clever to flaunt the laws of slander, with implicit, cynical statements that accomplish this same slander - all too well.

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