DON’T GET INVOLVED IN PUBLIC DISPUTES!
The following comes from the first edition of the Nachal Novea newsletter in English, Parsha Sheet 11, Tammuz-Av 5777. If you’d like to receive the English version of the Nachal Novea newsletter straight to your inbox, containing a wealth of Torah insights from Rav Eliezer Berland, the Ohr HaChayim, and the late Satmar Rebbe (amongst others) please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DON’T GET INVOLVED IN PUBLIC DISPUTES – THE CHOFETZ CHAIM, ZT’L
It’s a great wonder that someone would get involved in public disputes…He becomes known as a cruel person in the eyes of everyone and he will not rest and he will not be quiet until he gets paid back for his actions…there will be measures taken for this eternal hatred.
Because of his cruelty and inner hatred he himself brings problems on his children and because of this, it’s possible that they will also die, Heaven Forbid.
[The Chofetz Chaim continues, in his book Shmiras Haloshon, Shaar Hazichirah Chapter 16):
Come my brother, and I will show you the great power of the evil inclination regarding defeating and putting down someone else. That when someone delves deep into a public dispute, then even if he sees in his eyes that he is going in a path of complete darkness, and even if he feels himself going doing to the burning inferno (i.e. Gehinnom) because of this, nevertheless, he’ll want to go deeper into the burning inferno and not stop partaking in the public dispute until he feels that he has defeated his opponents…
Even if someone entered into a public dispute and it’s hard for him to separate himself from the rest of his friends that are also involved in the public dispute, nevertheless, he should use all of his strength to separate himself from them, just like On ben Pelet. In the beginning, On ben Pelet took the advice of those involved in the public dispute on the side of Korach, as it’s written in the Torah.
Yet in the end he left them….Since he left, he wasn’t punished with those that stayed in the public dispute against Moshe…
As our wise Sages of blessed memory said:
“It’s better for a person to be called an idiot for all the days of his life, than to be a wicked person for even one hour before Hashem.”
The Chafetz Chaim, Rav Yisrael Meir HaKohen Kagan, writing in his book Shmiras Halashon, Shaar Hazichirah, Chapter 16.