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Thought for the Day: At Least Act Like You Want Kirvus HaShem

Yehudis and Batya (names changed to protect the guilty) were riding on a bus and animatedly talking about their classmate Shulamis, who was not a particularly popular girl.  They were giggling away and talking about Shulamis's latest social faux paux when the lady behind them tapped Yehudis on the shoulder and said, "Girls, that's my daughter you are talking about."  Of course the two girls were mortified and could hardly look at each other, let alone talk to each other, as long as Shulamis's mother was right behind them.  A few stops later, the lady was getting off the bus, but turned to the girls as she was leaving and said, "Shulamis is not my daughter, but she is someone's daughter."

The story has been around for a while; you may or may not have heard it, it may or may not have really happened.  The point of the story is clear; we all know very well how we speak differently depending on who is around to hear it.  We don't say juicy gossip about Ploni when Ploni's father is around.  Instead, we make up to meet with our friend later when we can be alone and really enjoy the gossip.

So if we are going to say lashon hara about another Jew, we need to do it when Avinu Malkeinu is not around.  That is, the he only way to really enjoy that juicy gossip is to turn our backs on HaShem and pretend that He isn't there.  Not a great idea any time of year, but really bad news during Elul -- ani l'dodi v'dodi li?

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