Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Elul 5765 - September 15, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Mishmeres Hashalom: An Empire of Shemiras Haloshon — Growing, Growing . . . and Growing Some More!

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

A king once offered his faithful servant the prize of his choice. The clever servant made a modest request: He "just" asked for two grains of wheat to correspond to the first square on the chessboard, two times two — four — to correspond to the second square, four times four — sixteen - - for the next one, and so on. The king agreed to the "modest request," before realizing that long before they reached the sixty-fourth square, the numbers would grow so large that all the wheat in the universe would not suffice to pay the prize! This is one vivid example of the amazing growth of a geometric progression. Mishmeres Hashalom is another!

The Mishmeres Hashalom is an organization founded about four years ago with the ambitious goal of making all Jewish communities Loshon Hora free and bringing peace and love into each and every Jewish home. The goal is ambitious, but the methods are very practical: bringing the message of the Mishmeres Hashalom into each community — one street, one home, one family at a time.

From a modest start, the program has mushroomed. Today we have close to 2000 volunteer building representatives, and over 35,000 families across the globe are already being reached by the Mishmeres Hashalom, bringing the Shechina into their homes and radiating the light of Kedusha, unity and love to the entire community.

It starts with one energetic volunteer. With persistence and dedication, she approaches the families in her building, slowly building up a kernel group of women who embrace the program of learning two halachos a day of Shemiras Halashon with their family.

But it doesn't stop there. One woman from the building shares the undertaking with her sister in another neighborhood, and that sister shares the beauty of the program with her aunt. Before long, another group begins to sprout, and another. Each member who tastes the sweet flavor of a loshon hora free home and radiates a new inner peace becomes an instant ambassador of Mishmeres Hashalom to all who meet her — and the ripple effects continue to grow in clear geometric progression, doubling and tripling membership in short spans of time.

It may be an enthusiastic member, a rousing kenes, a Mishmeres Hashalom magazine casually picked up, or perhaps an attractive poster that catches the eye and captures the heart, setting off a new, flourishing branch. Consider the following true incidents:

* Who can imagine what a single magazine — a simple printed piece of paper folded in three, weighing a few grams — can initiate? One husband found a Mishmeres Hashalom magazine in shul and brought it home. His wife read it and was so impressed that she started the program in her neighborhood. Another magazine came "by chance" into the hands of a woman from Netanya, and led her to open a huge branch in her city, as well as another branch, founded by her friend, in a neighboring town.

* The latest kenes for Yiddish speaking women inspired 48 (!) women to volunteer as representatives, and 200 new participants began to learn the halachos regularly.

* One woman from the Minchas Yitzchak area who attended the gathering resolved to work to make her whole community loshon hora free. She got the program started in her neighborhood and has already appointed building representatives in her entire area. Her dream is within reach!

* Another woman at the Kenes, from Beit Shemesh, was so inspired that she organized 20 women in her building to learn the halachos each day together. In addition, she set out to recruit a representative in every building in the Beit Shemesh Yiddish-speaking community. Before long she was joined in her efforts by the original Beit Shemesh coordinator, who had been on leave after giving birth to a "miracle." This woman's previous babies had all been born prematurely and suffered from many difficulties in the first weeks and months. This child, the first after her Mishmeres Hashalom involvement, was also born prematurely, yet did not need any of the expected help. She calls him her "Mishmeres Hashalom baby"!

* All told, in the recent months, we have over 100 new representatives in the women's and children's programs from Yerushalayim, Petach Tikva, Bnei Brak, Netivot, Beit Shemesh, Kadima, and many more places.

* One school began a school-wide program of Mishmeres Hashalom. Before long, another and yet another school asked to join. Remember — in each case, we welcome into our ranks hundreds of new members at once, and we initiate a change in the atmosphere of an entire tzibbur!

* One neighborhood representative works in a Kupat Cholim laboratory. She got the women who work with her, coming from very different backgrounds, to learn the halachos together for a few minutes a day. The atmosphere at work has changed; they all think twice before they speak!

* The growth in membership has been matched by a corresponding growth in yeshua stories, big and small. One of our very devoted secretaries was asked to come back to the office in the afternoon after having worked there all morning. Although it was very difficult for her, she agreed. When she got home from the morning shift, she realized that she had left her pocketbook in the taxi. Efforts to trace the taxi were unsuccessful. As she waited for the bus to return to work in the afternoon, she noticed a cab that looked familiar. The driver recognized her as well, stopped and returned her pocketbook. In the zchus of her dedication to Shemiras Halashon, she found her pocketbook.

* A member of a family was concerned that there were a few couples in her extended family who did not yet have children. She decided to raise money for Mishmeres Hashalom in their merit. Within a period of time, three couples from the family were zocheh to children and a fourth who had married more recently also gave birth. The woman who organized the whole thing had another baby herself in the meantime.

One building, whose members have been dedicating their learning each month to different people they know needing a yeshua, has already been zocheh to six shidduchim for older singles and two amazing incidents of refuah shleimoh.

There can be only one explanation for the amazing growth of the Mishmeres Hashalom: siyata deShmaya and the brochos of the gedolim that accompany us at every step. The Manchester Rosh Yeshiva Rav Segal zt"l said that the zchus of the Chofetz Chaim will stand behind us. Our magazines have included enthusiastic endorsements and a message of chizuk from numerous gedolim, including HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, HaRav Wosner and HaRav Abuchatzeira.

As you read these lines, another family is probably joining the chain of Mishmeres Hashalom, and the ripple effects will continue to extend, and grow, and grow . . . It's a matter of simple arithmetic — and isn't it time you put yourself in the equation?


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