Rabbi Shimon Finkelman has a rare gift. He can discuss moral imperatives in an enjoyable, easy-to-read manner, spiced with heartwarming stories. It's not that he makes light of important subjects, it's that he makes them palatable and persuasive. With a Finkelman book in hand, the reader goes away feeling good about his ability to improve his life and reach his goals. This book is an original. It tells us how to refine our speech according to the Torah's guidelines. The Gift of Speech deals with the gamut of speech: lashon hara, embarrassing others, conflict, how to say the unpleasant if it must be said, and many other topics that matter in everyday life. This book deals with real situations; it is entirely practical and realistic about how to go about crafting an elevated life. An added feature is the supplement entitled The Mitzvah of Ahavas Yisrael, for that is the underlying basis of the Torah's requirement that we not use speech as a weapon against others. It is a truism that one will not slander or gossip about one's loved ones, and that is a category that should include every fellow Jew. Rabbi Finkelman offers valuable and interesting insights on how to develop that attitude and, in the process, how to become a better person Our generation is unique in modern times for its desire to perfect its speech and general character traits. In the century since the sefer Chofetz Chaim was written, there has never been such worldwide interest as there is today in fulfilling what the great sage and tzaddik saw as his vital mission in life. Now the work is well under way, and this book will give it renewed impetus.
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