We all know about the terrible sin of lashon harah (speaking evil of someone). It's a sin that causes untold grief, disrupts marriages, destroys friendships, and causes baseless hatred between man and his fellow man. Volumes have been written about this sin and the terrible disharmony that is a result of it.
However, there is a side effect of it that I bet you weren't aware of. As it turns out, lashon harah also causes advances in science. No, I kid you not. According to Divrei.org:
As Rabbi Kessin has pointed out, if the Jews sin, then the Soton receives the flow of Divine energy, twists it into a physical caricature of its spiritual form, and gives it to the nations. In this case, the light of Moshiach, a divine wisdom which gives insight into the spiritual worlds, was converted into a body of knowledge that shows the mechanics of the physical world. And what is that? Science.
That's right... Science is only a perverted form of Divine energy. And is science a good thing? Well...
Certainly we have benefited from the many advances in science, along with the rest of the world. There has been a terrible price, however. Why does the Soton want the world to be filled with knowledge of science? Until science’s advent, atheism was unheard of; it had no intellectual underpinnings. Science, however, can be construed to present a form of reality that does not include Hashem, chas v’shalom. Once the Soton could influence the nations into giving up their religions (which, twisted they may be, still involve an awareness of a divine being), he could then turn the nations onto the Jews and “enlighten” them. How many millions of Jews abandoned their Torah when confronted with the very real powers of science? From simple shtetl yidden who were bowled over by their first glimpse of a locomotive train, to ambitious university students who felt obligated to drop their “backwardness” in order to get ahead, the fires on the altar of science have had no shortage of fuel. Today, nine of ten Jews are nebbuch totally non-religious, with at most a token “seder,” an occasional bagel, and a casual visit to a temple on the High Holidays to show for their heritage. We have no idea how many millions of “gentiles” are in fact lost Jews who fell away from our nation over the centuries. Furthermore, gedolim are becoming a rarity, as the siyatta d’shamaya dries up more and more. What’s more, the sheer effort to become a ben Torah has become a larger and larger mountain. As one rav ruefully observed, “The [primary] purpose of kollel today is to make frum ba’alabatim!”
That's right... Science is only a tool of Satan to get us to abandon God. Certainly HaShem doesn't want science, right? After all, it's Satan's tool.
And what should be the proper Jewish approach to the wonders of science? The author of the piece suggests the following (emphasis his):
Since all the advances in science came ultimately from the Soton, who had taken the ohr Moshiach that had been meant for us, had twisted it into a force for understanding the physical world, and had given it to the nations, we must take another attitude every time that we visit one of those big-box electronics stores to buy yet another appliance. As we gaze in wonder at the latest super-small, yet super-speedy computers (far faster than last year’s model) and marvel at the latest that technology has wrought, a sad thought must cross our minds: “All this is but a perverted shadow of what was really meant – for us!”
That's right. Advances in science are simply perversions of the light of Moshiach. And, therefore, what should we do?
Says Rabbi Kessin: Look at the damage done by loshon hora. Not only does a Jew’s speaking or believing loshon hora enable the Soton to prosecute him and then punish him, but this sin also gives the Soton the ability to take the kedushah which was meant for us, pervert it, and give it to the nations, who then can use it against us. Furthermore, when the Soton is able to take from the ohr Moshiach, the advent of Moshiach is delayed, and he is able to continue his destruction in ways never imagined before. On the other hand, one who guards his tongue not only preserves his mazal, his good fortune, but continues to direct the shefa of kedushah to Klal Yisroel (to both his and all Israel’s benefit), including the ohr Moshiach, thus directly hastening Moshiach’s arrival.
Yep, that's it. Don't speak lashon harah and the evil of science will stop. If we would all just stop speaking evil of one another, those awful scientists will stop trying to cure diseases. Hey, maybe if we're really good at it, they'll forget the vaccines to polio, smallpox and the like. Perhaps we'll even forget about electricity and go back to learning Torah by candlelight, as we were obviously meant to. Certainly many of the horrible agricultural advances that proved Malthus wrong could be turned around, and we can return to those wonderful times of the world population having to worry about famines every now and again.
Perhaps, if we're really good at curbing our hate speech, we will no longer have refrigeration and modern sanitation. Heck, the Torah *meant* for us to have cholera and other diseases brought about by unsanitary conditions.
In addition, I want to know whose lousy lashon harah inflicted us with the printing press. Don't we know that the sefarim that we have nowadays (produced until recently on a printing press and now on computers) are just products of the Soton and really should all be handwritten?
If only HaShem would forgive us for the horrible sin of lashon harah and take back the "curses" of modern medicine such as surgery, antibiotics, vaccines, preventive medicine and physical therapy. If only we could defeat the Soton and his handiwork of heavier-than-air flight, communications, agricultural advances, plastics and modern sanitation. If only we could stop speaking lashon harah, we could return to the wonderful way of life we had a thousand years ago:
- when the life expectancy was not even forty
- when families could almost be assured of losing at least one child to disease or accident
- when women routinely died in childbirth
- when Torah books were so rare that most people didn't even have a siddur in their house (let alone all the sefarim that they have now)
- when any number of medical conditions from a ruptured appendix to diabetes to cancer meant certain death
- when human and animal waste were almost omnipresent in homes and in the streets due to the lack of sanitation, inviting (often incurable) disease into our lives
- when travel from one town to the next often involved fears of highwaymen
- when the fastest that news could travel was the maximum speed of a horse or a ship
- when food could not be stored beyond a day or two due to the lack of refrigeration
... when a community (such as Lakewood) where thousands of people learn all day and do not work could never exist.
Hat tip: OnionSoupMix
(And before anyone gets any wise ideas - no I'm not condoning Lashon Harah. My opening paragraph was meant sincerely. It's just the silly idea that LH causes science [thereby making science bad] that I'm taking issue with).