[Avodah] dibbur

Zvi Lampel zvilampel at gmail.com
Fri May 17 10:53:20 PDT 2024

> On Wed, May 15, 2024 at 05:59:43AM +0300, Joel Rich via Avodah wrote:
> > The Rambam in the peirush hamishnayot (Avot 1:16) categorizes types of
> > dibbur. 1. Mtzaveh (commanded) 2. Asur (forbidden) 3. Maus {disgusting}
> 4.
> > Ahava (beloved) and 5. Mutar (permitted.)

> How do you understand 4 -- Is it a
> > mitzvah or an inyan (and the flip for 3)? Is HKBH indifferent in cases of
> > 5.?

If the word "mitzvah" in your question has the same meaning as Mitzvah in
the Rambam's list, then obviously #4 (Ahuvah) is not a mitzvah.

The Rambam spells out each category of speech. And Ahuvah is indeed the
flip for Maus.

#1, "Mitzvah: Things the Torah commands us to articulate [in appropriate
circumstances]: E.g. reading and learning the Torah and Talmud, as it is
stated (Deuteronomy 6:7), "and you shall speak in them."

#2. Asur (forbidden): Things the Torah prohibits us from articulating:
false testimony, lies, rechilus, blasphemy, nivul peh, lashon hara

#3. Maus (disgusting): Speech that is not forbidden or
considered rebellious, yet provides no benefit to one's soul: what the
masses mostly indulge in, which the sages called sichah betaylah--news, how
king so-and-so conducts himself in his palace, what was the cause of
so-and-so's death, or how so-and-so became wealthy. These are kinds of
topics the chassidim strive to let go of speaking about. The category of
Maus also includes speech that praises contemptible ideas or character
traits, or that demeans admirable ones.

#4. Ahuvah (beloved): Speech that promotes derech eretz, including that in
inspirational stories and songs, that praises high intellectual or
behavioral standards and those who maintain them, and disparages the

#5. Muitar (permitted): Speech addressing those matters that apply to
mankind regarding [what is necessary for] his livelihood, eating and
drinking, clothing and all else that is permitted. There is no love of it
or disgust with it; but one who minimizes such speech is commended.

I think the last line (which the Rambam wrote in passive form, I think to
include HKBH as an inexplicit subject) answers the last question.

Zvi Lampel
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