||First edition of this basic ethical work by R. Israel Meir Ha-Kohen (Hafez Hayyim, 1838-1933). Shemirat Ha-Lashon has the phrase, from which the title is taken, “Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23). It addresses the subject of lashon hara. The verso of the title page has approbations and a list of the abbreviations used in the work, followed by the introduction, contents, and the text. Bibliographic sources often date publication of Shemirat Ha-Lashon as 1879. However, from both the Hebrew and common era dates it is clear that the publication date was 1876. Shemirat Ha-Lashon is one of the most influential contemporary ethical books. It is a primary source book for ethical study groups as well as being studied by individuals throughout the world. This copy is bound with its original yellow outer wrapper.
R. Israel Meir Ha-Kohen (Hafez Hayyim, 1838–1933) is one of the most saintly figures in modern Judaism. Of humble origin, he was taught until the age of ten by his parents and then went to Vilna where he continued his studies. His surname Poupko is hardly known to even those who revere him; he is always referred to as Hafez Hayyim after the Sefer Hafez Hayyim, his first book. Hafez Hayyim’s personality, piety, humility of conduct, integrity of thought and action, together with his books, exercised a tremendous influence on religious leaders, and fascinated the general Jewish public, to whom he became a much beloved leader and moral guide. Hundreds of sayings full of practical wisdom are attributed to him, and hundreds of stories both factual and legendary, all rich in morals, are reported about his life.