Dedicated l’illuy nishmas
Rebecca bas Yedida
Note: We are now presented with a great
opportunity! Since we have just begun a new cycle of hilchos Shmiras haloshon,
it’s the perfect time to encourage others to join and thereby increase the
zechuyos being generated for the sake of our single brethren. Remember, by
increasing the number of participants we are not just increasing the zechuyos
proportionally, but rather exponentially! Such is the power of a large group
that is doing the will of Hashem. Let’s each encourage 2 friends to join.
Imagine the tremendous benefit that will result, on our account. Here is the
link to sign up: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/segulah4singles/join
Please verbalize or
have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for a specific
single and/or Jewish singles throughout the world.
The “leniency” of speaking
loshon horah in front of 3 or more people
- If loshon horah is said in front of 3 or more people, is it
- No. As a matter of fact the more listeners the greater the
sin. This is for 2 reasons:
- The more listeners the greater the harm inflicted on the
person you are speaking about.
- You are causing more people to sin by listening to loshon
- The Gemora in Meseches Bava Basra pg. 39a states: “Anything
that is said in front of 3 people does not violate the prohibition of
loshon horah”. That seems to contradict what you just stated above.
- If you look at the various Rishonim (early commentators)
on this Gemora, you will see that there are 5 different approaches to
explaining this Gemora. Not one of them takes the Gemora at its face
value, that it is permissible to speak loshon horah in front of three
people. I will share with you 2 of the approaches that are brought down
by the Chofetz Chaim as Halachah:
1. It is referring to a statement that can be interpreted 2 different ways,
depending on the intonation. For example, I ask my friend: “where can I find a
meal at this late hour?” My friend replies: “go to Shmuel’s house, he always
has something cooking”. This can be interpreted in 2 different ways depending
on the intonation.
Shmuel is a glutton.
Shmuel is a kind, hospitable person, who always has
people over for meals.
When a statement like this is made
in front of three people, we can assume it will be stated in a favorable way. However,
something that is clearly loshon horah may not be said in front of 3 people. This
is the approach of Tosafos in Meseches Arachin 15b.
2. If one violated the prohibition of speaking loshon horah and slandered
someone in front of 3 people, any one of the 3 listeners may casually pass the
information on to others. The reason for this is, since the slander was said
in the presence of 3 people, one can assume that word got out and it’s already
public knowledge. The Torah does not forbid loshon horah on matters that are
common knowledge. This is the opinion of the Rambam. However, the Chofetz
Chaim does not recommend relying on this leniency as will be explained in tomorrow’s
This section is
formatted as a conversation between Oded and Menaseh. Oded is encouraging his
friend Menaseh to be more careful in guarding his tongue from evil speech. The
thoughts in this section are primarily based on the sefer, Shmiras Haloshon.
Oded: Allow me to share with you the following
Menaseh: Please do!
Oded: A father was distributing portions to his
sons. One son went and grabbed a portion that was meant for another son. The
son who was robbed went to the father and said: “I asked my brother to return
what he took and he refused. I know that you don’t want us to fight and
quarrel so I’m coming to you to request another portion”. Upon hearing this,
the father kissed his son on his head and gave him another larger portion. He
then told his son: “son, you’ve found favor in my eyes on account of your noble
character. Let your brother keep what he took and the next time around I will
give you a double portion and he will get nothing”.
Menaseh: That’s a beautiful story!
Oded: Imagine what would’ve happened had the son who
was robbed chose to quarrel with his brother instead.
Menaseh: I would imagine that the father would not
be too pleased.
Oded: Well, the same is true with Hashem. Hashem
provides sustenance for all man kind. He is our father and we, the Jewish
people, are his children. Hashem wants us to live in peace and harmony with
each other and avoid quarrels. Therefore, if someone illegitimately cuts into
your business and you request of him to refrain from what he’s doing but he
does not heed your request; if you were to go to Hashem and ask for another
portion instead of quarreling, what do you think Hashem’s response would be?
Menaseh: I think it would be a positive one, since I
did his will by not quarrelling.
Oded: That’s correct! Hashem would give you double
what you would have gotten otherwise, since you did not quarrel and instead,
had trust in Hashem.
If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman by
hitting the reply button.
about sponsorship opportunities, send a message to the following email
If you know others
who would appreciate this program, please encourage them to join. The more
people participating, the greater the zechus! In addition, you will have a
share in the merit of anyone who improves their speech as a result of you
signing them onto this program!!
1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 2 Par.
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 2 Par. 2,3
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatevunah Chap. 11