Lesson 05

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

Lesson #9b

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.



Loshon Horah when
the subject indicates that he doesn’t mind

  1. A friend of mine revealed to 3 of us, a private business
    matter.  May I share this information with others?
  1. Yes you may.  By relating this matter to 3 people, your
    friend has indicated that he does not mind if this information becomes
    public.  However, you must be careful to adhere to all the conditions
    mentioned in lesson 6b (see appendix below) with one exception.  In this
    instance, you may intentionally spread the word; since this
    is information that can only harm your friend and he has already indicated
    that he doesn’t mind if it becomes public.
  1. What if the matter was of a personal nature?
  1. The same applies.  However, if the information can cause
    your friend embarrassment, for example, he revealed a sin that he
    committed; you may not intentionally spread the word.  For even though he
    doesn’t mind the embarrassment, it is forbidden for you to
    intentionally disparage a fellow Jew.


Sharing the
content of a personal conversation

  1. May I share the content of a conversation I had with an
    individual friend with someone else?
  1. It depends.  If it can cause your friend harm or
    embarrassment you may not; otherwise you may.
  1. But I remember learning in Meseches Yoma (pg.4b) that one
    should not share the content of a conversation without his friend’s explicit
    consent, even if it will cause him no harm.
  1. Good question!  There are 2 possible answers:
    1. If it will cause no harm, it is halachicly permitted. 
      The Gemora in Yoma is teaching us that even though it is halachicly
      permitted, it’s a good midda to refrain under all circumstances.
    2. The Gemora in Yoma is referring to a case were he called
      you aside.  As such, he is indicating that the conversation is of a
      private nature.


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:  Yesterday, we began analyzing the posuk that
states: “Remember what Hashem your G-d did to Miriam on the way when you left Egypt”.  We mentioned that the posuk is informing us of 4 things which we need to direct
our attention to.  They are:

1.      What 
(What did Hashem do)

2.      Who 
(To whom did he do it)

3.      Where 
(Where did Hashem do this)

4.      When 
(When was it done)

Menaseh:  So yesterday you discussed the “what”.  This
was the tzoras that Hashem brought upon Miriam.  You elaborated on the severity
of the punishment of tzoras.  Today, let’s discuss the second topic; the “who”.

Oded:  The “who” is obviously Miriam.  But let’s take
a moment to better appreciate who Miriam was and what was the nature of the sin
that she committed.

  • Miriam was a very righteous individual.  As a matter of
    fact, the well from which Klal Yisroel benefited during their journey
    through the desert, was in her merit.
  • The Torah tells us that Miriam was a prophetess.
  • The loshon horah that she spoke was about her brother who
    she loved dearly and even risked her life to save him from the water.
  • She didn’t say anything negative about him.  Her only sin
    was putting him on par with other prophets.
  • She didn’t say it in front of Moshe to embarrass him, but
    rather to her righteous brother Aharon who was a very private person and
    would not share what she told him with anyone.
  • Her intention was noble.  She criticized Moshe for
    separating from his wife and not having more children.
  • Moshe was not offended by her words.

Menaseh:  What are you driving at with all this?

Oded:  Two points.  One is that all her good deeds
and righteousness did not save her from receiving this severe punishment.  The
second point is that the sin that she committed was very small.  Her intentions
were only for the good, and Moshe wasn’t offended.  Despite all these
considerations, she was severely punished.

Menaseh:  I guess it shows you how severe the sin of
loshon horah is in the eyes of Hashem.  Even such a slight infraction warrants
such a severe punishment.

If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman by
hitting the reply button.


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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 2 Par.
13 and Be’er Mayim Chaim 28

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 2 Be’er Mayim
Chaim 27


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatevunah Chap. 12


Conditions for
sharing loshon horah heard in the presents of 3 or more people

Your intention must not be to spread the word

There is an opinion that you may only pass on the loshon horah if
it comes up casually in the course of conversation.

Only the 3 original listeners are permitted to share the loshon
horah, and not those who heard it second hand.

If any of the 3 listeners are G-d fearing individuals who are
careful not to speak loshon horah, this leniency is rendered invalid.

It is permitted only in the city which the original loshon horah
was spoken in front of the 3 listeners.

If the original teller told the listeners not to share what he
told them, the leniency is invalid.

It is forbidden for the 3 listeners to embellish the story.

If it’s negative information about a person’s past, but now this
person has changed for the better, it is forbidden to mention his past, even if
it was told in front of 3 people.

If you know that the listener is the type of person who will
accept what you tell him as fact and perhaps even embellish it, it is forbidden
to share the loshon horah with him, even if you heard it in front of 3 people.

2 people telling 2 people isn’t the same as one person telling 3
and therefore does not qualify for this leniency.

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