Lesson 13

Sponsored l’illuy nishmas

Avraham Mordechai ben Yosef

Lesson #13

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.


Review of lessons

  1. Rabbi, would you mind summarizing what we have learned
  1. No problem!  Here we go.
    1. Definitions: 

Loshon Horah: Any form of
communication that is either derogatory or brings harm onto another Jew.

Motzei Shem Rah: Loshon
Horah with falsehood mixed in.

Rechilus: Any form of
communication that will bring hatred or dislike on a fellow Jew.

Baal Loshon Horah: one who
habitually speaks loshon horah.  He will lose his lips and his portion in the
world to come

    1. Violations:

As a result of speaking loshon
horah one can violate up to 31 commandments of Hashem; 17 negative commandments
and 14 positive commandments.  In addition, he can receive 4 curses.

    1. It is forbidden to speak loshon horah:

Even if your Father or Rebbi command you to.

Even if you’ll lose all your material

Even if by refraining people will think you’re
mentally challenged.

Even through writing, sign language, or hinting.

Even in front of 3 or more people.

Even in the presence of the person who the loshon
horah is about.

Even as a joke, if it’s derogatory or harms the
person whom you are speaking about.

Even without using names, if it can be discovered
whom you spoke about.

    1. A statement that can be interpreted as either positive
      or negative, depending on the intonation, may be made:

If you would say it in the same tone in front of
the person whom it’s about.

If you say it in front of 3 or more people.

    1. A statement made in front of 3 or more people (in
      the opinion of some Rishonim) may be repeated by the listeners under
      the following circumstances:

Loshon horah: may be repeated by the
listeners under very limited circumstances as delineated in lesson 6 (see
appendix below).  Note: It’s advisable not to rely on this leniency, since
according to many Rishonim there’s no source for it.

Teller’s personal business matter: May be
repeated even with the intention of spreading the word.  However, all remaining
conditions in lesson 6 must be adhered to.

Teller’s personal matter: Same as above. 
However, if the teller revealed something derogatory about himself, you may not
intentionally spread the word.

    1. Miscellaneous:

Voting: You may not reveal how you voted if
it will bring more hatred on those who outvoted you.

Rav’s Drasha: It’s a terrible sin to degrade
a Rav’s drasha in front of others.


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.

Menaseh:  So if I understand you correctly, reciting
the posuk that commands us to remember what happened to Miriam is not a magical
remedy that will save us from speaking loshon horah.

Oded:  That’s correct.  Only if one recites it and
reflects on the meaning and the lessons to be learnt from it, will it help
improve ones ability to guard their mouths from speaking loshon horah.

Menaseh:  How do I apply what happened with Miriam to

Oded:  Absorb the following:  If Miriam who was such
a righteous individual got punished so severely, even though she didn’t intend
to speak loshon horah, we, who tend to say much worse, intentionally, will
certainly not be spared of such punishment if we continue in our way.

Menaseh:  But there is no tzoras today.

Oded:  Correct; however, Hashem has many other
punishments that are equivalent to tzoras, at His disposal.

Menaseh:  How will it help me to know the great
severity of speaking loshon horah when I often find myself not sure if what I’m
about to say is considered loshon horah or not?

Oded:  You’re absolutely correct!  If you are
unfamiliar with the laws of loshon horah, then remembering what happened to
Miriam will not help you much.  It is therefore imperative to thoroughly
familiarize yourself with the laws of loshon horah.

Menaseh:  So if I become familiar with the laws and inculcate
the severity of the sin, then I have it made?

Oded:  You’ve certainly increased your chances to

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


For information
about sponsorship opportunities, send a message to the following email
address:  lessonaday@yahoo.com

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. 1, 2,
and 3 through Par. 6


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 or to indicate in any way that they believe it to be true.

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.

Latest Lessons