Lesson 16c Baal teshuva – Common knowledge sins between man and Hashem

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Lesson #16c

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.


Revealing the past
sins of a Baal Teshuva to someone who will not look down upon him for it


  1. I have a friend who is a Baal Teshuva. Is it permissible
    for me to reveal his sinful past to a person whom I know won’t look down
    upon him for it?
  1. Generally not; since if word gets out it can cause him
    embarrassment or harm.  However, if the following 3 conditions are met
    then you may.
    1. Your intention is not to degrade him.
    2. The listener will not look down upon for it.
    3. The listener is the type of person who will keep it to


Loshon horah about
a common knowledge sin between man and Hashem


  1. The other day I saw my friend knowingly succumb to a
    cheeseburger.  What is the right thing for me to do in such a situation?
  1. Assuming your friend does not habitually eat
    cheeseburgers, the law is as follows:

If he is a G-d fearing Talmid
chacham, he will certainly feel terrible remorse for what he has done.  Therefore:

You may not reveal what you have witnessed to

If you are able to rebuke him at the time of the
transgression then you must do so.  However, by the following day we must
assume that he has already repented; therefore, if you didn’t rebuke him at the
time of the transgression, it’s questionable whether you should rebuke him on
the following day.

If he’s an average fellow, we can’t
be certain that he has already repented, but we suspect that he might have. 

You may not reveal what you have witnessed to

You are obligated to rebuke him privately in a soft
and gentle manner.


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:  Imagine someone who is not careful about
speaking loshon horah getting an aliyah to the Torah and the pesukim that deal
with the prohibition against speaking loshon horah are read.  Imagine the great
embarrassment this individual should feel.

Menaseh:  I guess your point is that he should feel
embarrassment but doesn’t.

Oded:  Which is interesting because this same person
if a point of even the smallest letter, yud, was missing, he would not
want to recite the blessings over the Torah; claiming that the Torah must be
complete as it was given from Hashem, not missing anything.

Menaseh:  What do you find peculiar about that?

Oded:  Well, he clearly believes in Hashem and his
holy Torah; every single letter of it.  Yet, when the sin of loshon horah comes
to his hands the words of Torah that prohibit it are suddenly completely ignored
to the extent that he doesn’t even consider it a sin.

Menaseh:  So in other words, if we realize that every
letter of Torah is from Hashem how then can we abandon a single letter.

Oded:  Precisely.  The Tana D’bei Eliyahu states that
anyone who recognizes words of Torah (for what they are) and violates them is a
full fledged Rosha.

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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 4
Be’er Mayim Chaim 1

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 4 Par. 4 Be’er
Mayim Chaim 18


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 1 Chasimas HaSefer Chap. 3

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