Lesson 20c Non-compliance to beis din – Loshon horah about a bad midda
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non-compliance to a Bais Din’s ruling
- I occasionally see public proclamations put out by Bais
Din, announcing that so and so did not heed the decision of Bais Din. Is
that considered loshon horah?
- No. It’s actually a mitzvah to publicly disgrace, and
even record in writing for generations to come, those who blatantly don’t
follow Hashem’s laws as delineated by Bais Din; so that others will not
follow in their footsteps. However, Bais Din may do so only under the following
- He violated a positive commandment of Bais Din (i.e. do
this). If he violated a negative commandment (i.e. don’t do this), we
suspect that he might have been overcome by his Yetzer horah and
subsequently regretted his actions and did Teshuva. Regarding a positive
commandment of Bais Din, as long as he hasn’t complied with their
decision, he has obviously not done Teshuva.
- He has no legitimate excuse for not complying. If he has
a legitimate excuse or even if Bais Din has a doubt whether it’s legitimate
or not, they may not publicize his non-compliance.
- Bais Din must have clear proof that he did not comply
with their ruling.
- They may not exaggerate his non-compliance.
- Their intentions must be for the sake of heaven.
Loshon horah about
a bad midda
- Is it loshon horah to say that someone has a bad midda?
- Absolutely. A bad midda is considered derogatory. You may
not publicize that someone has a bad midda, since perhaps he feels bad
about it and is doing Teshuva. Even if you see that he has no regret over
this bad midda, you may still not publicize it. People tend to think that
middos are just a nice way to act; not realizing how severe it is in the
eyes of Hashem to be controlled by a negative midda. Therefore, we presume
that if this person understood the severity of a negative midda, he would
do Teshuva. As such, we don’t view him as one who is blatantly violating
the mitzvos of Hashem and therefore, it may not be publicized. The
preferable course of action is to rebuke the individual and show him the
severity of clinging to a bad midda; perhaps that will motivate him to
change his ways.
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: Here is another statement from the Zohar
regarding the matter we’ve been discussing.
Menaseh: Which matter?
Oded: The great merit of influencing others.
Menaseh: What does the Zohar say about it?
Oded: Every day an announcement goes forth stating:
“Meritorious are those who exert themselves in Torah study and those who bring
merit to others (i.e. influence others to do good) and those who let pass any
slight against them.” It will also help bring the final redemption speedily in
Menaseh: What will?
Oded: Guarding our tongues?
Menaseh: How do you know that?
Oded: The Medrash states that our fathers were
redeemed from Egypt on account of four merits: 1. They didn’t change their
names. 2. They didn’t change their language. 3. They didn’t speak loshon
horah. 4. Not one of them broke the moral boundaries in matters of
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 4 Par.
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 4 Par. 9
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 1 Chasimas HaSefer Chap. 4