Lesson 21

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Lesson #21

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.


Distancing ones
children from someone with a bad midda


  1. I have an acquaintance who is afflicted with the midda of
    Gaava (arrogance).  Is it permissible for me to inform my children of this
    and advise them to stay away from him, so as not to learn from his ways?
  1. It’s a mitzvah for you to do so.  If your intention is not
    to disparage your acquaintance, but rather to prevent your children from
    being influenced by this person, it is not considered loshon horah. 
    However, it is important that you explain to your children why you are
    saying something that appears to be loshon horah so that they won’t learn
    from this that it is permitted to speak loshon horah.


  1. What if my knowledge is not first hand, but rather, I
    heard from someone that this fellow is an arrogant and pompous individual? 
    May I warn my children or students to keep away from him so as not to
    learn from his poor character traits?
  1. Although you are not allowed to believe loshon horah you
    may suspect that it might be true.  As such, you may warn your children or
    students to keep their distance.  However, you should say “I’ve heard
    people say that so and so is… therefore, it’s very important that you keep
    your distance from him.”  This way, you are not giving the false
    impression that you know the information first hand; yet, you’re
    effectively getting the point across.


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.

We mentioned 7 possible causes that can lead a person to
freely speak loshon horah.  They were:






Complaining nature


Menaseh:  We were discussing the evils of frivolity.

Oded:  Have you ever witnessed a criminal court

Menaseh:  I have.

Oded:  Have you noticed the demeanor of the accused
as he enters the court room?

Menaseh:  Yes; it’s very solemn.

Oded:  And what about his expressiveness?

Menaseh:  It’s usually very limited; each word is
carefully weighed and thought out.

Oded:  Why do you suppose that is?

Menaseh:  Probably so as not to incriminate himself.

Oded:  Do they put the accused under duress during

Menaseh:  Some courts use such tactics.

Oded:  Are those tactics effective?

Menaseh:  Often not.

Oded:  Why not?

Menaseh:  As I mentioned before, the accused is very wary
of incriminating himself.

Oded:  What would happen if he does incriminate

Menaseh:  He might be sentenced to death.

Oded:  Is that a common punishment?

Menaseh:  Not really.

Oded:  So why is he so nervous?

Menaseh:  He is concerned about the remote
possibility of a death sentence.

Oded:  So he’s willing to remain silent and endure
great duress to prolong his life, even though it’s very doubtful that he will
sentenced to death either way.

Menaseh:  Correct.

Oded:  Do you know that for every moment that a
person seals his mouth and remains silent, he merits the hidden light that no
angel or creature can even fathom!

Menaseh:  Really?

Oded:  Yes; and one who engages in frivolous speech,
will be punished for every word.

Menaseh:  So you’re saying that we need to watch our
words, similarly to the accused standing before the judge.

Oded:  Much more so!

Menaseh:  Why?

Oded:  Because the accused is concerned about a
remote possibility of a death sentence and he wishes to merely prolong his life,
so he remains silent, even under great duress.  We, on the other hand, are not
under any duress to engage in frivolous conversation and the stakes are much

Menaseh:  How so?

Oded:  The punishment for frivolous speech is certain
and severe, while the reward for remaining silent is eternal and not for merely
a few years.

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. 4 Par.

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 4 Be’er Mayim
Chaim 43


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatevunah Chap. 13

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