Lesson 23

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Lesson #23b

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.


Teshuva for loshon


  1. How can I do Teshuva for loshon horah that I’ve spoken?
  1. It depends on what effect your words had.
  • If your words did not cause harm, i.e. the listener(s) rebuffed
    your loshon horah and did not believe your utterances; you have sinned
    only to Hashem.  As such, the Teshuva process is as follows.

1.      Remorse:  To recognize the severity of the sin to the extent
that you wish you hadn’t committed it and feel great sorrow and anguish that it
was done.

2.      Vidui:  Verbally admit to the sin.

3.      Resolution:  You must resolve with full sincerity never to
commit the sin again.

  • If your words caused harm to another Jew, the teshuva
    process is as follows:

1.      Appease your friend:  You need to approach your friend and beg for
his forgiveness.

2.      Seek forgiveness from Hashem: Follow the 3 steps of Teshuva
listed above

Note: If you do not seek your
friend’s appeasement, nothing can atone for the sin, including Yom Kippur and


  1. I spoke loshon horah about a friend.  She doesn’t know
    that I spoke about her.  Must I inform her?  It will cause me much
  1. According to the Chofetz Chaim Zt”l, you must reveal to
    your friend that you spoke loshon horah about her and beg her for
    forgiveness.  As Chazal teach us, it is much better to be disgraced all
    our days here in this world, than to be considered a Rasha in the eyes of
    Hashem, for even one moment.


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






Complaining nature


Menaseh:  Yesterday, we were discussing frivolity and
vain speech.  You quoted excerpts from the Vilna Gaon’s famous letter.

Oded:  I would like to share with you additional
excerpts from that letter.

Menaseh:  Sure!

Oded:  The Vilna Gaon writes that the severe
punishment known as the Kaf Hakela (Catapult) is driven by vain speech.

Menaseh:  Can you explain that?

Oded:  For every vain word that a person utters, his
soul is hurled from one end of the world to the other, via this catapult.

Menaseh:  I have a hard time relating to that.

Oded:  It is certainly hard to relate to something
that you haven’t seen or experienced; but of one thing I can assure you; it’s
no amusement park ride.  It’s something that is torturous to a person’s soul. 
And as the Vilna Gaon writes, for every vain word one is flung across the
entire world.

Menaseh:  So if I understand you correctly, that
punishment is for vain speech.  What about forbidden forms of speech?

Oded:  “For forbidden speech,” writes the Vilna Gaon,
“especially in Shul or on Shabbos or Yom Tov, a person must descend to the
depths of Gehinom.  It is not possible to estimate the terrible pain and
suffering that a person experiences there, even for one forbidden word.”

Menaseh:  Is a person held accountable for every word
that he utters?

Oded:  Yes; every single word is recorded, not one
word is lost.

Menaseh:  All that you’ve shared with me is written
in the Vilna Gaon’s letter?

Oded:  Yes; and as you know, the Vilna Gaon was known
to be very exact and accurate with his words.

Menaseh:  I’m taking what you’ve said very
seriously.  It’s certainly a very strong reason to weigh ones words with great

If you have any
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 4 Par.

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 4 Par. 12


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatevunah Chap. 13

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