Lesson 23c Teshuva for loshon horah

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Lesson #23c

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Teshuva for loshon


  1. How can I do Teshuva for loshon horah that I’ve spoken?
  1. It depends on what effect your words have 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:  Some one who wants to truly guard his tongue
from forbidden speech should acquire for himself, at the full cost, the midda
of patience and the ability to let things pass.

Menaseh:  How much would I need to spend on that?

Oded:  You should be prepared to spend $400 or $500 a
year for this holy midda.

Menaseh:  I’m a bit confused.  How do you buy a midda
with money?

Oded:  Let me explain.  Most of the time, the
prohibitions of strife, loshon horah and rechilus are violated because of small
inconsequential matters.  You imagine that someone harmed you in some way and
you are determined to have justice served.  However, if you determine from the
outset that to acquire the ability to let things pass (which is directly
correlated with guarding your tongue) you must spend $400-$500 a year, you won’t
mind if someone financially harmed you, since you already know that this is the
price of acquiring this holy midda.  In other words, even if as a result of
something your friend has done, you lose money; you’ll be able to handle it,
since you’ve already accepted that loss as an investment.

Menaseh:  I’m having a hard time absorbing this.

Oded:  Let me give you an illustration.  Take the
mitzvah of tzizis, assuming we had techailes, or the mitzvah of Esrog; if you
were only able to attain it at a cost of $400-$500, would you not fulfill these
mitzvos because of these high prices?

Menaseh:  Of course I would spend that amount on
these mitzvos if that’s what it cost!

Oded:  Then acquiring the midda of patience and the
ability to let things pass is certainly worth an investment of a few hundred
dollars a year.

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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 Section 1 Chasimas HaSefer Chap. 5

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