Lesson 27c Speaking loshon horah for a benefit
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.
horah for a benefit
- A neighbor of mine went into a friend’s yard and stole his
unicycle, may I publicize this?
- If you are certain that he hasn’t yet returned it, or
asked for forgiveness, you may; but only under the following 7 conditions:
- You either saw it yourself or heard about it and
subsequently verified its veracity.
- You must not rush to judgment, but rather weigh carefully
whether what he did is indeed halachicly considered stealing.
- Before publicizing, you must first attempt to gently
- You must be careful not to exaggerate the transgression.
- You intentions must be for the right reasons and not out
of hatred for the individual or personal gain.
- If you can bring about the same benefit some other way,
without publicizing this fellow’s transgression, then you may not go
- Publicizing his transgression mustn’t cause him more
damage than would be due to him in Beis Din.
Note: There are important
details that require clarification regarding these 7 conditions, which can have
an impact on the Halachah. They will be discussed in the coming lessons.
- A co-worker of mine publicly degraded a fellow co-worker.
May I publicize her evil deed?
- If you know with certainty that she hasn’t sought forgiveness
from the one whom she embarrassed, then you may, under the above mentioned
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: A person who lets things pass will merit to be
remembered for life on Rosh Hashana; he will not become destitute and he even
stands to gain additional income as a result of not “making a stand”.
Menaseh: How is it that he stands to gain income?
Oded: It is very likely that on Rosh Hashana Hashem
will increase his income, to compensate for what he might lose on account of
the midda of letting things pass.
Menaseh: And how is it that he is remembered for
Oded: As we previously explained, when one digs in
his heals on every small matter he is going to transgress many speech related
sins which will likely tip the scales of sin and merit towards the side of sin,
making him a rosha. A rosha gets an immediate death sentence.
Menaseh: But yesterday you said it leads to poverty?
Oded: That’s correct.
Menaseh: So which is it death or poverty?
Oded: A rosha receives a death sentence. Often,
Hashem, in his infinite mercy, will commute the death sentence to poverty which
our sages teach us is equivalent to death. That is the meaning of the
following posuk: “Who is the person who desires life, who loves days to see
good; guard your tongue from evil…”
Menaseh: How does this posuk bear out this point?
Oded: If you want life and to see good guard your
tongue. If you don’t, you will lose one of them, either life or good, as a
result of the many ensuing sins. However, if you guard your tongue from evil,
you will merit both, life and good. As the Medrash Mishlei teaches us, when a
person is accustomed to speaking good the angels above speak good about him in
If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman clicking here.
If you know others
who would appreciate this program, please encourage them to join. The more
people participating, the greater the zechus! In addition, you will have a
share in the merit of anyone who improves their speech as a result of you
signing them onto this program!!
1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10
Par. 1 & 2
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10 Par. 1 & 2
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 1 Chasimas HaSefer Chap. 6