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condition #5 – The right reasons
- Yesterday, you said that if you see someone harm his
fellow Jew, you may publicize his actions if 7 conditions are met. Conditions
number 5 was that you must have the right intentions. What are the right intentions?
- There are 2 legitimate reasons. If your intention is for
one of these 2 reasons, assuming all other conditions are met, you may
publicize the transgression. The 2 reasons are as follows:
- To help the one who was harmed. Examples of this are:
Robbery: By publicizing the deed, the thief
might be forced to return the stolen item or provide compensation.
Damage: By publicizing the matter, the
damager will be compelled to make restitution.
Shame: By publicizing the matter, the one
who was denigrated might feel less shame when it becomes public knowledge that
he was denigrated for no good reason. Alternatively, by publicizing the matter,
people might rebuke the one who shamed his friend and prevail upon him to
appease the one whom he disgraced.
- To publicize and degrade the bad deed for one of the
Others will avoid such deeds.
Perhaps, the one who harmed his friend will see
that people are degrading his actions and as a result, repent.
Note: There is an
important distinction between these 2 reasons. If you want to publicize the
deed for reason number 2 and the one who was harmed is not yet aware that he/she
was harmed, you may not publicize the matter. However, if you are publicizing
the matter to help the one who was harmed receive financial compensation, you
may do so, even if the one who was harmed is not yet aware that he/she was
- Does it make a difference if the one who was harmed asked
me to help him by going public with the matter?
- Absolutely not! If the necessary conditions are met, you
may publicize the matter even if he/she hasn’t asked you to; and if the
conditions are not met you may not publicize the matter even if he/she
requested of you to do so.
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:
Menaseh: We were discussing the negative trait of
Oded: When a person intends on making himself known
in the world, he becomes less and less popular. People look down upon him.
Menaseh: So arrogance has the opposite effect.
Oded: Correct. It’s also worthy to take note of the
great punishment in this world and the next, that befalls one who is arrogant.
Menaseh: What is the punishment?
Oded: The Gemora tells us that there are 4 reasons
for which the possessions of a person are diminished; one of the reasons is haughtiness.
Menaseh: What’s the logic behind that punishment?
Oded: Since this person used his wealth to hold
himself above others, Hashem, subsequently lowers him by diminishing his
Menaseh: That makes sense.
Oded: As a matter of fact, the Gemora says that
haughtiness is equal to all the other reasons, together!
Menaseh: What are the other reasons?
Oded: Withholding the wages of a worker, stealing
the wages of a worker and removing a burden from oneself and placing it on a
friend. Haughtiness is as bad as all these reasons, combined.
If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman by
hitting the reply button.
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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. 4 & footnote
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10 Par. 4
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatevunah Chap. 14