Lesson 32c Similarities and differences between man and Hashem and man and his friend
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differences regarding sins which are
between man and
Hashem and man and his friend
- We’ve discussed when one may speak loshon horah about
someone who has sinned solely to Hashem and about someone who has harmed
another Jew. Can you briefly summarize the similarities between these 2
- Sure! They are similar in that in both situations you may
only speak if the necessary conditions are met (see appendix below).
- And what are the differences?
- The differences are as follows:
Sins between Man and Hashem: You may only tell
others if you know that he is consistently and intentionally violating one or
more of Hashem’s commonly known mitzvos.
Sins between Man and his friend: You may publicize
his sin even if you only saw him sin once, if you know that he hasn’t done
Sins between Man and Hashem: If you’ve seen a Jew
consistently and purposefully violating one of Hashem’s mitzvos, you may assume
he has not done teshuva until proven otherwise.
Sins between Man and his friend: If you’ve seen a
Jew harm another Jew, you must be certain that he hasn’t repented, i.e.
returned the stolen item or paid for the damage etc., before you publicize his
Sins between Man and Hashem: The basis to speak
about one whom consistently and purposefully violates one or more of Hashem’s
mitzvos is that he is no longer considered part of the Jewish nation as a
result of his blatant disregard for Hashem’s mitzvos. Therefore, one can
publicly degrade him within the guidelines of the conditions listed in the
Sins between Man and his friend: If you’ve seen a
Jew harm another, he is still considered part of the Jewish nation. As such,
you may publicize his actions for the purposes listed in the appendix below
(see Right Intentions). However, regarding all other matters, i.e. insulting
him or causing him monetary damage, he is considered a full fledged Jew.
Sins between Man and Hashem: Since he is no longer
considered a part of the Jewish nation, it is possible that you are not
obligated to rebuke him. It is still preferable to rebuke him so that perhaps
he will repent and you will thereby avoid the necessity of publicizing his sinful
Sins between Man and his friend: You are obligated
to rebuke him when possible, before you publicize his violation.
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: Because chesed is such a great mitzvah, it is
customary amongst Klal Yisroel to form groups that engage in performing chesed.
Menaseh: Why is it necessary to form groups, can’t
we all just perform chesed with one another?
Oded: There are a number of advantages to doing it
as a group. For one, a group of people doing a mitzvah is more powerful than an
individual as it shows more honor to Hashem.
Menaseh: But if I do a mitzvah with a group, for
example I contribute to a gmach that lends money to people in need; I have only
a share of the mitzvah. If I do the mitzvah myself I get full credit.
Oded: I would venture to say that even if you are
part of a group, you would get full credit for the Mitzvah.
Oded: Since the mitzvah would not have been
completed without you, you are in essence facilitating the mitzvah. Therefore
you would get full credit.
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10 Par. 10 Be’er
Mayim Chaim 30
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 1 Chasimas HaSefer Chap. 6
The 7 Conditions for speaking loshon horah about one
who sinned against his friend
1. You either saw it yourself or heard about it and subsequently verified
2. You must not rush to judgment, but rather weigh carefully whether what
he did is indeed halachicly considered a sin.
3. Before you go public, you must first attempt to gently rebuke him.
4. You must be careful not to exaggerate the transgression.
5. You intentions must be for the right reasons and not out of hatred for
the individual or for personal gain.
6. If you can bring about the same benefit some other way with out
publicizing this fellow’s transgression, then you may not go public.
7. Publicizing his transgression mustn’t cause him more damage than would
be due to him in Beis Din.
#5 – Right Intentions
1. To help the one who was harmed.
2. To publicize and degrade the bad deed for one of the following reasons:
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.
5 conditions for degrading one who disregards mitzvos of Hashem
1. You must have first hand knowledge, unless, it’s common knowledge in
the city that this fellow is a rosha.
2. You must not rush to judgment, but rather, weigh carefully whether what
he did is halachicly considered a sin.
3. You mustn’t exaggerate his transgressions.
4. Your intentions should be for the right reasons:
a. That people will distance themselves from such behavior.
b. Perhaps the sinner will change his ways.
c. Not out of personal hatred or for any personal benefit.
5. You must degrade him publicly, not privately; unless, you are concerned
for your safety or you suspect that doing so publicly might lead to strife.