Lesson 33

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Lesson #33

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Speaking loshon
horah about someone who caused you financial harm


  1. A business partnership that I had with someone, went sour
    after I noticed that he was siphoning off large sums of cash from our
    business, for personal use.  May I go public with this?
  1. No.  Even if you are able to fulfill most of the
    conditions listed below (see Appendix), condition #5 will be most
    elusive.  Since you are the one that was harmed, your intentions will
    certainly not be for the sake of truth, i.e. so that others should
    distance themselves from such behavior.  It is inevitable that your
    primary intention will be, to degrade and shame your former partner for
    pilfering money from the business.


  1. But what if I think that by going public, he will be
    compelled to return the pilfered funds?
  1. Now that’s a different story!  If you feel that you can
    recoup your losses and that is your sole intention for going public, then
    you may; providing that you are careful to adhere to the other 6
    conditions mentioned in the appendix below.


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:  We began discussing cause #4,
hopelessness.  I remember learning a Gemora which stated that everyone speaks
loshon horah.  If  so, it seems that it’s impossible to not speak loshon horah.

Oded:  If what your saying is true, it would be very
difficult to understand how Hashem can command us not to speak loshon horah.

Menaseh:  Why?

Oded:  It would be unjust.

Menaseh:  Why would it be unjust?

Oded:  Hashem gives reward or punishment for all of our
deeds.  It would be unjust to punish someone for a committing a sin that he had
no choice but to commit.

Menaseh:  So then how do we understand the Gemora which
states that everyone speaks loshon horah?

Oded:  I will explain that Gemora to you, but first
lets establish as fact that if Hashem commands us to do something, or refrain
from doing something, it must be that we have the ability to fulfill that

Menaseh:  I understand that point.

Oded:  Tomorrow, I will further address your question
regarding the Gemora which you quoted.

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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10
Par. 11

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10 Par. 13


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatevunah Chap. 15



The 7 Conditions

    1. You either saw it yourself or heard about it and
      subsequently verified its veracity.
    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
    7. Publicizing his transgression mustn’t cause him more
      damage than would be due to him in Beis Din.

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