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have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for a specific
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horah about someone who disgraced you
- I was at a party last week and a “friend” of mine
humiliated me in public. Am I permitted to relate what happened to
- If you mention her name or if it can be figured out about whom
you’re referring to, you may not tell others. As mentioned in yesterday’s
lesson, one may only speak loshon horah if there is a legitimate benefit
that will come out of that speech. When it’s someone else who was embarrassed
or harmed, you may tell others if your intention is to distance them from
such disgraceful behavior. However, if you are the victim, your
intentions will certainly not be completely altruistic, but rather, to
disparage the one who caused you harm.
- What if I suspect that she will continue to humiliate me?
May I tell others to prevent this from reoccurring?
- Yes. If your intention is to prevent a reoccurrence, you
may tell those whom you feel can influence her to desist from her
- I also feel that if I speak it out with others, it will
calm me down. Is this a legitimate reason to speak loshon horah?
- The Chofetz Chaim says that speaking to calm your nerves
might be considered a legitimate purpose, since your intention is not to
disparage the person but rather for therapeutic purposes.
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 cause #4, hopelessness.
You were going to explain how it’s possible to completely refrain from speaking
loshon horah when the Gemora states that everyone speaks loshon horah.
Oded: Let me share with you an interesting Medrash.
Oded: The Medrash says that Hashem, who is righteous
and straight, created man in his image to be righteous and straight.
Menaseh: So why then, did Hashem create a person
with a yetzer horah (evil inclination)?
Oded: To give man the opportunity to make it good.
Menaseh: If Hashem put a yetzer horah in a person
and called it bad, how can we make it good?
Oded: The yetzer horah is not in essence bad, we
make it bad.
Menaseh: How is that?
Oded: When we were infants we didn’t sin, when we grew
up we began sinning.
Menaseh: What does that show?
Oded: Hashem gave us the ability to rule over our
yetzer horah. The yetzer horah can be our servant and we can use it for good.
When we choose to allow the yetzer horah to rule over us, that’s when it
Menaseh: I think I understand your point. Perhaps
you can elaborate a bit more, tomorrow.
If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman by
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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
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. Par. 13 &
footnote in 14
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatevunah Chap. 15