Lesson 34c Speaking loshon horah about someone who disgraced you

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Lesson #34c

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Speaking loshon
horah about someone who disgraced you



  1. I was at a party last week and a “friend” of mine
    humiliated me in public.  Am I permitted to relate what happened to
  1. 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, you may only speak loshon horah if your intention is to bring
    about a legitimate benefit.  If someone else was embarrassed or harmed,
    you may tell others if your intention is to disparage such behavior in the
    eyes of your listeners so that they will not behave in such a manner. 
    However, if you are the victim, your intentions will certainly not be completely
    altruistic, but rather, to disgrace the one who caused you harm.


  1. What if I suspect that she will continue to humiliate me? 
    May I tell others to prevent this from reoccurring?
  1. Yes.  If your intention is to prevent a reoccurrence, you
    may tell those whom you feel can influence her to desist from her
    disgraceful behavior.
  1. 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?
  1. 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:  The Mitzvah of chesed is the highest of the 8
levels of tzedoka.

Menaseh:  What do you mean by that?

Oded:  The Rambam lists 8 levels of tzedoka each one
greater than the next.  “The highest level, a level that there is nothing above
it” says the Rambam “is one who supports a Jew who has fallen by providing him
with either a gift or a loan, or forming a partnership with him, or providing
him with employment thereby strengthen him so he will not need to come on to
other people.”

Menaseh:  I’ve actually heard of organizations that
do just that.  They support those who have fallen on hard times so they will
not totally collapse.  They provide loans with easy payment arrangements and
they either hire someone or recruit a volunteer to collect the payments so that
the organization will always have funds to lend.

Oded:  It certainly is a tremendous concept.  Aside
from the great mitzvah of lending money to one who is about to collapse, this
organization is doing an additional chesed through their easy payment terms. 
As our sages teach us in Meseches Sukkah; the mitzvah of tzedoka is completed
by the amount of chesed that is involved.

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

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap.  Par. 13 &
footnote in 14


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 1 Chasimas HaSefer Chap. 7

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