Lesson 35c How to do it right (loshon horah for a purpose)
Sponsored as a zechus for
Chava Rivka bas Zekia
May she find her zivug soon
Please verbalize or
have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for a specific
single and/or Jewish singles throughout the world.
How to do it right
(loshon horah for a purpose)
- We learned that if someone caused me damage, I may tell
others if I feel that it will help me receive compensation. How can I be
sure that I’m telling the loshon horah in the halachicly prescribed manner?
- To do it properly, without violating the laws of loshon
horah, requires much forethought. As was previously mentioned, anytime
you speak loshon horah for a purpose, you must adhere to the 7 conditions
listed in the appendix below. However, in a situation where you were the
one who was harmed, you must be especially careful with 3 of the
- Condition #2: You must not rush to judgment,
but rather weigh carefully whether what he did is indeed halachicly
considered a sin. This can be particularly difficult when you are
the one who was harmed, since a person is naturally biased towards
- Condition #4: You must be careful not to exaggerate
the transgression. Careful attention must be paid to this condition
as well for the above reason. In addition, if there is a detail that
would mitigate the fellow’s transgression, you must be careful to include
it, so as not to give the false impression that his transgression is
worse than it actually is.
- Condition #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. Included in this condition is if you can play
down what he did and still accomplish the same goal, then it’s a mitzvah
to do so.
- With so many conditions, I’m concerned that I will say the
wrong thing. Can you offer me advice on how to pull this off without
violating the laws of loshon horah?
- I can offer you 2 pieces of advice that will increase your
chances of pulling this off successfully.
- Do not say anything while you’re still angry, but rather
wait until you’ve calmed down.
- Before you utter a word, plan very carefully exactly what
you’re going to say and how you are going to say it, based on the 7
conditions listed below.
If you take these words to heart you
have greatly increased your chances of success.
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 must beseech Hashem to strengthen our hearts
to go in the ways of chesed so that He in turn will not remove His great chesed
Menaseh: Why does one follow the other?
Oded: As we mentioned previously, the chesed we do
is so powerful that it elicits from Hashem a response of chesed towards us. As
a matter of fact, our sages teach us, based on a posuk in Yeshayahu, that even
after the merit of our ancestors has been exhausted the merit of our chesed can
Menaseh: Do you mind sharing the posuk?
Oded: Not at all. The posuk reads as follows: “For
the mountains will be moved and the hills will collapse and my kindness will
not be removed from you and my covenant of peace will not collapse”.
Menaseh: Can you explain how we see from this posuk
that the merit of chesed will sustain us even after the merit of our ancestors
Oded: Sure. Mountains refers to the merit of our
great fathers, hills refers to the merit of our holy mothers. Even after they
have been “moved” or have “collapsed”, the chesed of Hashem will not be removed
from us in merit of our own acts of chesed and His covenant of peace will not
collapse in merit of those who make peace between man and his wife, which is
also a form of chesed.
If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman clicking here.
If you know others
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
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10 Par. 15
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 1 Chasimas HaSefer Chap. 7
The 7 Conditions
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.