Lesson 36

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Lesson #36

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.


Speaking loshon
horah about a city


  1. I was a guest in a certain city and suffice it to say, I
    was not treated as would be proper to treat a guest.  I’m wondering if I
    would be permitted to share this information with other people.
  1. Absolutely not!  It is forbidden to speak loshon horah
    about individuals, how much more so about an entire city.  The one
    exception is, if you’re speaking to someone who has an influence over the
    people of that particular city and your intention is solely for the
    benefit of the city residents.  Care, however, must be taken to adhere to
    the 7 conditions mentioned in previous lessons (See appendix below).

Speaking loshon
horah about someone who spoke loshon horah about you


  1. I occasionally try to stop my friends from speaking loshon
    horah and the response I often get is “Well, I was told that she spoke
    loshon horah about me”.  Is there any legitimacy to this justification?
  1. No; for 2 reasons:
    1. She has no right to believe that her friend spoke loshon
      horah about her, as will be discuss in future lessons.
    2. Even if it’s true that her friend spoke loshon horah
      about her, that doesn’t give her the justification to speak about her
      friend.  Since in this case she herself was the victim, her intention
      will certainly not be altruistic, i.e. to distance others from such
      behavior, but rather to get back at her friend for speaking about her.


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:  You were going to explain the Gemora which
states that everybody speaks loshon horah.

Oded:  The first thing we must establish is that the Gemora
clarified that it doesn’t mean to say that everyone speaks loshon horah, but
rather, avak loshon horah.

Menaseh:  What’s avak loshon horah?

Oded:  Avak loshon horah is speech that is not
actually loshon horah but borders on it.  We will discuss it in more detail in
future lessons.

Menaseh:  But even with that clarification, the
bottom line is that everybody will speak avak loshon horah.  So, it remains
impossible to completely refrain from avak loshon horah.

Oded:  The Maharsha explains, that when the Gemora
states that everybody will speak loshon horah, it means that if a person
doesn’t pay attention to his speech, he will certainly transgress.  However, if
a person watches what comes out of his mouth, he can most definitely succeed in
avoiding the sin of loshon horah.

Menaseh:  But isn’t that true regarding all sins?

Oded:  With sins that are not related to speech, it’s
possible to go for a period of time and not commit the sin; even without being
fully on guard.  However, regarding loshon horah, which is speech related; if a
person doesn’t pay careful attention to his words, he will definitely sin.

Menaseh:  How does this relate back to what we were
discussing yesterday; ruling over our yetzer horah?

Oded:  That’s precisely the point!  A person has the
ability to rule over his yetzer horah by paying attention to his actions and
speech and keeping them in check.  The problems begin, when a person allows his
yetzer horah to rule over him.

Menaseh:  So to sum it all up, there is no room for
hopelessness as long as person pays attention to his speech.  By thinking
before he speaks, he can succeed in completely refraining from loshon horah.

Oded:  correct!

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questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman by
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10
Par. 12

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10 Par. 16


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 public.

7.      Publicizing his transgression mustn’t cause him more damage than would
be due to him in Beis Din.

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