Lesson 38

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Lesson #38

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 someone who consistently doesn’t lend money


  1. My friend asked a wealthy person in our community for a
    loan and was turned down.  I know this person has the means to lend him
    the money and it’s only out of his excessive stinginess that he refused
    him the loan.  May I go public with this despicable behavior?
  1. No you may not.  Even though we previously learned that
    when you see someone harming a fellow Jew you may publicize it under the 7
    conditions listed in the appendix below, this case is different.  Not
    lending money is not an act of causing harm to a fellow Jew but rather
    just not doing him a favor.  The allowance to speak loshon horah about him
    applies only when he actually harmed a fellow Jew.


  1. What if I know that this person never lends money to anyone? 
    Isn’t that violating the mitzvah of lending money to one who’s in need? 
    Didn’t we learn in previous lessons that one who consistently and
    purposefully violates a mitzvah of Hashem is no longer considered a part
    of the Jewish nation?  Therefore, in this case, the prohibition of
    speaking loshon horah shouldn’t apply.
  1. Violating the mitzvah of lending money is different for 2
    1. He does not violate the mitzvah through an action but
      rather through his inaction.  Therefore, even consistent violation, does
      not remove him from the Jewish nation.
    2. There is room for rationalization (i.e. it’s only a nice
      midda to lend money and not an obligation; I’m concerned he won’t pay me
      back, etc.).  Even though these rationalizations may have no legitimate
      basis; since it’s possible that he is mistakenly relying on them, his
      consistent violation does not remove him from the Jewish nation.

Note:  If you know someone who can influence this person
to change his ways, you may tell that person under the 7 conditions listed 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 were discussing cause #5, abandonment. 
Yesterday, you were asking me if G-d forbid, I was ill with a terrible illness
and a famous and successful doctor came to town, would I run to see him, even
if others with the same illness were not doing so.

Oded:  And do you recall your response?

Menaseh:  I said of course I would!  Why would I pay
attention to what other are doing if my life might depend on it?

Oded:  I would like to suggest that regarding loshon
horah as well, why pay attention to what others are doing, since your life is
surely dependent on it?

Menaseh:  Are you saying that refraining from loshon
horah can save my life?

Oded:  It’s not I saying that, but rather, the
greatest doctor of them all!

Menaseh:  And who might that be?

Oded:  Dovid Hamelech.

Menaseh:  Where does he say that?

Oded:  In Tehilim.  “Who is the man who seeks life…
guard your tongue from evil”.

Menaseh:  How does this relate back to abandonment?

Oded:  You said that you were ready to ignore what
other people were doing when it came time to seek a cure for an illness.

Menaseh:  Correct.

Oded:  I would suggest that even if other people have
abandoned guarding their tongue from evil speech, you should not.

Menaseh:  Can you elaborate?

Oded:  Sure!  Guarding your tongue from evil speech
will guarantee you eternal life in the world to come.  Not guarding your tongue
will guarantee you eternal affliction in the world to come as well as suffering
in this world.  Why pay attention to the behavior of others when your eternal
life is dependent on this?

If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman by
hitting the reply button.


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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 5 Par.

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 5 Be’er Mayim
Chaim 5


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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