Lesson 38c Loshon horah about someone who consistently doesn’t lend money

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Lesson #38c

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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 shameful 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 would be different. 
    Not lending money is not an act of causing harm to a fellow Jew but rather
    merely 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, would
      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 would 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:  Yesterday, we were discussing the following
posuk in Mishlei: “I passed through the field of a lazy man, through the
vineyard of a heartless person, and behold, it grew entirely thistles; its face
was covered with thorns…”  The end of that posuk is “and its stone wall was

Menaseh:  What is that coming to tell us?

Oded:  A person who is not careful to protect his
vineyard from getting ruined and covered with thorns and thistles, eventually,
the walls of that vineyard will crumble and the vineyard will be trampled on by

Menaseh:  How does that mesh with the actual message
of the posuk?

Oded:  The message of the posuk is that even if one
does many mitzvos and learns Torah, if he is not careful to guard his tongue
from evil speech his Torah learning and good deeds will be covered with thorns
and thistles.  The stone wall being destroyed is alluding to the fact that if
he doesn’t properly guard his tongue all the strong walls and boundaries that
he built for himself, walls of appropriate action and behavior, will crumble.

Menaseh:  From what  you’re saying it would seem that
a person who has decided to go on the right path in his life, the surest way of
guaranteeing that his efforts won’t go to waste is to first build a wall of
stone around his vineyard of Torah and mitzvos; a strong wall against harmful

Oded:  That is 100% correct!

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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 Section 2 Chap. 1


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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