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have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for a specific
single and/or Jewish singles throughout the world.
- Yesterday, we learned that one may not believe loshon
horah. Is it permissible to listen to loshon horah without believing it?
- Listening to loshon horah is biblically prohibited as
well. However, it is different than the prohibition of not believing
loshon horah (which is almost always prohibited) in that there are
circumstances where it’s permissible to listen to loshon horah without believing
- I am considering taking on a partner. The other day I
overheard someone talking about him. Would I have been allowed to listen
- It would be permissible for you to listen but not to
believe. You may, however, suspect that what you’ve heard might be true
and based on that proceed with caution.
- By listening to the loshon horah, aren’t I causing the
teller to sin?
- You’re raising a valid point. In your situation, since
the teller was already engaged in telling loshon horah to the other listeners
and you only wanted to listen in, you would not be causing him to sin, since
he already was. However, if you are the one requesting information from
him, you must first ascertain that he will not speak out of hatred but
rather for the purpose of guiding you to make the right decision.
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’ve finished discussing the 7 primary causes
of habitual loshon horah.
Menaseh: Would you mind briefly summarizing the
Oded: Not at all.
- Anger: A person who suffers from consistent fits
of anger has no control of what comes out of his mouth during his fit of
anger. The only solution is to uproot the attribute of anger from his
- Frivolity: A person, who has accustomed himself to
excessively engage in merriment and frivolity, will keep company with
people of a similar nature. This will inevitably lead to much ridicule
and laughter at the expense of others. The solution is to reflect on the
great evil of frivolity and distance ones self from people who engage in
- Arrogance: Arrogance will cause a person to feel
that he is above everyone else. He will feel jealous of anyone who has
attained more honor than he, and feel compelled to slander them in the
hope of elevating himself. One must distance himself from this abominable
trait by reflecting on his lowly origins and his future state, i.e. food
for the worms.
- Hopelessness: An attitude that if I try to refrain
from loshon horah I’m doomed for failure. One must realize that Hashem
would not give us a mitzvah which he knows we could not possibly keep.
- Abandonment: When one notices that the general
public attitude to the mitzvah of guarding ones tongue is one of
carelessness, it tends to rub off. One must reflect on the foolishness of
such an approach. If you can save your life, would you blindly follow
the herd, away from your salvation?
- Complaining nature: Those who complain about
everything have a pessimistic nature and will always see the negative in
others. This will obviously lead to much negative speech. A change of
attitude is essential to avoid this pitfall.
- Rationalization: If one is not sufficiently
knowledgeable in the laws of loshon horah, when a doubt arises, he will
tend to rationalize that it is permissible to speak. The solution is to
become well versed in the laws.
Menaseh: Thanks. I have my work cut out for me.
If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman by
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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. 6 Par.
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 6 Be’er Mayim
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatevunah Chap. 13-16