Lesson 46

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Lesson #46

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.


Listening to
loshon horah


  1. Yesterday, we learned that one may not believe loshon
    horah.  Is it permissible to listen to loshon horah without believing it?
  1. 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


  1. I am considering taking on a partner.  The other day I
    overheard someone talking about him.  Would I have been allowed to listen
  1. 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.
  1. By listening to the loshon horah, aren’t I causing the
    teller to sin?
  1. 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.

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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 6 Par.

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 6 Be’er Mayim
Chaim 3


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatevunah Chap. 13-16

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