Lesson 50c Believing loshon horah as a result of judging non-favorably
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horah as a result of judging non-favorably
- My friend told me about an acquaintance whom she saw enter
an eatery of questionable kashrus. I found out that what she told me is
true. By believing her words, am I in violation of accepting loshon
- If you could judge your acquaintance favorably and she’s a
person who normally is careful about mitzvah observance, then you are
obligated to judge her favorably. If you don’t judge her favorably, you
are in violation of the mitzvah to judge your fellow Jew favorably as well
as the sin of believing loshon horah, since you believed the teller’s
negative interpretation of the incident.
- I have a friend that had a judgment rendered against him by
a rabbinical court in a financial dispute that he had with another party.
He told me that he strongly disagrees with the courts conclusion. I must
confess that I think he might be right. Would that be considered
accepting loshon horah?
- Yes. You have an obligation to judge the rabbinical court
favorably and assume that they made their decision based on the claims
that were laid out before them and based on Torah true principles. In such
a situation, your first obligation is to try to convince your friend that the
decision that was rendered might in fact be correct. It is certainly
forbidden to accept your friend’s interpretation of the matter and as a
result form a negative opinion of the rabbinical court. The mitzvah of
judging your fellow Jew favorably is especially applicable when dealing
with G-d fearing individuals.
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 were enumerating places in the Torah where
reference is made to the sin of loshon horah.
Menaseh: We went through Sefer Beraishis; so we are
now up to Sefer Shemos. Moshe Rabbainu killed an Egyptian whom he saw
tormenting a fellow Jew. The following day, he noticed Dasan and Aviram
quarrelling and he rebuked them. One of them responded by saying: “Are you saying
to kill me like you killed the Egyptian?” The Posuk tells us that Moshe was
fearful and he stated: “In truth the matter has become known!” Rashi explains
that Moshe was fearful because he saw that there were informers amongst Klal
Yisroel and he thought perhaps as a result Bnei Yisroel are not worthy of being
Oded: That is correct! Rashi also cites a Medrash
that explains what Moshe meant when he stated: “In truth the matter has become
known!” Moshe had a question which perplexed him. In what did Klal Yisroel
sin to deserve a decree of backbreaking labor; more so than any of the other 70
nations of the world? After this incident however, he exclaimed: “In truth the
matter has become known!” Now I understand why they deserve this horrible
decree; as a result of the loshon horah which exists amongst them.
Menaseh: Okay, lets move on to the next reference.
When Hashem charged Moshe with the mission of freeing Klal Yisroel from Egypt, Moshe presented many objections. One of Moshe’s objections was “They won’t believe
me” when I tell them that Hashem sent me to free them. This statement did not
find favor in Hashem’s eyes. Hashem then gave Moshe a sign to show Bnei
Yisroel that Hashem did indeed send him. The sign was that his staff would
turn into a snake. Rashi explains that the snake was also a hint to Moshe that
he had just spoken loshon horah about Bnei Yisroel, since the snake was the
first creature to engage in the sin of loshon horah.
Oded: The second sign was Tzoras, which also alludes
to the sin of Loshon horah.
Menaseh: There are still a few more references in
Sefer Shemos that I would like to discuss tomorrow.
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 6 Par.
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 6 Par. 8 footnote
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 2 Chap. 3