Lesson 51c More on believing loshon horah

Sponsored as a zechus for

Aharon ben Liba

May he have a speedy refuah shelaimah

Lesson #51c

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.


More on believing
loshon horah


  1. A classmate was relating to me past misdeeds of another
    classmate of ours.  Today, this person is a fine Torah observant Jew.  Is
    it forbidden for me to believe what I heard about his past?
  1. If believing your classmate will result in you having a lesser
    opinion of the one whom he spoke about, it’s forbidden for you to believe him. 
    A rule of thumb is: whatever is forbidden for the teller to say is
    forbidden for the listener to believe.  Speaking about someone’s past sins
    is certainly forbidden if the person has since changed his ways.  (Note:
    There are many situations where the teller is allowed to tell but the
    listener is still not allowed to believe.)


  1. When I hear loshon horah, what am I supposed to think?
  1. It depends.  If the words of loshon horah that you heard
    have no affect on you or anyone else that you know, then you may not
    believe them at all.  However, if it is relevant to you or someone else
    whom you know, i.e. you were told that a certain person whom you have
    business dealings with is dishonest; you may harbor suspicions and keep up
    your guard.  However, it must be kept at the level of a suspicion and no
    higher.  In other words, it shouldn’t even be considered a doubt but
    rather merely a suspicion.  This is true only as far as protecting
    yourself from being harmed by this fellow.  However, regarding all other
    matters, you must treat him no different than any other Jew.  Therefore,
    if he lost an object and you found it, you are obligated to return it to
    him.  Or, if he needs charity you are obligated to help him, etc.


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.

Menaseh:  We were enumerating references in the Torah
to speech related sins.  We were in the middle of Sefer Shemos.

Oded:  The next reference is towards the end of
Parshas B’shalach.  The Torah relates that the nation quarreled with Moshe. 
The essence of their quarrel was to question whether Hashem was in their midst
or not and whether he would be able to provide them with water in the middle of
the desert.  Immediately, following that incident, the torah relates Amalek’s
attack on Bnei Yisroel.  Rashi explains that reason these 2 parshiyos are
adjacent to one another is because Hashem said: “You question whether Hashem is
in your midst?  By your life (a language of oath), the dog (Amalek) will come
and bite you and you will cry out to me; you will know were I am.” 

Menaseh:  In Parshas Mishpatim the posuk states:
“Don’t accept a false report”.  Our sages in Meseches Pesachim teach us that this
posuk is a warning against speaking and/or accepting loshon horah.  The
following posuk states: “Don’t go after the multitudes to do evil”.  The
positioning of these pesukim teaches us that even if many people are not
careful in guarding their tongue that does not excuse us.

Oded:  In Parshas Teztaveh the Torah describes the
Me’il (robe) of the Cohen Gadol.  Our sages teach us that the Me’il served as
an atonement for the sin of loshon horah.  Tomorrow we will discuss references
in Sefer Vayikra.

If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman clicking here.


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

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 6 Par. 10


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 2 Chap. 3

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