Lesson 52c Causing harm based on loshon horah that you’ve heard

Sponsored as a zechus for

Aharon ben Liba

May he have a speedy refuah shelaimah

Lesson #52c

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.


Causing harm based
on loshon horah that you’ve heard


  1. Someone told me that one of my workers hasn’t been showing
    up to work on time for the past month, but on his time sheet he writes
    otherwise.  Am I permitted to decrease his pay based on what I’ve heard?
  1. Absolutely not!  As we learned, you are only permitted to
    suspect but not to believe.  The general guideline is that you may take
    measures to protect yourself, but, you may not cause him harm based on
    what you’ve heard.  In this case, by decreasing his pay you would be causing
    him harm; therefore, it is forbidden to do so.  However, you may harbor
    suspicion and investigate the matter further.


  1. There is a person who’s been going around in our Shul
    collecting money for the past 2 years.  I recently heard that this person
    is not really needy but rather, a phony, who’s been deceiving people for
    his own profit.  May I stop giving him charity based on what I’ve heard?
  1. Since until now this person was considered a legitimate
    charity, the fact that someone spoke loshon horah about him is not
    sufficient evidence to remove him from that status.  You may suspect that
    something might be amiss and investigate further, but you are not
    permitted to cause him harm based on loshon horah that you’ve heard.  Withholding
    charity from him would be classified as causing him harm.  Therefore,
    until the matter is further clarified, you should continue giving him as
    you have until now.


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 briefly citing references in the Torah
to speech related sin.

Menaseh:  We are up to Sefer Vayikra.  Parshiyos
Tazria and Metzora discuss the laws of Tzora’as which comes as a result of
speaking loshon horah.  A person who is afflicted with Tzora’as must dwell
alone, away from civilization.  For his atonement, he must bring birds who
chirp a lot just as he did, with his many words of loshon horah.

Oded:  In Parshas Kedoshim we have the main warning
against loshon horah, “Do not go tale bearing amongst your nation”.

Menaseh:  We also have the mitzvah to rebuke our fellow
Jew when necessary, but, we are warned not to do it in a way that will shame
him, as that will bring upon ourselves a sin.

Oded:  In Parshas Behar we have the mitzvah of not
abusing our fellow Jew.  Our sages teach us that this is referring to verbal
abuse.  Let’s move on to Sefer Bamidbar.

Menaseh:  Okay; in Parshas Naso we have a posuk which
states: “And you should send from the camp all those afflicted with Tzora’as. 
This comes to teach us that even a great Torah scholar like Doaig must be send
away from the camp; thus the word “all”.

Oded:  In Parshas B’ha’alosecha the torah relates the
incident where the great tzadaikes, Miriam, spoke loshon horah about her
brother Moshe.

Menaseh:  Most of Parshas Sh’lach discusses the incident
of the spies who sinned by speaking loshon horah.

Oded:  In Parshas Chukas we find the nation speaking
loshon about Hashem and Moshe regarding the lack of bread and water and their
disgust for the Mon.  That wraps it up for Sefer Bamidbar.

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. 11


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 2 Chap. 3

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