Lesson 61

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Lesson #61

Please verbalize or
have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for a specific
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Sharing loshon
horah for which you have evidence, for a valid purpose

  1. Someone at work dug into the pocketbook of a co-worker and
    stole money.  Another co-worker told me who she thinks did it.  I have clear
    first hand evidence to back up her assertion.  May I share this
    information with our supervisor so that he may rectify the matter?
  1. Yes you may.  Even though generally you would not be
    allowed to tell others, even if you have evidence; under these
    circumstances you may.  Since you are sharing this information to help the
    one who was harmed and you have clear evidence to back up the information,
    you may even tell your supervisor that based on your evidence you believe
    that the accusation is accurate. (As with all loshon horah which is spoken
    for a valid purpose, you must adhere to the 7 conditions listed in the
    appendix below.)


May Bais Din rely
on circumstantial evidence?

  1. Is a Bais Din (Jewish court of law) allowed to rely on
    circumstantial evidence to reach a decision?
  1. Generally not.  However, if they feel it is the need of
    the hour, and they have first hand knowledge of the evidence, or they were
    presented with the evidence by 2 kosher witnesses, they may rely on it to induce
    an admission of guilt from the suspect.  This is only permissible for a
    Bais Din and not for a private individual.


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:  Yesterday, You quoted Rav as saying that if
one learns Torah for its sake, it’s considered as if he built palaces above and

Oded:  Correct; since Torah is what the world was
created with and learning Torah is what constantly upholds the world.

Menaseh:  So I was wondering, why is it only
considered as if he built palaces and not that he is actually doing it?

Oded:  There is a posuk in Tehilim that states as
follows: “To you Hashem is kindness for you pay man as are his deeds”.

Menaseh:  Why is it considered kindness for Hashem to
pay a man according to his deeds?

Oded:  That’s a good question which many have asked. 
Imagine for a moment that a person invented a machine which can build buildings
at a rapid rate.  If he would bring this machine to the king there is no doubt
that the king would reward him generously.  Do you think, however, that the king
would give him the cities that his servants built with this new invention?

Menaseh:  I don’t think so.

Oded:  Well the same is true regarding Torah
learning.  A person doesn’t actually uphold the worlds; it’s Hashem who
sustains them on a constant basis.  It is Hashem who enables Torah learning to
be the source of that sustenance.  Yet, Hashem considers it as if the person
has done it.  That is why the posuk in Tehilim states: “To you Hashem is
kindness…”.  It is a kindness for Hashem to consider it as if Man has himself
sustained the world.

Menaseh:  And that also answers my question as to why
Rav said it’s considered as if he built the palaces above and below.

Oded:  Precisely!

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7 Conditions

    1. You either saw it yourself or heard about it and
      subsequently verified its veracity.
    2. You must not rush to judgment, but rather weigh carefully
      whether what he/she did is indeed halachicly considered a sin.
    3. Before you go public, you must first attempt to gently
      rebuke him/her.
    4. You must be careful not to exaggerate the transgression.
    5. You intentions must be for the right reasons and not out
      of hatred for the individual or for personal gain.
    6. If you can bring about the same benefit some other way
      with out publicizing this fellow’s transgression, then you may not go
    7. Publicizing his/her transgression mustn’t cause him/her
      more damage than would be due to him/her in Beis Din.





1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 7 Par. 12 Be’er Mayim
Chaim 28

2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 7 Par. 13


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatorah Chap 2

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