Lesson 62c Loshon horah about relatives
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Loshon horah about
- Am I allowed to speak loshon horah about my relatives?
- Although it’s true that often when people speak loshon
horah about relatives, especially close ones, it is not with the intent to
harm, and the relative also might not mind; it is still considered loshon
horah. If you feel that your relative wronged someone and you’re speaking
about it in order to rectify the situation, you may do so. (Care should
be taken to adhere to the 7 conditions listed in the appendix below.)
However, even under such circumstances, if you were hasty and misjudged
your relative, and as a result spoke loshon horah about him, it is
considered a transgression.
Loshon horah about
a spouse or their family
- Is it permissible for me to tell my family loshon horah
about my wife?
- Absolutely not. There does seem to be a misconception
that one may speak loshon horah about their spouse. However, the fact is
that it is forbidden to speak loshon horah about both men and women alike,
even if it’s your spouse.
- What about the in-laws?
- You may not speak loshon horah about your in-laws.
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: The days of our lives are important to us; yet,
for some reason we are not careful about wasting them.
Menaseh: Can you explain yourself a little better?
Oded: If you would be able to give of your days to
someone would you do it?
Menaseh: Of course not!
Oded: Most people wouldn’t and for a good reason.
There is nothing as precious as time. With time we can acquire eternity.
Menaseh: So what do you mean when you say that
people waste their days?
Oded: Well, if you think about it, through idle
chatter we can waste hours a day.
Menaseh: I’m not so sure that you’re right about
Oded: If you add up all the times during the day
that you spoke unnecessarily, you will see that it can amount to al least a
good hour or two. Over the course of a year that is at least 365 hours wasted.
Menaseh: Why do you call it wasted?
Oded: We haven’t acquired a portion in the world to
come through the idle chatter. We haven’t even acquired any real benefit in
this world either. Instead, we’ve wasted precious time allotted to us for
Torah learning and used it for nothingness.
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1. You either saw it yourself or heard about it, and subsequently verified
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 public.
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. 8 Par. 1
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 8 Par. 2
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 2 Chap. 5