Lesson 70c Reporting a Jew to a non-Jewish authority – About whom may you not believe loshon horah
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Reporting a Jew to
a non-Jewish authority
- May I report a fellow Jew to non-Jewish government
- No. It’s actually a very grave sin. One, who commits
such a sin, is classified together with a heretic, and is destined for
eternal Gehinom. In extenuated circumstances, a competent halachic
authority should be consulted.
About whom may you
not believe loshon horah?
- About whom am I not allowed to believe loshon horah?
- Every Jew may not believe loshon horah about any Jew with
the exception of loshon horah about a heretic or one who reports other
Jews to non-Jewish government authorities (Malshin). About them you may
speak and believe loshon horah, since they are no longer considered a part
of the Jewish nation.
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: There is a posuk in Sefer Bamidbar that says
as follows: “On this, the Moshlim will say: come to Cheshbon it should be
built and established as the city of Sichon”. Our sages have a very
interesting interpretation of this posuk.
Menaseh: What is their interpretation?
Oded: The Gemora in Meseches Bava Basra states in
the name of Rav Shmuel the son of Nachmani who said the name of Rebbi Yonason,
the word Moshlim refer to those who rule over their evil inclination. The word
Cheshbon means a calculation. Thus, the posuk is stating that those who rule
over their evil inclination are telling us to make a calculation.
Menaseh: A calculation of what?
Oded: Two calculations are mentioned in the Gemora.
1) The loss verses the gain in doing a mitzvah. 2) The loss verses the gain in
doing an avairah.
Menaseh: How do we make the calculation?
Oded: The simple understanding of this is to reflect
on the fact that the loss you might suffer from doing a mitzvah is only
temporary while the reward is eternal. Alternatively, the benefit of not doing
a mitzvah is relatively very week; the reward for doing the mitzvah is
extremely powerful. One moment of pleasantness in the world to come is more
pleasurable than all the pleasures of this world wrapped together. I have though
another perspective on this calculation.
Menaseh: What is it?
Oded: Visualize a scale. On one side of the scale
you write all the losses you might suffer from doing the mitzvah. On the other
side you record all the benefits you attain from performing the mitzvah. If
you honestly visualize this you will see that the scale will tip in favor of the
benefits so much so that you will hardly even notice the losses. Menaseh:
Does this calculation apply to sin as well?
Oded: Absolutely! The losses of committing a sin
will outweigh the benefits to the extent that the benefits will hardly be
noticeable. By making these calculations the evil inclination will certainly
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 8 Par. 12
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 8 Par. 13
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 2 Chap. 8