Lesson 73c Avak loshon horah examples

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Lesson #73c

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Topic: Avak Loshon



  1. You mentioned avak loshon horah (the dust of loshon
    horah).  Can you give examples of that?
  1. Sure.
  • “Who would have ever said about him, that he would turn
    out this way?”
  • “Don’t mention her name.  I don’t want to tell you what
    happened with her.”
  • Praising someone in front of his detractors will
    certainly lead to loshon horah.
  • Excessive praise about someone, even not in front of his
    enemies, can lead to either you, or the listeners, adding “except for…”,
    which is considered loshon horah.
  • Any form of praise said about someone in a public
    gathering will likely lead to loshon horah.  In a large gathering of
    people, there are bound to be detractors.


  1. If I am certain that even if I praise this person publicly,
    they will not speak loshon horah about him because they don’t really know
    him; may I do so?
  1. Yes. As long as you don’t praise him excessively.


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:  A person who speaks loshon horah is considered
as someone who denies in Hashem.

Menaseh:  That sounds like a big jump.  Where does
that come from?

Oded:  It’s actually based on a posuk in Tehilim. 
The posuk states: “Those who said we will strengthen over them with our
tongues, our lips are with us, who is a master over us?”

Menaseh:  It does sound like what you said, but why
is that?

Oded:  A person who has a sharp tongue often will
brag to others and say “All I have to do is open my mouth and I’ll eat him
alive.  He will be trampled by all.  Who can stand up to my verbal barrage? 
Even if this time I don’t succeed in fully shaming him, my lips are still with
me and I’ll keep pounding away until he is completely disgraced in the eyes of

Menaseh:  But why is that like denying in Hashem?

Oded:  Because he doesn’t take into consideration
that there is a G-d that sees and hears everything.

Menaseh:  You could say that about any sin a person

Oded:  Other sins a person may violate because he had
a temptation, be it physical or monetary, which he succumbed to.  The sin of
loshon horah is unique in that a person gets no real pleasure out of it.  The
only way to explain why a person violates the prohibition of loshon horah is
because he doesn’t have regard for the commandments of Hashem.  There is
another possible explanation as well.

Menaseh:  What is that?

Oded:  A person who tells loshon horah will often
look around to see if anyone whom he doesn’t want to hear what he is about to
say, is listening in.  By doing so he is demonstrating that he doesn’t take
into account the fact that Hashem hears and sees everything.

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1 Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 9 Par. 1,2

2 Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 9 Par. 2 note


Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 2 Chap. 8

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