- BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא
The Chafetz Chaim lists 31 mitzvot which may be violated when a person speaks or listens to Lashon Hara. This is a staggering number. Even though one does not generally violate them all in one shot, it is important to remember how carelessness can lead one into deeper trouble.
The central prohibition against unethical speech is Leviticus 19:16 - "Lo telech rachil b'ameicha" -- do not go about as a talebearer among your people. [FYI: Rashi's commentary on this verse is a "classic." He discusses the origins of the word rachil (a roving merchant), and a few divergent ideas about the Hebrew language.]
This verse in Leviticus applies equally to Rechilut and Lashon Hara (abbr.: L"H). The Chafetz Chaim gives their exact definitions, but for clarity we should mention them here:
- Lashon Hara - any derogatory or damaging (physically, financially, socially, or stress-inducing) communication.
- Rechilut - any communication that generates animosity between people.
It is certainly good to be aware of the various mitzvot. However, the halachot discussed in the Chafetz Chaim are more specific, basically revolving around "Lo telech rachil b'ameicha," "B'tzedek tishpot et amiteicha," and "hocheiach tochiach et amiteicha." The Chafetz Chaim delineates different situations and conditions, and identifies when the speech is forbidden, permissible, and even desirable.
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Monthly Archives: January 2010
SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Laws of Loshon Hora 6:9-10 We have been learning about kaballas loshon hora, the prohibition against believing loshon hora which is related in one’s presence. The Chofetz Chaim states that this prohibition applies not only to … Continue reading
SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Laws of Loshon Hora 6:7-8 In the course of a day, the average person hears hundreds of pieces of information. As each one is digested, we are left to decide whether or not we choose to … Continue reading
SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Laws of Loshon Hora 6:5-6 The Chofetz Chaim introduces us to a situation with which we are all familiar: You are sitting at someone’s Shabbos table or at a wedding, and several people start speaking loshon … Continue reading
SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Laws of Loshon Hora 6:3-4 In the previous segment, we learned that we are permitted to listen to loshon hora (without accepting it as fact) if there is something constructive to be gained. The Chofetz Chaim … Continue reading
SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Laws of Loshon Hora 6:1-2 One of the factors which makes loshon hora such a serious sin is that it involves the interaction of two people — the speaker and the listener. Until now, the Chofetz … Continue reading
Brand NEW sefer for the upcoming Shmiras HaLoshon cycle beginning this Shabbos!
SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Laws of Loshon Hora 5:7-8 In the business world, loshon hora is often spoken as a “marketing tool.” You may have observed this technique when asking a salesman for his opinion about a product and receiving, … Continue reading
SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Laws of Loshon Hora 5:5-6 The Chofetz Chaim informs us today that the popular pastime of “armchair financial analysis” is actually a forum for loshon hora. This occurs when a group conjectures about another person’s financial … Continue reading
SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Laws of Loshon Hora 5:3-4 In this segment, the Chofetz Chaim further examines the common practice of discussing other people’s intelligence. He asks the reader to consider the following scenario: You overhear a conversation in which … Continue reading
BS”D Please say tehillim now for Yaakov Akiva ben Malka Leah who is undergoing surgery NOW. Please forward this to friends and contacts. Also: At present Daniel Chaim Ben Tzofia Bracha 8 year old little boy with leukemia, is making … Continue reading