SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Laws of Loshon Hora 4:5-6
In the previous segment, the Chofetz Chaim stressed that when rebuking someone, one must be careful to speak gently and with respect. Here the Chofetz Chaim deals with a different situation. What if you are fairly certain that the person will not heed your rebuke? In this case, you are required to seek someone — for example, a rav, dayan (judge) or parent — to whom the subject will listen, and relate the information to that individual. Make sure, however, that the following three conditions are met:
1. The person to whom you are relating the information must be someone who knows you and who will believe your report.
2. You must give over the information in a sensitive manner.
3. The person to whom you are relating the information must be someone who will handle the matter as discreetly as possible.
Given these conditions, it would be advisable to seek advice from a Torah authority before involving someone else in the process of rebuke.
From these laws, we learn how sensitive the Torah is towards the feelings of all people –- including sinners. Here we are dealing with a person who has sinned intentionally and is not receptive to criticism. Nevertheless, the Torah goes to extreme lengths to protect his reputation, to the point where rebuke is prohibited if it cannot be done in a discreet manner.
The underlying message of these laws is: we Jews are responsible for one another; therefore we have to be concerned when another Jew sins. But at the same time, we have to be equally concerned with protecting that Jew’s feelings, dignity and good name.
We should draw a lesson from these laws to be extremely sensitive to the feelings of every Jew and to avoid tarnishing another Jew’s image through words of loshon hora. By treating each other with love and respect, we will fortify our interpersonal relationships in the way which the Torah desires.
Become a daily email sponsor and help us provide thousands with easy access to the Torah’s inspiration. As a merit for a departed loved one, or for a recovery from illness, your sponsorship will go a long way toward bringing people the most effective tool for dealing with life’s troubles. Your dedication will reach over 8,000 recipients per day. Just email back the date and dedication you would like printed, along with your contact information to email@example.com
ABOUT THE CHOFETZ CHAIM HERITAGE FOUNDATION
Since 1989, the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation has successfully launched innovative methods of promoting the Torah’s wisdom on human relations and personal development. The foundation utilizes a vast array of effective communication tools including books, tapes, video seminars, telephone classes and a newsletter, designed to heighten one’s awareness of such essential values as judging others favorably, speaking with restraint and integrity, and acting with sensitivity and respect. The Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation’s programs reassert the Torah’s timeless recipe for building a world of compassion and harmony. The following opportunities for learning and personal growth are available through their offices.
A daily lesson from the Chofetz Chaim: A Daily Companion/Mesorah Publications.
- To subscribe or unsubscribe: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with subject subscribe/unsubscribe.
- To order tapes, books, learning programs and free catalog call: 866-593-8399.
- Please treat printed version with the respect due Torah materials.