A Lesson A Day – Repentance



      The standard order of teshuvah (repentance) for sins between man and G-d is: confession, regret and resolution never to repeat the act in the future. One who willfully listened as someone related loshon hora is required to engage in this process.

      If one actually believed the loshon hora, then the above steps must be preceded by a successful effort at convincing oneself that the information was not accurate. This applies even when the halachah permits listening to the information for a constructive purpose but does not permit believing it as fact.
Generally, sins between man and his fellow require that one ask forgiveness. However, this does not apply when one has accepted loshon hora. So long as the listener has not acted on the basis of the report in any way that was harmful to the subject, there is no need to approach the person for forgiveness. In fact, the person should not be informed that loshon hora was spoken about him, as it would serve no purpose other than to hurt his feelings, and may involve rechilus (speech which causes hatred).


New Lease on Life

      At times, the willingness to overlook and forgive can cause a person’s life on this world to be extended, even after Heaven has decreed that his time has come. The Talmud relates (Rosh Hashanah 17a):

      R’ Huna, the son of R’ Yehoshua, fell ill. R’ Pappa went to visit him. Upon seeing that he was unconscious, R’ Pappa told them [R’ Huna’s attendants], “Prepare provisions for him [i.e. ready his burial shrouds].’’ In the end, R’ Huna recovered. They [R’ Huna’s attendants] asked him [R’ Huna], “What did you see [while unconscious]?’’ He told them, “Indeed, that is how it was [that death had been decreed upon me]. But the Holy One, Blessed is He, instructed them, ‘Because he does not exact his measure, therefore, do not be exacting with him.’ As it is written, ‘He forgives transgressions and passes over sins’ (Michah 7:18) — whose sin does He forgive? One who passes over sins.’’

      Therefore, one should cling to this sacred attribute constantly. In this way, it will be good for him in this world and in the World to Come.

Taken from my
A Lesson A Day
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Rabbi Chofetz Chaim
Chofetz Chaim
This entry was posted in Judaism, Laws of Loshon Hora, SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM, SEFER SHMIRAS HALOSHON and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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