SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM
Rechilus When Attempting to Avoid Rechilus
It is forbidden to tell someone, “I’d rather not tell you what so-and-so said about you,” for this is implying that “so-and-so” said something negative about the listener. If the speaker honestly – though naively – intended to avoid speaking rechilus, he violated only the rabbinical prohibition of “avak rechilus.” However, if the implication was intentional, then the remark is classified as outright rechilus and he has transgressed the Scriptural prohibition.
SEFER SHMIRAS HALOSHON
One of the root causes of loshon hora is scoffing. Some people are accustomed to scoffing at anything, and attach themselves to people who are of their own kind. It is natural for such people to scoff at others who are outside their circle and to speak degradingly of them. Therefore, one who seeks to cleanse his soul should ponder the terrible sin of such behavior.
Our Sages teach that scoffers are one of four groups that will not merit to greet the Divine Presence (Sotah 42a). In addition to his own sins, a scoffer is guilty of causing others to join him in his ridicule. It is well known that to cause others to sin is an extremely grave offense, and prevents the perpetrator from being granted Heavenly assistance to repent (Avos 5:18).
Aside from all of the above, to idle one’s time away, even not in a sinful way, is to waste precious time that could be used for studying Torah and accruing reward for the World to Come. According to one Talmudic opinion, the verse “… for he scorned the word of Hashem” (Bamidbar 15:31) applies to one who squanders the opportunity to study Torah.
How ashamed, then, should one be to have spent hour upon hour in the company of scoffers! Moreover, were they to restrain themselves from speaking the forbidden, they would thereby merit eternal life, for, as the Midrash states, for each moment that a person refrains from speaking the forbidden, he merits a hidden light that no angel can fathom.