SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM
When seeking a person’s assistance, be it financial or otherwise, one may not mention that he knows of others who received similar assistance from this individual – unless the individual is known to appreciate the publicizing of that fact.
This rule is based on the concern that a person may not want his charitable acts to become public knowledge, as this could bring about an endless barrage of requests for his assistance. By mentioning his having made a contribution to a certain person, one reveals that the recipient shared the information with others – which may cause the donor to be upset with that recipient.
When reference to the recipient is made to bolster one’s own request and not to cause animosity, it is categorized as avak rechilus.
SEFER SHMIRAS HALOSHON
Among the root causes of loshon hora is arrogance. The arrogant person views himself as a man of wisdom and stature, and he looks down upon everyone else. It is therefore only natural that he will ridicule others. The arrogant person is also filled with jealousy and enmity toward anyone in his community who is accorded greater honor than he. He tells himself, “Were it not for him, I would be the recipient of all that honor!’’ This attitude brings him to delve into the other person’s history until he finds something derogatory to say about him, be it true or false, so that he can heap scorn and shame upon that individual and lower his stature among people.
The Talmud states (Sotah 42b) that four groups will not merit to greet the Divine Presence: flatterers; liars; [habitual] speakers of loshon hora; and scoffers. Arrogance can cause a person to belong to all of the above groups. He will speak disparagingly of his fellow so that the person will be shamed while he will be honored; he will scorn and mock him; he will falsely boast of personal qualities which he does not possess; and he will flatter the wicked and refrain from reproving them, so that they will not hate him and seek to diminish his honor.
Therefore, one who wishes to purify his soul of arrogance should forever ponder the shamefulness of this bitter sin. How can man be arrogant when he was created from a putrid drop and will ultimately go to a place of dust, worms and maggots? One should also ponder the severity of this sin, which is one of the 365 negative commandments, as it is written, “… and your heart will become haughty, and you will forget Hashem, your G-d” (Devarim 8:14); and “Take care, lest you forget Hashem, your G-d” (ibid. v. 11).
When a person persists in seeking fame for himself, the opposite occurs. His reputation gradually becomes diminished and he becomes an object of disgrace in the eyes of others.