Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 30: 1-3
Gossip, Slander & Revenge

1. [Leviticus 19:16] states: "Do not go around as a gossiper among your people."

Who is a gossiper? One who collects information and then goes form person to person, saying: "This is what so and so said; this is what I heard about so and so." Even if the statements are true and are not necessarily disparaging, they constitute a violation of a negative commandment.

This is a grave sin and can cause the death of many Jews. Consequently, the Torah mentions it in conjunction with the commandment: "Do not stand still over your colleague's blood."

See what happened to Doeg, the Edomite, who told King Saul (see I Samuel 22:10) that Achimelech gave David bread and a sword. The matter was true and was not at all deprecating to Achimelech, for in doing so he did not perform any wrong. Furthermore, had King Saul himself asked Achimelech, he would not have denied it , for he did not intend to sin against King Saul. Nevertheless, Doeg's gossiping caused the death of many priests.

2. There is a much more serious sin than the above, and it is also included in this prohibition: slander - the relating of deprecation facts about a colleague, even if they are true.

Slander does not refer to someone who invents lies; that is referred to as defamation of character. Rather, a slanderer is someone who sits and relates: "This is what so and so has done; his parents were such and such; this is what I have heard about him," telling uncomplimentary things. Concerning this, [Psalms 12:4] states: "May G-d cut off all beguiling lips, the tongues which speak proud things..."

A person who listens to slander is worse than the one who recites it (Pesachim 118a). The judgement against our ancestors in the desert was sealed only because of slander (Arachin 15a).

3. To what extent will one's remarks be considered slander? For example, a person asked a colleague: "Where can I find fire?" and the latter replied "Where is fire? In so and so's house there is an abundance of meat and fish, and they are always cooking there."

   Gossip, Slander & Revenge
Paragraphs 4-6
Next
Table of Contents

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

The Kindness Factor
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Out of This World
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Lech Lecha
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

> The Grand Prize of History
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Worthy of the Brocha!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Don't Walk in Front of Me (Anymore)
Shlomo Katz - 5763

ArtScroll

Neither a Thread Nor a Shoelace
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

What Happened To Lot?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Take the Initiative!
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Looking for a Chavrusah?

And Swing with All Your Might
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

Home Sweet Home
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Count Us If You Can
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Jews vs. Judaism
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Spiritual Yichus
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Our Future Lies in Chevron
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

When Things Don't Go As Planned
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information