Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

LASHON HARA PART 3

Last week we discussed how we cannot say derogatory things about other people. There is another category of speech which constitutes lashon hara even though it may not be derogatory: The Torah generally forbids us from saying things that could cause damage to a person. For example, if a person is looking to find employment, it is not allowed to jeopardize his chances by telling his prospective employers information that may cause them to choose not to employ him.

This aspect of the laws of lashon hara requires us to develop a heightened sense of awareness of how we speak about other people. If we are not careful then some undue damage may result from divulging information about others.

The Torah requires that, as well as not speaking lashon hara ourselves, we should be careful to not cause our friends to speak badly about other people. A common occurrence in this area is that we may innocently mention somebody’s name to the other person and he will then launch into a critique of that person. We should be extra careful when we are aware of tension between two people that we never mention the name of one of the antagonists in front of the other one for doing so would inevitably lead to lashon hara.

Moreover, unfortunately there are some people who very often criticize others - when speaking to such people it is advisable that we strive to never mention other people’s names.

There are a number of laws that relate to the event that someone does speak negatively about others in front of us. One is that we should not encourage them to continue speaking in this negative vein. The most unthreatening way of doing so is by subtly changing the subject. If this does not succeed then it is advisable to try to end the conversation as soon as possible.

Like all mitzvos between man and man, lashon hara teaches us a great deal about how we should act in our daily lives. One lesson we can learn from the above laws is that it is generally a good thing to not spend much of our time discussing other people. There are more important things to discuss than details about the lives of other people and if we recognize this then we can begin to speak more constructively.


Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

One Heart
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Temperament of a Kohen
Shlomo Katz - 5758

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

ArtScroll

What One Person Can Do!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

In Other Words
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Father Knows Best
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

> In Control
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Tying Generations Together
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

The Unpredictable Development of the Tribes of Dan and Binyomin
- 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Who Is Worthy of A Miracle?
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5771

Tamid: From Start to Finish
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

How We Suffer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

On Who's Honor?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Taking the Initiative
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5761

Torah-Sanctioned Zealotry
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760



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