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ARCHIVES: HILCHOS LASHON HARA & RECHILUS PART 1

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BELOW ARE THE HALACHOS FROM THE DAILY EMAILS THAT WERE SENT OUT TO THE “HALACHA FOR TODAY” DAILY EMAIL LIST

Halachos for Sunday January 31, 2021

Introduction:

 

We will now, B’Ezras Hashem, begin studying the vital Halachos of ‘Lashon Hara’ and 'Rechilus'.

 

We will endeavor to keep things simple and straightforward, and try to present the many aspects of this often complex topic, in a simple, understandable and practical way.

 

Being that the Tur and Shulchan Aruch did not codify this topic, we are following the "Shulchan Aruch of Hilchos Lashon Hara", i.e., the ‘Sefer Chofetz Chaim’, written by Harav Yisroel Meir Hakohen Kagan of Radin, the holy Chofetz Chaim Zatzal , who is universally known by the title of this Sefer.

 

All Halachos that are presented without any additional source information, are taken directly from the words of the holy Chofetz Chaim (who is also the author of Mishna Berura) , who is generally accepted as an authority and often as “the final word” in matters pertaining to Halacha in general, and surely, as they pertain to the Halachos of Lashon Hara, which was one of his life's primary missions.

 

It is our collective Tefilah to Hashem that our learning of these important Halachos serve as a vehicle for us all to better appreciate the value of speech and thus improve our day-to-day interactions with one another in the realm of speech.

 

May we all eradicate Lashon Hara from our lives – as it was the primary cause of the Churban Bais Hamikdash, and continues to be the primary reason for the lengthy and bitter Galus that we are still suffering in (as is demonstrated in the introduction to Sefer Chofetz Chaim)  – and thereby merit the long awaited Geulah Shelaima, with the arrival of Mashiach Tzidkeinu B’meheira B’Yameinu!

 

 

1) There are various Torah commandments, both positive and negative ones, which can be transgressed when speaking Lashon Hara (forbidden speech) or Rechilus (literally translated as peddling gossip; we will delve into more detail of this variation of forbidden speech as we progress, B‘Ezras Hashem)

 

Additionally, there are biblical curses which can befall a person who engages in negative speech.

 

Before we delve into the practical Halachos of forbidden speech, we will enumerate the applicable Torah verses for these commandments and curses.

 

2) There are 17(!) negative commandments that can potentially be transgressed when speaking/hearing forbidden speech.

 

# 1 of 17 is:

 לֹא־תֵלֵ֤ךְ רָכִיל֙ בְּעַמֶּ֔יךָ

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara or Rechilus regarding another Jew, be it in his presence or behind his back, transgresses the biblical prohibition against peddling gossip, as it states (Vayikra 19:16) Lo Seilech Rachil B’Amecha.

 

#2 of 17 is:

 לֹ֥א תִשָּׂ֖א שֵׁ֣מַע שָׁ֑וְא

 

One who speaks evil of another, as well as the one who hears it, transgress the biblical prohibition against giving/accepting false reports, as it states (Shemos 23:1) Lo Sisa Sheima Shav.

 

Halachos for Monday, February 1, 2021

 

1)  # 3 of 17 is:

הִשָּׁ֧מֶר בְּנֶֽגַע־הַצָּרַ֛עַת לִשְׁמֹ֥ר מְאֹ֖ד וְלַֽעֲשׂ֑וֹת

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara transgresses the biblical prohibition against doing an action that can result in Tzara’as, as it states (Devarim 24:8) Hishamer B’Nega Hatora’as Lishmor Me’od La’sos.

 

It is questionable if the one hearing the Lashon Hara transgresses this commandment if he believes what he hears in his heart, even if he remains silent.

 

2)  #4 of 17 is:

וְלִפְנֵ֣י עִוֵּ֔ר לֹ֥א תִתֵּ֖ן מִכְשֹׁ֑ל

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara, as well as one who listens to what is being spoken, transgresses the biblical prohibition against placing a stumbling block in front of a blind person, as it states (Vayikra 19:14) V’Lifnei Iver Lo Siten Michshol.

 

For the one speaking, it is a separate transgression for each of the people listening to his words, so if, for example, he is speaking Lashon Hara in front of 10 people, he transgresses 10 distinct negative commandments for relating one statement of Lashon Hara!

 

Halachos for Tuesday, February 2, 2021

 

1) #5 of 17 is:

הִשָּׁ֣מֶר לְךָ֔ פֶּן־תִּשְׁכַּ֖ח אֶת־ה' אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara transgresses the biblical prohibition against being arrogant (as one who speaks negatively and disparagingly about another, is deemed by Chazal to be a haughty person who considers himself to be a person of higher standing than the one he is verbally ridiculing.) as it states (Devarim 8:11) Hishamer Lecha Pen Tishkach Es Hashem Elokecha.

 

2) The character trait of Ga’avah, haughtiness, is an extremely harsh sin, as the Talmud (Sotah 5a and other places) states that one who is arrogant is likened to an idol worshipper, does not merit getting up at Techiyas Hameisim, is called an abominable person, Hashem says about him that ‘Me and him cannot exist together in the same world’, and other such frightening things.

 

If we would train ourselves to focus on our own faults instead of on the faults of others, we would find ourselves less likely to speak Lashon Hara, as too often the reason one speaks Lashon Hara is to elevate himself by way of putting someone else down.

 

This specific transgression only applies to the one speaking and not to the one listening. Also, it applies to Lashon Hara and not to Rechilus.

Halachos for Wednesday, February 3, 2021

 

1)  #6 of 17 is:

וְלֹ֤א תְחַלְּלוּ֙ אֶת־שֵׁ֣ם קָדְשִׁ֔י

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara, as well as the one who listens to it,  transgresses the biblical prohibition against desecrating Hashem’s Name, as it states (Vayikra 22:32) V’Lo Sichalelu Es Shem Kodshi.

 

2) Since there is no physical pleasure derived from speaking/hearing Lashon Hara, doing so is deemed to be a rebellious act against Hashem (Mered) and a senseless rejection of the yoke of Heaven (Prikas Ol), and thus deemed a Chilul Hashem.

 

This is even more so if the one speaking the Lashon Hara is a respectable person who people look up to, which exacerbates the Chilul Hashem aspect of what he is doing.

 

Moreover, if the Lashon Hara is being spoken in public, it makes the sin all the more harsh, as then it is deemed a public desecration of Hashem’s name, Chas V’shalom.

 

The Heavenly retribution for the sin of Chilul Hashem is unspeakable, and this sin should be avoided at all costs. (See Talmud Kidusin 40a and the last Rashi on the page. See also Pirkei Avos Perek 4 Mishna 4)

 

Halachos for Thursday, February 4, 2021

 

1)  #7 of 17 is:

לֹֽא־תִשְׂנָ֥א אֶת־אָחִ֖יךָ בִּלְבָבֶ֑ךָ

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara about another Jew, behind is back, often transgresses the sin of harboring hate in your heart for another Jew, as it states (Vayikra 19:17) Lo Sisna es Achicha B’levavecha

 

2) This sin would be transgressed if, when in the presence of the one he is speaking about he pretends to be at peace with him, and only when he is not in that person’s presence, he speaks ill of him to others.

 

This transgression is surely applicable if the one speaking specifically tells the ones he is speaking to that they should not repeat what he said to the one it was about.

 

One who disparages another Jew to his face, does not transgress this specific sin (though he transgresses quite a few other ones, especially if it’s in public)

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, February 5, 2021;

Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1)  #8 and #9 of 17 are:

לֹֽא־תִקֹּ֤ם וְלֹֽא־תִטֹּר֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י עַמֶּ֔ךָ

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara about another Jew, often transgresses the sin of taking revenge, or harboring a grudge in your heart against another Jew, as it states (Vayikra 19:18) Lo Sikom V’Lo Sitor Es Bnei Amecha

 

2) An example of this would be, if one asked a monetary favor of another Jew and he declined to assist him (e.g. rejected his request to borrow money), and he now bears hate in his heart toward him for this refusal.

 

Then when he subsequently observes something negative about the one for whom he has hate in his heart, he goes and publicizes it.

 

The original harboring of the grudge in his heart is a transgression of “Lo SItor”, and the subsequent relating of the negative things he observes, brought about due to harboring this grudge, is a transgression of “Lo Sikom”. As difficult as this may seem, the Torah mandates that he remove the grudge from his heart.

 

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) Regarding the one listening to the Lashon Hara, if he too assists and enjoys what he is hearing, as he too was once the victim of the same person’s non-assistance, he too will transgress these two prohibitions.

 

2)  Unfortunately, this is all too common, as ‘misery loves company’, and all too often when one feels hurt by someone the natural response is to seek out another person who was also hurt by that person and to disparage him together, in hopes of making themselves feel better.

 

This is a trap of the Yetzer Hra and must be avoided at all costs.

 

Halachos for Sunday February 7, 2021

 

1)  #10 of 17 is:

 

לֹֽא־יָקוּם֩ עֵ֨ד אֶחָ֜ד בְּאִ֗ישׁ לְכָל־עָו‍ֹן֙ וּלְכָל־חַטָּ֔את

 

One who gives testimony about another Jew to a Bais Din, without having a second witness corroborating his testimony, transgresses the sin of  rising up alone against another to proclaim his sins and iniquities, as it states (Devarim 19: 15) Lo Yakum Eid Echad B’Ish L’Kol Avon U’Lkol Chatos. (Of course, if one has a second witness to corroborate what he is saying, or if he feels Bais din may have someone else to join him in his testimony, that can be a perfectly acceptable testimony, and he should discuss with a Rav if he may/must come forward)

 

2) The reason for this is that such testimony, without a second witness, is worthless and has no tangible benefit. Bais Din cannot adjudicate a monetary ruling based on his lone testimony, nor can they require the party being spoken about to swear, nor can they effect the reputation (Yichus) of the one being spoken about based on this testimony. (Of course, in situations where Bais Din can compel the party to swear, it would be allowed. We are not elaborating on that here. In all cases, a Rav must be consulted)

 

Thus his testimony is deemed baseless Lashon Hara (and it also carries the penalty of Malkos)

 

If the Bais Din accepts his testimony as truth, they too transgress this prohibition.

 

 

 

Halachos for Monday, February 8, 2021

 

1) The transgressions we enumerated until now were for any individual who speaks/listens to Lashon Hara.

 

2)    #11 of 17 is

לֹא־תִֽהְיֶ֥ה אַֽחֲרֵֽי־רַבִּ֖ים לְרָעֹ֑ת

  

One who attaches himself/herself to an unscrupulous group of individuals, i.e. a bad Chevra of Ba’alei Lashon Hara, for the purpose of gossiping to them or listening to gossip from them, transgresses the sin of following an evil majority, as it states (Shemos 23:2) Lo Sih’yeh Acharei Rabim L’Ra’os.

 

This transgression is not just for Lashon Hara; it also applies in general to one who clings to a bad group who engage in sinful activities.This should be avoided at all costs.

 

 

 

 

Halachos for Tuesday, February 9, 2021

 

1)  #12 of 17 is:

וְלֹא־יִֽהְיֶ֤ה כְקֹ֨רַח֙ וְכַ֣עֲדָת֔וֹ

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara and thereby supports an ongoing quarrel (Machlokes), transgresses the sin of supporting quarrels , as it states (Bamidbar 17:5) V’Lo Yih’yeh K’Korach U’K’adaso.

 

2) It is possible that this transgression applies as well to the one listening to Lashon Hara, and not only to the one who is speaking, as if the listener would have made it clear – verbally or via a facial or gesture of disappointment – that he has no interest in hearing this gossip and thereby continuing to support this quarrel, it would have quelled the quarrel.

Halachos for Wednesday, February 10, 2021

 

1)  #13 of 17 is:

וְלֹ֤א תוֹנוּ֙ אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־עֲמִית֔וֹ

 

If one relates Lashon Hara in the presence of the one being spoken about and thereby causes him anguish, he transgresses the sin of O’nas Devarim, verbally distressing another person , as it states (Vayikra 25:17) Lo Sonu Ish Es Amiso. (See Talmud Bava Metzia 58b and Tur Choshen Mishpat Siman 228:1 that verbally hurting someone is worse than physically hurting them)

 

2) This transgression applies only to the one relating Lashon Hara and not to the one hearing it.

 

Furthermore, this transgression applies even if the only one present is the one being disparaged, and no other people are there to hear him being verbally battered.

 

Halachos for Thursday, February 11, 2021

 

1)     #14 of 17 is:

וְלֹֽא־תִשָּׂ֥א עָלָ֖יו חֵֽטְא

 

If when speaking Lashon Hara in the presence of the victim, he/she gets embarrassed, and displays a facial color change, he transgresses the sin of shaming another Jew and thus bearing a sin on another’s account , as it states (Vayikra 19:17) V’Lo Sisa Alav Chet.

 

2) This Torah directive is to be cautious not to embarrass another Jew, even while rebuking him in a Torah-mandated, constructive way, even with no other people present. How much more so does this sin apply when doing it blatantly for gossip purposes, with no constructive purpose, and with other people there to witness his shame.

 

Chazal have already taught us (Pirkei Avos Perek 3 Mishna 11/Mishna 15 in some versions) that one who embarrasses another Jew publicly, forfeits his portion in Olam Haba, the World to Come.

 

This is a serious transgression and must be taken very seriously.

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, February 12, 2021; Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

 

1) #15 of 17 is:

כָּל־אַלְמָנָ֥ה וְיָת֖וֹם לֹ֥א תְעַנּֽוּן

 

If the one being spoken about is a widow or an orphan (even if they are financially wealthy) if it is in their presence, he transgresses the sin of oppressing a widow or an orphan , as it states (Shemos 22:21) Kol Almana V’Yasom Lo Se’anun.

 

2) This particular sin is only transgressed by the one speaking and not by anyone who is listening to what is being spoken.

 

However, anyone listening to a widow or orphan being verbally harassed , and sits idly by without coming to their defense, surely will get a heavenly punishment for their inaction, as there is a special requirement to treat widows and orphans with extra compassion and sensitivity. (See Rambam at length in Sefer Hamitzvos Mitzvah 256)

 

Some Rishonim maintain that this transgression applies to all downtrodden and exploited people, not just to orphans and widows. (See Rashi to Shemos 22:21)

 

 

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

 

 

1)  #16 of 17 is:

וְלֹא־תַֽחֲנִ֣יפוּ אֶת־הָאָ֗רֶץ

 

If the one relating the Lashon Hara is doing so to flatter the one he is relating it to, he transgresses the sin of Chanifa, flattery , as it states (Bamidbar 35:33) V’Lo Sachnifu Es Ha’aretz.

 

A classic example of such Chanifa is if the one relating the Lashon Hara knows that the one he is speaking to harbors a dislike for the one who the Lashon Hara is about, and thus he hopes to find favor in the eyes of the one he is talking to via sharing something negative with him about the one who he dislikes.

 

2) It is, unfortunately, very common when hearing Lashon Hara about someone, that the one listening adds to the Lashon Hara, either by interjecting his own “two cents” or by nodding his head in agreement.



Often the one listening does this, despite knowing that what he is hearing, and his nodding or verbal participation, is against halacha, yet he does it due to the fact that the one who is speaking is a “respectable” person or someone that the listener wants to get a political or other favor from. Sometimes the listener fears that if he does not nod in agreement or participate, the speaker will label him as an unwise person who doesn’t have an opinion about the subject at hand.

 

Even though it is often difficult to refrain from such nodding or participation in this conversation, it is important to note that the Torah mandates him avoiding this at all costs, lest he transgress the sin of Chanifah by adding to the Lashon Hara with even one gesture or word of agreement to what is being spoken.

 

Moreover, the one listening is required to rebuke the one speaking for what he is saying, and if he refrains from rebuking him (where the rebuke would have been accepted) he is considered to be transgressing Chanifah simply by virtue of his remaining silent in place of standing up and giving rebuke.

 

Halachos for Sunday February 14, 2021

 

1)  #17 of 17 is:

לֹֽא־תְקַלֵּ֣ל חֵרֵ֔שׁ

 

If while one is angrily speaking Lashon Hara, he curses the one he is speaking about, and does so using the name of Hashem (even in English or another language) he transgresses the sin of cursing another Jew, as it states (Vayikra 19:14) Lo Sekalel Cheresh. (even though the Posuk states “Do not curse a deaf person, Chazal learn that it means “even” a deaf person who can’t hear you, but certainly a person who can hear you. See Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat Siman 27:1 and commentary of the Sma there.)

 

2) Even though this sin is not for the transgression of speaking Lashon Hara per se, the Chofetz Chaim listed it along with the other 16 transgressions that are directly attributed to the actual Lashon Hara, as sadly, it is all too common to transgress this sin in conjunction with the other transgressions of Lashon Hara.

 

This sin is transgressed regardless if the person being cursed is present or not.

 

 

Halachos for Monday, February 15, 2021

 

1) Besides for the 17 negative commandments that can be transgressed by speaking Lashon Hara, there are also many positive commandments that are lost by virtue of speaking Lashon Hara (Bitul Mitzvas Asei, which is also a sin)

 

#1 of 14 of the positive commandments abandoned by speaking Lashon Hara is:

זָכ֕וֹר אֵ֧ת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֛ה ה' אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ לְמִרְיָ֑ם בַּדֶּ֖רֶךְ בְּצֵֽאתְכֶ֥ם מִמִּצְרָֽיִם

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara most likely has forgotten about (at least for a few moments) the punishment that Hashem meted out to the righteous prophetess, Miriam, for speaking Lashon Hara, thus foregoing the positive commandment to remember this event, as it states (Devarim 24:9) Zachor Es Asher Asah Hashem Elokecha L’Miriam B’Derech B’Tzeischem Mimitzrayim.

 

Miriam loved her brother, Moshe Rabbeinu, and raised him, and put herself in danger to save him. Miriam did not speak in a degrading way about him. She did not speak in front of him in a way that would embarrass him. She did not speak about him publicly, and Moshe was not offended by her words. Yet, the Torah tells us that she was punished for her words.

 

How much more careful must we be with Lashon Hara when our intentions are far less noble, and there is degradation, humiliation, hurt feelings, and an audience involved!

 

2) It is due to the severity of the sin of Lashon Hara that the Torah commanded us to verbally and in mentally keep the story of Miriam in our mind constantly! (This is one of the 6 constant remembrances in the Torah)

 

 

Halachos for Tuesday, February 16, 2021

 

1) #2 of 14 of the positive commandments abandoned by speaking Lashon Hara is:

וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵֽעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ

 

One who speaks or listens to Lashon Hara foregoes the Torah commandment to be careful with others’ money and others’ feelings the way he would be careful with his own money and feelings , as it states (Vayikra 19:18) V’Ahavta L’Rayacha kamocha.

 

2) Speaking or listening to Lashon Hara shows that you don’t love the person who the Lashon Hara is about.

 

Just as every individual has flaws, faults, shortcomings and weaknesses, yet does everything in his/her power to hide those failings from becoming known, and even when they are related to others, they hope that the ones hearing about it won’t accept the information as true (even if it is the truth), so too must every Jew act in regard to their fellow Jew, and not spread their failings to others, and not listen and believe what is related to them about others.

 

Rather, every Jew must try and speak positively about others and praise them – and also work to hide their fellow Jew’s imperfections – as that is a true expression of loving one another as we love ourselves, and that is what the Torah demands of us.

 

 

Halachos for Wednesday, February 17, 2021

 

1) #3 of 14 of the positive commandments abandoned by speaking Lashon Hara is:

בְּצֶ֖דֶק תִּשְׁפֹּ֥ט עֲמִיתֶֽךָ

 

At times, one who speaks Lashon Hara foregoes the Torah commandment to judge another Jew favorably, as it states (Vayikra 19:15) B’Tzedek Tishpot Amisecha.

 

2) This would be the case if one heard another Jew saying something, or saw another Jew doing something that can be interpreted two ways – one that will put that person in a negative light and one that won’t – and he went ahead and judged him unfavorably and related the story,with the critical interpretation , to another person.

 

If the one hearing the Lashon Hara accepts it with the negative interpretation and thus deems the person spoken about as having said or done a negative thing, he too forgoes on this commandment. 

 

 

Halachos for Thursday, February 18, 2021

 

1) #4 of 14 of the positive commandments forfeited by speaking Lashon Hara is:

וְהֶֽחֱזַ֣קְתָּ בּ֔וֹ גֵּ֧ר וְתוֹשָׁ֛ב וָחַ֖י עִמָּֽךְ

 

If one speaks negatively about a fellow Jew, and due to spreading this negativity about him/her, it leads to their reputation being sullied, and to their losing their livelihood, he foregoes the Torah commandment to support other Jews and enable them to live amongst you, as it states (Vayikra 25:35) V’Hechezakta Bo Ger V’Toshav V’Chai Imach

 

2) Furthermore, the very next Posuk (Vayikra 25:36) proclaims וְחֵ֥י אָחִ֖יךָ עִמָּֽךְ, V’Chay Achicah Imach, a Torah commandment to “Let your brother live with you!”,which is a directive to support fellow Jews in their financial pursuits in any way that you can, and surely not to speak against him/her or otherwise do any actions to make him/her lose money!

 

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, February 19, 2021;

Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh

 

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) #5 of 14 of the positive commandments possibly forfeited by engaging in Lashon Hara is:

הוֹכֵ֤חַ תּוֹכִ֨יחַ֙ אֶת־עֲמִיתֶ֔ךָ

 

Oftentimes, the one listening to Lashon Hara knows that what he is about to hear (and accept) is Lashon Hara or Rechilus, and he knows that if he rebukes the one speaking he will accept the rebuke and refrain from continuing to speak. In this situation, the Torah demands that the listener reprimand the speaker, and thus put a stop to the forbidden speech.

 

If the one listening does not put a stop to it, and allows the speaker to keep talking, he foregoes the Torah commandment to rebuke a fellow Jew who is sinning, as it states (Vayikra 19:17) Ho’chayach To’chiach Es Amisecha

 

2) Even if the one listening is in doubt if what he is about to hear is Lashon Hara or Rechus, he must reprimand the speaker, to stop him in his tracks, lest he speak forbidden speech.

 

 

Halachos for v Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) #6 of 14 of the positive commandments possibly forfeited by speaking Lashon Hara is:

וּב֣וֹ תִדְבָּ֔ק

 

If one attaches himself to a group of evildoers, to a group of gossipers, for the purpose of spreading lashon Hara to them or to hear Lashon Hara from them, he foregoes the Torah commandment to cleave to Hashem, i.e. to attach oneself to Torah scholars in any way possible, as it states (Devarim 10:20) U’Bo Sidbok. (See Talmud Kesuvos 111b)

 

2) #7 of 14 of the positive commandments possibly forfeited by engaging in Lashon Hara is:

וּמִקְדָּשִׁ֖י תִּירָ֑אוּ 

 

If one speaks or listens to Lashon Hara in a Bais Medrash or a Shul (Bais Hakneses), he foregoes the Torah commandment to treat Hashem’s sanctuaries (Mikdashei Me’at) with reverence and awe, as it states (Vayikra 26:2) U’Mikdashi Ti’ra'u

 

Halachos for Sunday February 21, 2021

 

1) #8 of 14 of the positive commandments possibly forfeited by engaging in Lashon Hara is:

וְהָֽדַרְתָּ֖ פְּנֵ֣י זָקֵ֑ן

 

If one speaks Lashon Hara about a person over the age of 70 (even if he is not a Torah scholar, provided that he is not a Rasha; See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh deah Siman 244:1) he foregoes the Torah commandment to respect elderly people, as it states (Vayikra 19:32) V’Hadarta P’nei Zaken.

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara about a Talmid Chacham (surely in his presence, and possibly even not in his presence) even if he isn’t elderly in age, is also liable for foregoing the this commandment.

 

It is questionable if the one listening to Lashon Hara being spoken about an elderly person and/or the Talmid Chacham forgoes this positive commandment as well.

 

2)  If the one being spoken about is both elderly and a Talmid Chacham, the one speaking about him (and possibly the ones listening too) forego this commandment twice! (besides for the terrible sin of degrading a Torah scholar, which can transform the one speaking into an Apikores, a heretic, who loses his portion in the world to come, a subject we will elaborate on more in the future)

 

 

Halachos for Monday, February 22, 2021

 

1) #9 of 14 of the positive commandments possibly forfeited by engaging in Las’hon Hara is:

וְקִ֨דַּשְׁתּ֔וֹ

 

If one speaks Lashon Hara about a Kohen (surely in his presence, and possibly even behind his back),  he foregoes the Torah commandment to sanctify a Kohen, as it states (Vayikra 21:8) V’Kidashto.

 

2) It is possible that the one listening to the Lashon Hara about the Kohen also is disrespecting him, and thus also foregoes this commandment.

 

 

Halachos for Tuesday, February 23, 2021

 

1) #10 of 14 of the positive commandments possibly forfeited by engaging in Lashon Hara is:

כַּבֵּ֥ד אֶת־אָבִ֖יךָ וְאֶת־אִמֶּ֑ךָ

 

If one speaks Lashon Hara about his older brother, his mother’s husband or his father’s wife (in their presence, and possibly also not in their presence) he foregoes the Torah commandment to honor them, as Chazal derive from the extra word (Shemos 20:12) [Kabed Es Avicha] V’Es [Imecha].

 

2) Surely if one speaks Lashon Hara about his father or mother, he foregoes on the Torah commandment to honor his parents, as it states (Shemos 20:12) Kabed Es Avicha V’Es Imecha.

 

This applies even not in their presence.

 

Halachos for Wednesday, February 24, 2021

 

1) #11 of 14 of the positive commandments forfeited by engaging in Lashon Hara is:

אֶת־ה' אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ תִּירָ֖א

 

One who speaks or listens to Lashon Hara foregoes the Torah commandment to fear Hashem and to be cognizant of the fact that Hashem sees everything that transpires at all times, and thus one must always hold back from doing things that are against the will of Hashem, as it states (Devarim 6:13) Es Hashem Elokecha Tira.

 

2) #12 of 14 of the positive commandments forfeited by engaging in Lashon Hara is:

וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם 

 

During the time that one is speaking or listening to Lashon Hara he foregoes the Torah commandment to learn Torah, as it states (Devarim 6:7) V’Shinantam.

 

Halachos for Thursday, February 25, 2021

 

1) #13 of 14 of the positive commandments possibly forfeited by engaging in Lashon Hara is:

מִדְּבַר־שֶׁ֖קֶר תִּרְחָ֑ק 

 

If while speaking Lashon Hara, the speaker peppers his story with lies, misrepresentations and distortions, he forgoes the Torah commandment to stay far away from falsehood, as it states (Shemos 23:7) Midvar Sheker Tirchak

 

2) #14 of 14 of the positive commandments forfeited by engaging in Lashon Hara is:

וְהָֽלַכְתָּ֖ בִּדְרָכָֽיו 

 

One who speaks or listens to Lashon Hara, forgoes the Torah commandment to emulate the character traits (Midos) of Hashem, which are all good, as it states (Devarim 28:9) V’Halachta B’Drachav.

 

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, February 26, 2021;

Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh

 

 

Halacha for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) So far, we enumerated 17 negative Torah commandments (Lav) and 14 positive Torah commandments (Asei) which can be transgressed when one engages in Lashon Hara and Rechilus.

 

2) While one does not transgress all of them each time he/she speaks Lashon Hara, one who habitually speaks Lashon Hara, Chas V’Shalom, will, with time, end up transgressing most, if not all of them multiple times and cause much spiritual harm to himself and his family R”L, including via the curses that the Torah prescribes for ba’alei Lashon Hara, as we shall now learn.

 

 

Halacha for Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) In addition to the many negative and positive Torah commandments that are transgressed by engaging in lashon Hara, there are 4 Torah curses that can unfortunately be applicable to one who speaks or listens to Lashon Hara.

 

2)  #1 of the 4 curses is:

אָר֕וּר מַכֵּ֥ה רֵעֵ֖הוּ בַּסָּ֑תֶר

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara is afflicted with the Torah curse reserved for one who strikes his friend secretly, as the posuk (Devarim 27:24) states Arur Makeh Ray’eihu BaSaser. (The “Striking” here is referring to Lashon Hara. See Rashi on the Posuk and Pirkei Drav Eliezer Perek 53)

 

 

Halachos for Sunday February 28, 2021

 

1)  #2 of the 4 curses is:

אָר֕וּר מַשְׁגֶּ֥ה עִוֵּ֖ר בַּדָּ֑רֶךְ

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara is afflicted with the Torah curse reserved for one who misguides a blind person, as the posuk (Devarim 27:18) states Arur Mashgeh Iver Baderech.

 

2) The criteria for getting this curse is similar to the criteria for transgressing the negative commandment of “Lifnei Iver Lo Siten Michshol” as we discussed previously.

 

This curse also includes anyone who misguides another Jew with advice that isn’t really proper for him, or with counsel that benefits the one giving the advice, but not the one seeking it. 

 

The Chofetz Chaim Zatzal (in his Be’er L’Miriam commentary, on this curse) bemoans the fact that this is all too common with shadchanim and other agents and brokers, where they are unfortunately too loose or disingenuous with their “advice” in their quest to push through a shidduch or a deal for their own monetary or other benefit , and it often leads to misguiding and hurting people and thus transgressing this commandment and being subject to this curse R”L.

 

Halachos for Monday, March 1, 2021

 

1)  #3 of the 4 curses is:

אָר֗וּר אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹֽא־יָקִ֛ים אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַתּוֹרָֽה־הַזֹּ֖את לַֽעֲשׂ֣וֹת אוֹתָ֑ם

 

If, Chas V’Shalom, one totally disregards the prohibition of Lashon Hara and Rechilus, and dismissively ignores the seriousness of it, and doesn’t even try to hold back from engaging in such forbidden speech, he is subject to the Tora’s curse reserved for one who does not [even try to] uphold the Torah, as the posuk (Devarim 27:26) states Arur Asher Lo Yakim Es Divrei Hatorah Hazos La’asos Osam.

 

2) Furthermore, this person is deemed a “Mumar L’Davar Echad”, (an apostate in regards to this mitzvah) and thus deemed a “Mumar L’Kol Hatorah Kulah (a heretic in regards to the entire Torah R”L) (See Rabeinu Yonah n Sha’arei Teshva , Sha’ar 1:6)

 

 

Halachos for Tuesday, March 2, 2021

 

1)  #4 of the 4 curses is:

אָר֕וּר מַקְלֶ֥ה אָבִ֖יו וְאִמּ֑וֹ 

 

One who speaks Lashon Hara about his parents is subject to the Torah’s curse against degrading one’s parents, as it states (Devarim 27:16) Arur Asher Makleh Aviv V’Imo

 

2) The Talmud (Shavuos 36a) teaches that where there is a curse there is also Nidui, Heavenly expulsion.

 

A person who knows that he/she was not careful with the serious transgressions of Lashon Hara and Rechilus should do some serious introspection, lest they be subject to Heavenly expulsion Chas V'shalom.

part 2 will be archived soon b'ezras hashem