The Gemara sometimes relates anecdotes of Amoraim and presents them in a negative light by including details which would seemingly classify as Lashon Hara in any other context. For instance,

"רַב אַוְיָא אִיקְּלַע לְבֵי רָבָא. הֲוָה מְאִיסָן (בֵּי) כַּרְעֵיהּ בְּטִינָא. אִתֵּיב אַפּוּרְיָא קַמֵּיהּ דְּרָבָא. אִיקְּפַד רָבָא, בְּעָא לְצַעוֹרֵיהּ"

'Rav Avya went to Rava’s house. His feet were dirty with clay and he put them on the bed before Rava. Rava got angry and sought to torment him with questions.' (Shabbat 46a)

Why would Rav Ashi and Ravina name the sage and also include these embarrassing details? Why would the laws of derogatory speech not apply?

  • Somewhat related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/108285/…. Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 11:27
  • The Gemara describes our sages as real people, with conflicts and flaws. I guess that Rav Ashi and Ravina thought that we have somethung to lear from it, Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 11:28
  • The next amud tells us that Rav Avya answered all the questions and no one ended up getting embarrassed.
    – Russell
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 12:05
  • Another example which comes to mind is BM 84b with a young R’ Elazar son of R’ Shimon being jealous of a young R’ Yehudah HaNasi, who complained to his father, who was able to calm Rebbe’s worries.
    – DonielF
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


The Chofetz Chaim in his Sefer of Lashon Hara quotes the Chavos Yair that goes through numerous instances of this and explains what was really happening. Here in Sefaria.

  • Good resource, but it doesn't seem to deal with this instance in particular
    – b a
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 15:30
  • 2
    If you could summarize the relevant piece than this would suffice as an answer. As of now there's not enough here...
    – robev
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 17:01

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