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It seems obvious that one shouldn't speak badly or in a negative way against anyone whether they are living or not. However does it say anywhere that particularly one should be careful about speaking negatively about a deceased person?

  • There seem to be exceptions to the rules given in the answers, especially concerning persecutors of Jews - I remember reading about Hadrian and Chelmenicki and the accounts had "may their bones be ground in an iron mill" after each mention of their names. – Gary Mar 24 '16 at 18:36
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The Shulchan Aruch 606:3 writes

ג. תקנת קדמונינו וחרם שלא להוציא שם רע על המתים:

There is a takana (enactment ) and a ban that one shouldn't speak evil about the deceased.

I think it is a common misconception that speaking evil of the dead is worse than the living,but as one can see it is not true. Speaking ill of the living is worse.

  • "one can see" how? I don't see that in the passage you quoted. – msh210 Mar 25 '16 at 5:22
  • Speaking loshon harah on living has many halachos and was obvious that it is assur,but loshon harah on the dead needed an enactment and this is the only sourced law that I am aware of so it must be less serious – sam Mar 25 '16 at 13:45
  • Note that the Shulhan Arukh refers to hotsaat shem ra, which can refer to slander in lies in particular. – mevaqesh Oct 13 '16 at 23:03
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The Chofetz Chaim is explicit that it is forbidden.

  • However does it say anywhere that particularly one should be careful about speaking negatively about a deceased person? – mevaqesh Oct 13 '16 at 23:04

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