If someone might have said lashon hara by mistake unintentionally and quickly said something good, and the subject passed away. How can one do teshuvah?

  • If you spoke the L"H after the person passed away, read up on the details here didc.blogspot.com/2007/02/mitzvah-to-speak-lashon-hara.html – rosends Mar 29 '16 at 18:40
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    What does "I might have said lashon hara by mistake I quickly said something good." mean? I can't parse it. – msh210 Mar 29 '16 at 19:49
  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/45424/1857 – ray May 1 '16 at 6:56
  • Side note: at least according to one opinion in Erchin 16a, you can't do teshuvah for Lashon Hara even if the person is alive. Not sure which way we pasken - there is a dissenting opinion. – DonielF Jun 29 '16 at 1:14

Chofetz Chaim (laws of L.H. 4:12) makes an important distinction between L.H. that actually eventually causes damage to the person one spoke about, and L.H. that never leads to damage. In the latter case, one needn't ask forgiveness from the person he spoke about; it is only bein adam lmakom, and the teshuvah process is the same as for any other bein adam lmakom.

In the former case it is indeed also bein adam lchaveiro, so the teshuva process would be the same as for other aveiros of this type when the victim has died: one must visit the victim's grave etc. (for details, see Shulchan Aruch O.C. 606:2 with M.B.)

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