Is it true that a derogatory statement that was already heard by 3 people or more, is not considered Lashon Hara? Such as saying that a Jew was charged with a certain crime, that more then 3 people know about? Please list sources.

  • 2
    Chapter 2 of Chafetz Chaim Hilchos Lasho Hora deals with the rule of Apei Tlasa - Lashon Hara that was said before 3 people. It can be found here with an English translation: sefaria.org/… In short: it usually still is Lashon Hara. Aug 10 '18 at 19:59
  • @Salmononius2 you might consider posting an answer.
    – msh210
    Aug 12 '18 at 13:53

This is indeed what the Talmud states:

Arachin 15b-16a

אמר רבה רבה בר רב הונא כל מילתא דמיתאמרא באפי תלתא לית בה משום לישנא בישא מ"ט חברך חברא אית ליה וחברא דחברך חברא אית ליה

Rabbah son of R. Huna said: Whatsoever is said before three is not considered slander. Why? Your friend has a friend, and your friend's friend has a friend. (Soncino translation)

Various rabbinic authors have attached conditions and limitations to this rule, so you should perhaps be cautious before implementing it.

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