13 votes
Accepted

Speaking negatively about Rabbis

The Mishnah in Sanhedrin says "... an apikores has no share in the world to come." Commenting on this records the Gemara (San. 99b): רב ור' חנינא אמרי תרוייהו זה המבזה ת"ח Trans.: Both Rav and R. ...
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8 votes

Lashon Hara about yourself

R. Yehuda Herzl Henkin deals with this in a responsum (בני בנים ג:יח) and asserts that the story and the halacha are not true. ובספר עלי תמר על הירושלמי שם הביא סיפור על בעל החפץ חיים ז"ל שנסע ...
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8 votes
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Does Jewish law have a clear position on freedom of speech?

One who blasphemes G-d is executed. Mishne Torah, Avodas Kochavim, 2:7 A Jewish king may execute someone for speaking against him (rebellion against the monarch). Mishneh Torah, Melachim 3:8 One who ...
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7 votes

The history of Hilchos Lashon Hora

The Chafetz Chaim in his preface seems to address all your questions (and then some!). While the entire preface (and book) is well written (not that it needs my approbation!), I will try to quote some ...
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  • 6,683
6 votes

Telling G-d Lashon Harah

One example is from Y'vamos (49b), which states that Y'sha'yahu died because he had said (Y'sha'ya 6:5) "and I dwell amidst a nation of impure lips": כי מטא להדי פומא נח נפשיה משום דאמר ובתוך עם טמא ...
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6 votes
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Telling G-d Lashon Harah

Rashi on Exodus 4:3 quotes the Midrash as indicating that God was disapproving of Moshe's telling him lashon hara: ויהי לנחש: רמז לו שסיפר לשון הרע על ישראל ותפש אומנותו של נחש:‏ and it became a ...
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6 votes

Is it considered Lashon Hara if someone alludes to a place's faults while focusing on a place's merits?

To answer the question of the title, normally one would not be allowed to speak ill of someone even if it is or combined with speaking of that person's merits. However, in this case the newspaper is ...
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6 votes

Lashon Hara That 3 people have already heard

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 ...
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6 votes
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Full translation of Chofetz Chaim into English?

From what I've seen, the books available at https://chafetzchayim.org/ seem to be a fairly straightforward translation of almost all the works if the Chafetz Chaim. You can see for yourself if you ...
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5 votes

Disparaging the dead, Lashon Harah

Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky in Emes L'Yaakov (Bereishis 34:37): I was asked by a student how to explain the fact that the Torah includes descriptions of what happened with Yosef and his brothers. ...
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5 votes

Why is one not obligated to give up his life rather than violate Lashon Hara?

As I noted in my answer to a very similar question, R. Isaac Ben Sheshet has a responsum in which he asserts that the Sages often exaggerated the severity of sins in order to prevent people from ...
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4 votes

Permissible to speak lashon hara about repeat wrongdoers?

From reading Sefer Chafetz Chaim, it appears that the answer to this question is usually no (Chafetz Chaim 4:4, 8:1, 8:4, 8:13). R. Binymin Zilber in Shut Az Nidberu 14:60,69 understands that speaking ...
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4 votes

loshon hora and shul

One source can be found in Sefer Chafetz Chayim, in the introduction, where he lists positive commandments that one may transgress when speaking Lashon Hara (Sif Zayin, pages 70-71 of Volume 1 in the ...
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  • 6,683
4 votes

Lashon Harah for anonymous to'eles

According to R. Menahem HaMeiri the definition of l'shon hara, is speech that is meant to be defamatory or hurtful. Thus, statements of a negative nature that are said for a positive reason (in this ...
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4 votes

Is unmasking an anonymous author addressed by Halacha?

According to an article on "Internet Privacy in Halacha" by R' Asher Meir in the Winter 2014 issue of Jewish Action, it is forbidden to publicize someone's secret identity. R' Meir says that ...
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4 votes

Speaking badly about a deceased person

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 ...
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4 votes
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Avak lashon hara

The Rambam in Hilchos Deos 7:4 brings a few examples of Avak Loshon Hora: וְיֵשׁ דְּבָרִים שֶׁהֵן אֲבַק לָשׁוֹן הָרַע. כֵּיצַד. מִי יֹאמַר לִפְלוֹנִי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כְּמוֹת שֶׁהוּא עַתָּה. אוֹ ...
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4 votes

Would speaking Lashon-harah (slander) for the sole purpose of "venting" be considered *L'Toelet* - for positive Benefit - and thus be permitted?

As mentioned in this other Mi Yodeya answer here: The Chafetz Chaim in Hilchos Lashon Hara (Klal 6, Sif 4) does give an allowance to listen to someone vent about their day, but only so that they can ...
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4 votes

Loshon Hora: Chafetz Chaim & Dissenting views

R. Yitzchak Yosef in Yalkut Yosef Mo'adim 406:17 rules that if one spoke Leshon Hara about his fellow, and the victim is unaware of this, he should not explicitly confess his sin to the victim, but ...
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  • 38.4k
4 votes

Are there any instances in Tanach of Lashon Hara said purely for non-constructive purposes?

In 2 Samuel 16, when David flees Jerusalem after Avshalom's conspiracy, Ziba the slave comes to David with provisions, and claims Mephibosheth that has broken faith with David to join Avshalom. David ...
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  • 11.2k
4 votes
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Imitating Rabbanim

R Avrohom Ehrman, writing in his book The laws of interpersonal relationships, explicitly addresses your case and calls it leitzanut (mockery). Based on Rabbeinu Yonah in Shaarei Teshuva, he describes ...
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  • 43.5k
3 votes

LOR and sinat chinam or lashon hara

I would suggest sending a message to the Chabad headquarters. Contact Us Lubavitch World Headquarters 770 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11213 Phone: 718 774.4000 Fax 718 774.2718 ...
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3 votes

Disparaging the dead, Lashon Harah

Rav Moshe Isserles (Rema) states that, as per Shabbat 55b, saying Reuven sinned by sleeping with Bilhah constitutes forbidden speech (Responsa, no. 11). It qualifies as hotza’as shem ra. Presumably ...
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3 votes

App featuring material written on Shabbos & lashon hora

The topic of operating apps/sites on Shabbat is complex, an entire book (Commerce and Shabbos) was written on it by R Yosef Y Kushner. In general it is permitted to write an app that will maybe be ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Can one post a negative comment on a site such as Google or Yelp?

The answers to these two related questions (Is upward/360-degree feedback halachically allowed? and Can one publicize a poor experience with a service provider to discourage others from using him?) ...
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3 votes

Lashon Hara And News articles?

The Chofetz Chaim wrote strong words against reading newspapers (see him quoted for instance here) because of lashon hara and bitul Torah amongst others. In an interesting interview of R J. David ...
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  • 43.5k
3 votes

Why is one not obligated to give up his life rather than violate Lashon Hara?

Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Doleh U'Maskeh pg.263) was asked this question. He answered that lashon harah is a very grave sin, but one is not chayav misah. In footnote 29 the Orchos Tzadikim shaar Lashon ...
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3 votes
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Don't disparage the entirety of another person

This sefer cites it in the name of the Divrei Yechezkel of Shinova (R' Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, 1813-1898, son of R' Chaim of Tzanz): Edit (by author of question) - Thank you so much! With your ...
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  • 7,362
3 votes

Did the Jews speak Lashon Hara while in Egypt

Moshe thought they all spoke lashon hara.. but really it was only Dasan and Aviram. The rest of klal Yisrael didn't. (Kli Yakar Shemos 2:14)
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