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. ...
Oliver's user avatar
  • 12k
9 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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Benyomin Walters's user avatar
8 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 ...
Salmononius2's user avatar
  • 6,792
7 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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Salmononius2's user avatar
  • 6,792
5 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 ...
user6591's user avatar
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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. ...
Shoel U'Meishiv's user avatar
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 ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.3k
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 ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.6k
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 ...
sam's user avatar
  • 41.8k
4 votes
Accepted

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 ...
aBochur's user avatar
  • 3,859
4 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 ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 51.8k
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 ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.4k
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 ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
4 votes
Accepted

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 ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 51.8k
4 votes

The limits of shaming someone in public

There's a famous story of Rav Akiva Eiger. At a Shabbat meal, a guest spilled a drink, and in a feat of incredible reactions, the Rav kneed the table and made it shake, feigning like he had tripped or ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
  • 9,663
4 votes

Prevention of Lashon Hara as a protection for military wars

I don't have a source for this, and this is perhaps more of a practical answer than a spiritual one, but lashon hara is particularly divisive - it creates hatred and distrust between people and sinas ...
Moses Supposes's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Lashon harah about someone who leads people astray

Subject to certain conditions if the Loshon Hora is being spoken to keep people away from the influence of those who lead others astray not only is it allowed, it is a mitzvah. Ask your LOR if it is ...
Schmerel's user avatar
  • 5,170
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 ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 51.8k
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 ...
postinganonymously's user avatar
3 votes

Loshon HaRa and the down vote

If someone writes something incorrect, it would be proper to downvote him so that other people do not learn to act incorrectly. StackExchange relies on downvoting (not flagging, as some people assume) ...
LN6595's user avatar
  • 5,370
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?) ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 51.8k
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 ...
sam's user avatar
  • 41.8k
3 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Meir's user avatar
  • 9,216
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)
Shlomy's user avatar
  • 3,538
3 votes

Is it wrong to have bad thoughts if you feel bad about them?

Let's focus on one line of your question: What is the Jewish opinion on wrong thoughts and/or intrusive thoughts? The key point here is "intrusive". These are thoughts that do not reflect ...
N.T.'s user avatar
  • 8,664
3 votes

Is it really bad to gossip about a gentile?

If I met anyone who thought it was okay to: Gossip about non Jews Sleep with the partners of non Jews Imply it's okay to steal from or give less advantageous terms to non Jews. I would consider that ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 10.9k
3 votes
Accepted

Would complimenting someone's physical appearance be considered a problem since it causes the person to become overly conscious of themselves?

Based on this Dvar Torah I wrote, with ideas and sources there, I would conclude that the problem you mention is real, and there is a solution. The root cause that this would make them feel self ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
  • 9,663

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