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Laws of Guarding One's Tongue



היום 13 לעומר

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 7

The matter of judging to the benefit of the doubt relates specifically to someone who becomes remorseful after committing a sin. But if the observer has examined this person's lifestyle and determined that he has no fear of G-d and constantly behaves in a style of living that is inimical to the Torah, like one who is contemptuous of Torah and mitzvoth or who considers one particular aveirah to be irrelevant, and that society as a whole knows that this aveirah is forbidden. In this case it is permissible to utterly degrade this person and to disclose his shame privately and publicly. And if this person does anything or says anything that is ambiguous and can be interpreted as decent or as evil, one is obligated to judge this person as evil since he has demonstrated himself clearly to be a Rasha. Chazal have said: "Do not oppress your fellow Jew" meaning one who is with you in Torah and mitzvoth, do not oppress him with your words. But regarding one who closed his heart to Hashem's Torah, it is permissible to humiliate him through his own actions, to publicize his disgusting lifestyle and to demean him.


Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 8

When Beit Din instructs a person in a particular way that involves a physical action, whether it relates to this person in his relationship with G-d or to his interpersonal relationship with others and this person absolutely refuses to abide the Beit Dins's instructions and gives no reason why he won't comply, then it is permissible to publicly humiliate him for his actions and even to record his evil lifestyle in the community's archives for all future generations to view. But if this person responds with a defense that justifies his refusal to comply in a framework of reason that are personal, then the law is as the follows: If we believe that the reason he gave for not complying is untrue and was offered only in an attempt to convince the Beit Din to drop the matter, then we do not have to believe him and it is permissible to denigrate him. But if we are unsure of the truthfulness of his reasons for refusing to comply, then it is forbidden to shame or humiliate him.
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