Shemiras Halashon Halachos

Chafetz Chaim – Introduction

Blessed be Hashem the G-d of Israel who separated us from all the nations and gave us His Torah, and brought us into the Holy Land to observe all His commandments....

Chofetz Chaim – Introduction (2)

If we investigate our ways and examine which sins are the main cause of our long exile, we will find many. However, the sin of the tongue rises above them all...

Chofetz Chaim – Introduction (3)

It seems obvious that the reason the Torah is so strict regarding this sin is because it arouses the great accuser against the Jewish people, and through this, many people are...

Chofetz Chaim – Introduction (4)

I considered why this sin has become disregarded by so many people and realized that this is due to many reasons, some applying to common people and some to learned people....

Chofetz Chaim – Introduction (5)

Therefore, I girded my loins like a warrior, and with the help of Hashem who grants man wisdom, I gathered all the laws of lashon hora and rechilus in a book....

Chofetz Chaim – Introduction (6)

In addition, I have written a long, inclusive opening to this book where I explain the negative and positive commands a person generally transgresses if he is not careful regarding the...

Opening to Hilchos Lashon Hara and Rechilus (1)

Through Hashem’s love of His nation Yisroel and great desire for their benefit to the extent that He called them sons, and the portion of Hashem, and an inheritance, and many...

Opening to Hilchos Lashon Hara and Rechilus (2)

Because of the great evil involved in this disgusting trait, the Torah specially warns against it with the negative command (Vayikra 19:16), “Do not go as a talebearer, etc,” as we...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – Negative commands (1)

Someone who speaks against his fellow transgresses a negative command as it says (Vayikra 19:16), “Do not go as a talebearer (rachil) in your nation.” What is a rachil? Someone who...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – Negative commands (2)

The speaker or receiver also transgress the negative command (Shemos 23:1), “Do not accept (lo tisah) an empty statement,” which can also be read as lo tasi (do not report), and...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – Negative commands (3)

The speaker also transgresses the verse (Devarim 24:8), “Beware of the plague of tzara’as to guard exceedingly and to do.” The Sifra explains that when the Torah says to “guard exceedingly,”...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – Negative commands (4)

The speaker and receiver also transgress the negative command (Vayikra 19:14), “Do not put a stumbling block before the blind.” Because each one puts a stumbling block before his fellow by...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – Negative commands (5)

The speaker also transgresses the negative command of (Devarim 8:11), “Be careful lest you forget Hashem your G-d,” which is a prohibition against pride. For since he is mocking his fellow...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – Negative commands (6)

The speaker and receiver also transgress the negative command of (Vayikra 22:32), “Do not desecrate My holy name,” since there is no desire or physical enjoyment through which the evil inclination...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – negative commands (7)

The speaker sometimes also transgresses the negative command (Vayikra 19:17), “Do not hate your fellow in your heart,” if he speaks peacefully in front of a person and speaks badly of...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – negative commands (8, 9)

Sometimes, the speaker also transgresses the negative command (Vayikra 19:18), “Do not take revenge and do not bear a grudge,” if he hates the person for some reason, such as if...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – negative commands (10)

If he stands up and testifies against him in beis din concerning some prohibition as a single witness, no benefit can result such as money [or to...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – negative commands (11)

All we have written is when the speaker is one and the listener is one. But if a person connects himself with a group of evil people who habitually speak lashon...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – negative commands (12)

If a person engenders controversy through his story, he transgresses the negative command (Bamidbra 17:5), “You shall not be like Korach and his congregation,” which is a prohibition against engendering controversy.

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – negative commands (13)

Often, an additional negative command is incurred when people often shame a person for things he did in the past, such as having a lowly family pedigree, lack of intelligence, or...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – negative commands (14)

If one insulted him so much that his face changed color, one also transgresses the negative command, “Do not bear a sin through him,” where the Torah warns to not shame...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – negative commands (15)

If an orphan or widow is involved, even if they are wealthy, and one speaks of their shortcomings in front of them, one transgresses the negative command, “Every widow and orphan...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – negative commands (16)

Sometimes one also transgresses the prohibition against flattery, which, according to many gaonim, is the absolute negative command of (Bamidbar 35:33), “You shall not do flattery in the land.” For example,...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – negative commands (17)

Sometimes, one can also transgress the negative command, “Do not curse a deaf person,” if one speaks lashon hara of someone out of anger and then curses him, for the verse...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (1)

Someone who speaks lashon hara against his fellow transgresses the positive mitzvah (Devarim 24:9), “Remember what Hashem your G-d did to Miriam in the way, etc,” which warns us what happened...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (2)

In addition to this, one transgresses the positive command (Vayikra 19:18), “Love your fellow like yourself,” because someone who speaks or accepts lashon hara certainly does not love his fellow, since...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (3)

Sometimes, lashon hara also involves transgressing the positive command (Vayikra 19:15), “Judge your fellow charitably.” For example, if one saw one’s fellow and can judge him unfavorably and say...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (4)

If one’s fellow loses his livelihood because of this lashon hara, such as when one publicized that one’s fellow is dishonest or unprofessional in his profession, one transgresses the positive command...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (5)

Sometimes, the receiver of the lashon hara transgresses the positive command of (Vayikra 19:17), “You shall surely rebuke your fellow.” This applies if someone told him lashon hara that denigrated another...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (6)

If a person sits with a group of wicked people who habitually speak lashon hara, he transgresses the positive command (Deuteronomy 10:20), “You shall cleave to Him,” which commands us to...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (7)

If one speaks lashon hara in a beis hamedrash or shul, one transgresses the positive command of (Vayikra 19:30), “You shall fear My temple ,” and our beis medrash too is...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (8)

If one speaks lashon hara about a old person and derogated him to his face, one transgresses the positive mitzvah of (Vayikra 19:32), “You shall honor the face of the old...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (9)

If one speaks lashon hara about a kohen and denigrates him through this, one transgresses the positive mitzvah of (Vayikra 21:8), “You shall sanctify him,” which commands us to treat kohens...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (10)

If one speaks lashon hara about one’s oldest brother, or the husband of one’s mother, or the wife of one’s father, one also transgresses the positive command of, “Honor your father...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (11)

Someone who speaks lashon transgresses the positive command, “Fear the L-rd your G-d,” which warns us to know that Hashem always observes our actions and punishes us according to the severity...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (12)

Above all, at the time one speaks lashon hara and rechilus, one transgresses the positive command of Torah study, which is an absolute positive command, and there is no limit to...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (13)

If one spoke lashon hara and mixed in falsehood, even partially, he transgresses (Exodus 23:7), “Keep far from a false word.” His definition also changes and he is now in the...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, Opening – positive commands (14)

It also seems that he transgresses the positive command of, “You shall walk in His ways,” which commands us to walk in the Holy One’s attributes, merciful, giving favor, doing kindness,...

Opening to Hilchos Lashon Hara – Curses

1) The person speaking lashon hara transgresses the verse (Devarim 27:24), “Cursed be he who strikes his fellow in secret,” which refers to lashon hara. 2) He also transgresses, “Cursed be...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 1, section 1

It is forbidden to speak negatively of one’s fellow, even if the information is true. This is what Chazal call lashon hara, and the person who speaks it transgresses the negative...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 1, section 2

This negative command we say the person who speaks lashon hara transgresses is the negative command that is explicitly written regarding this sin. However, many more negative and positive commands are...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 1, section 3

The person who speaks lashon hara transgresses, “Do not go as a talebearer in your nation,” if he speaks negatively of his fellow on occasion. But if, heaven forefend, he habitually...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 1, section 4

Chazal say that for three sins one is punished in this world and does not have a portion in the next world. These are: idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed, while lashon hara...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 1, section 5

Regarding speaking lashon hara, it makes no difference whether the person spoke of his own volition, or if his fellow persuaded him to speak until he spoke. It is forbidden in...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 1, section 6

Even if he sees that not speaking negatively against a Jew or other forbidden speech will cause a great loss in his livelihood, nonetheless, he many not speak lashon hara. For...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 1, section 7

If one is sitting with a group of people saying forbidden things and cannot leave their company, and when he sits and keeps silence he seems like a madman to them,...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 1, section 8, 9

The prohibition of lashon hara applies whether one actually speaks of the person with one’s mouth, or writes it in a letter. Also, it makes no difference if one says the...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 1

One may not speak lashon hara against one’s fellow even if the statements are correct, and even before a single person, and the more listeners, the greater the speaker’s sin, since...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 2

When we find that Chazal permit lashon hara “before three,” this relates to saying something that is not an outright denigration and is ambiguous. Something like this depends on the speaker’s...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 3

Some say that if a person relates lashon hara before three people, even though the speaker certainly transgresses the prohibition against lashon hara, if one of the three goes and tells...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 4

The whole leniency to speak if it was spoken before three people, only applies to one of the three who heard. But if someone hears it from one of those three...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 5

If someone spoke lashon hara before three people, one generally does not transgress the prohibition of lashon hara if one repeats it further. However, all this involves regular people. If the...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 6

One may only speak in that same town if one heard before three people, but not in another town.

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 7

The leniency of speaking lashon hara that was spoken before three only applies if the speaker spoke with no strings attached. But if he warned them to not reveal the matter...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 8

Regarding the wording of the warning, it makes no difference whether he told them not to speak of the matter he spoke of, or that he warned them that the story...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 9

Whenever it is permitted to relate lashon hara that was said before three, this only means that the repeating itself is not forbidden. But it is forbidden, heaven forefend, to add...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 10

Know also, that the whole leniency of something said before three only regards the speaker. But regarding the listener, if one knows that the listener will accept the story as true...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 11

If the seven leaders of a town sit down for a deliberation and came to a majority decision, it is forbidden for one of them who opposed the decision to tell...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 12

If someone delivers a talk in a beis hamidrash, halacha forbids one to mock him and say that his talk was worthless and that there was nothing to hear. Through our...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 2, section 13

If someone revealed to his fellow in front of three people details about his business and trade, and suchlike, that one is generally forbidden to reveal to another person lest this...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 3, section 1

The prohibition of lashon hara applies also to the truth, whether he speaks of the person in secret and is concerned lest it becomes revealed that he spoke of him, in...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 3, section 2

When we sometimes find a leniency in Chazal that one may speak if one would not stop from speaking the lashon hara even before him, this deals with an ambiguous matter...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 3, section 3

The prohibition of lashon hara applies even if does is not speaking out of hatred and has no intent to denigrate him, but is speaking in jest and levity. Even so,...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 3, section 4

The prohibition against lashon hara applies even if one does not explicitly identify the person spoken of at the time, but speaks of him anonymously, and from the context of the...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 3, section 5

There is another way of speaking lashon hara – through subterfuge. Such as saying a story about people innocently, as if one does not know that the story includes denigration.

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 3, section 6

Know, that even if no harm came to that person through saying lashon hara, such as when the listeners did not accept his story, nonetheless, it is considered lashon hara and...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 3, section 7

Know also, an important, cardinal rule regarding these matters – judging favorably. If one sees a person who spoke or did something, whether between man and G-d, or between man and...

Hilchos Lashon Hara, chapter 3, section 8

Even in a situation that leans more to be unfavorable, where there would be no prohibition to judge him unfavorably, that only regards one’s personal decision that he acted against halacha....

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 1

It is forbidden to say anything that would humiliate another Jew even if it is not spoken in his presence. And it is forbidden to demean him even if he saw...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 2

It makes no difference if the offense is a Torah imposed Lav or Torah imposed Aseh that is commonly known in Jewish society to be forbidden, because most certainly the “victim”...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 3

This law of judging a person favorably can be divided into specific details. If this person is average, just like a typical Jew, meaning that although he is generally observant he...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 4

However, if it is a severe sin, as committing adultery or eating things that are forbidden, and that these sins are common knowledge among all Jews, then disclosure of his actions...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 5

But if he sees that the sin was committed by a person who is among those foolish people who are scoffers and cynics, people who hate rebuke, as Shelomo Hamelech teaches...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 6

It further appears that a person who will likely repeat the same foolish mistake, if his rabbi is an authoritative person whose words of rebuke will be accepted by the transgressor,...

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...

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...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 9

A person that hold bad personality traits, for example, that he is haughty or is quick to fly into rage. Although we can see that he got used to these traits...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 10

Despite it is forbidden to talk about his shameful behavior, it is correct for this observer to tell his (own) son or his students and warn them not to associate with...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 11

And understand clearly yet another essential rule in these matters. If someone wants to get another person involved in his affairs, for example, to hire him as an employee or to...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 4, section 12

If someone spoke Lashon Hara about someone else and now wants to do Teshuvah, doing that Teshuvah is conditional, if the people who were listening to him did not believe what...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 5, section 1

(english translation in not available) כשם שאסור לבזות את חבירו בענינים שבין אדם למקום, אסור לבזות אותו בעניינים שבין אדם לחבירו. ואפילו אם הסיפור אמת. אם רואה אחד שמבקש מחבירו שילוה...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 5, section 2

I will now discuss a type of lashon hara where the speaker has no intent for any benefit but only wants to disparage someone. Almost everyone transgresses this type of lashon...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 5, section 3 4

. If your evil inclination tries to persuade you that this is not lashon hara, consider. If someone said such things about you, how angry you would be! You would say:...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 5, section 5

. It is forbidden to say that a person is weak as this can harm him if he is a teacher, for example. One may not say that someone is poor...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 5, section 6

Lashon hara depends on the person spoken of. Praise for one person may be disparagement for another. For example, if one says of a person who receives financial support that he...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 5, section 7

Just as one may not speak against a person, so one may not speak against his possessions. It is very common for shopkeepers to disparage another shopkeeper’s goods because of envy.

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 5, section 8

It is forbidden for even one person to disparage someone and how much more for two people to disparage someone. The latter case is worse because people are more inclined to...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 1

The Torah forbids believing lashon hara that someone sinned against man or God. That is, one may not believe the story is true for this disparages the victim in one’s eyes....

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 2

. The Torah forbids listening to lashon hara even if one does not intend to believe it. However there are a number of differences between listening and believing. Listening is only...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 3

How can one know if one may listen to lashon hara? If a person wants to speak of someone and one understands he wants to denigrate him, once should immediately ask...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 4

Sometimes it is a mitzvah to hear lashon hara talk if one reckons one will be able to show the speaker or other people present that the story was not as...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 5

We wrote in paragraph 2 that even listening to lashon hara is a Torah prohibition. This is if one went to listen. But if one was with a group of people...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 6

This applies if they were not talking lashon hara when he first sat with them. But if they were already speaking lashon hara or if he could leave and does not...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 7

. Just as one may not believe lashon hara, so too, even in a case where one knows the story is true but the speaker does not take possibly alleviating factors...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 8

. This applies if the person spoken of was an average person who generally does not sin but sometimes does. How much more if the story involved a God fearing person...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 9

These rules apply not only when a person speaks of someone doing a wronghood but also in other cases of lashon hara (such as shaming him with his forefathers’ deeds or...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 10

Although one may not believe lashon hara, one may suspect it is true. However this only concerns protecting oneself or others from potential harm. The person spoken of retains the assumption...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 11

Even when one is permitted to suspect the person spoken of this is only to guard oneself from harm. G-d forbid to do any action or cause him any harm or...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 6, section 12

If one transgressed and believed lashon hara regarding sins against God or man one should strive to remove the belief from one’s heart, accept upon oneself to never again believe lashon...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 1

It is forbidden to believe lashon hara even if the speaker spoke before many people. The listeners may only suspect the story is true . If they...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 2

One may not believe lashon hara even if the speaker said it in front of the victim, for he did not admit it was true. How much more so if the...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 3

Just as one may not believe lashon hara said by one person, so one may not believe it when said by two or more. First, their relating lashon hara gives them...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 4

The same applies if rumour spreads that someone did or spoke in contravention of a severe or less severe Torah prohibition. One may not believe the rumour but only suspect it...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 5

All this applies if the victim is a regular Jew. However, one may believe lashon hara said of a person already presumed wicked due it being publicized many times that he...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 6

If someone speaks of his personal matters and includes something derogatory to himself and someone else, one may only believe the story regarding himself and not the other person.

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 7

Three concepts concerning lashon hara are similar but different in many details. These are meheiman kebei trei (a person I regard as reliable as two witnesses), mesi’ach lefi tumo (someone who...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 8

Even in a case like that of Tuviah, two conditions are required to believe the story. a) The speaker must say that he saw the incident himself. If he only heard...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 9

If the speaker is mesi’ach lefi tumo (speaking lashon hara conversationally without deliberate intent to divulge information – this is defined in the Beér Mayim Chayim comentary) the law is as...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 10

If there are devarim nikarim, clear indications the story is true, the law is as follows. If the story even if true can be judged favorably or if it involves lack...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 11 12

This is only if the indications are very clear, that is, close to the story, and if one saw the indications oneself. If the indications are distant and only slightly relevant,...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 13

Sometimes, in specific cases, if someone comes to a beis din and says someone stole from him and there are absolutely clear indications supporting this which the beis din saw for...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 7, section 14

This shows how people err when they suspect someone of stealing something. They go to the town elders and say there are devarim nikarim that so and so was the thief,...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 1

This chapter will go into more details concerning the prohibition of speaking and listening to lashon hara. 1. The prohibition applies to man, woman, relative or non-relative. Even though a person...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 2

Whom does the Torah forbid speaking lashon hara of? It applies to man and woman, whether one’s own wife or another woman. Many people think it is permitted to speak of...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 3

Lashon hara applies even when one speaks of a minor. For example, to speak disparagingly of a minor raised by someone in his home. For this may lead to him being...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 4

It is lashon hara to speak even about someone ignorant of Torah, for he is part of G-d’s nation taken from Egypt. How much more if he is learned in which...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 5 6

Lashon hara only applies when spoken against someone with you (amitecha), that is, someone who is with you in Torah observance. But if one knows a person is a heretic it...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 7

Know too, that if the person is muchzak in a town as being wicked due to other sins which permit one to disparage him, the law is the same. (See required...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 8

. There is an opinion that one may speak lashon hara about baalei machlokes – people wrongfully quarreling with others. This only applies if one sees that by showing people their...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 9

Know also that it is forbidden to disparage and insult the dead. The poskim write that the early sages made an enactment and a ban not to speak evil of the...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 10

We will now discuss before whom it is forbidden to speak lashon hara. It makes no difference whether one speaks to other people, relatives or non-relatives, or to his wife, unless...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 11

It makes no difference whether one says the lashon hara before relatives of the person spoken of or before non-relatives. A brother may not even speak of his brother to his...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 12

Lashon hara applies if one disparages a person to a Jew, and how much more to non-Jews in which case his sin is far worse. For besides sullying the honor of...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 13

The Torah warns us not to believe lashon hara. Briefly, the rule is that every Jew is commanded to not believe lashon hara said of any Jew unless he is a...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 8, section 14

It makes no difference if one hears lashon hara from non-relatives or from one’s parents or household. We even see in Tana Debei Eliyahu (ch. 27) that if one sees one’s...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 9, section 1

The Law regarding Dust of Lashon Hara There are things forbidden as ‘dust’ of lashon hara. For example to say, “Who would have thought that so and so would turn out...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 9, section 2

Before many people, one may not even praise him a little because there will generally be those who agree or disagree or are jealous of him, and will disparage him because...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 9, section 3

One must be careful not to give praise that leads to loss. For example, to publicize that someone provided him with eat and drink and went to a lot of trouble...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 9, section 4

It is forbidden to live in the neighborhood of people who constantly speak lashon hara (baalei lashon hara), and even more to sit with them and listen to them even if...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 9, section 5

Even if one hears one’s young children speaking lashon hara, it is a mitzvah to rebuke them and stop them as it says, Educate the child according to his way (Proverbs...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 9, section 6

If someone told someone something, he may not repeat it to others unlike the person gave him permission and that is only if it is not lashon hara.

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 1

If someone saw someone harming a person by stealing from him or damaging his property, whether the robbed or harmed person knows it or not, or that he shamed him or...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 2

These are: a) One must see the act oneself and no merely hear it from others oneself one clarified afterwards that it was true. b) One must be very careful to...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 3

This only applies if the person was better than the wrongdoer, but if he is a sinner like him and does the same sins, he may not publicize him. For such...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 4

We wrote earlier that the fifth condition is that a person’s intent should be for a beneficial purpose. This certainly applies if the people one is speaking to help a robbed,...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 5

If one sees someone speaking lashon hara about someone that is also considered perpetration of harm and all the laws of disparaging the perpetrator mentioned above apply. This only applies if...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 6

Sometimes one may relate the matter to others even if the victim does not yet know that someone spoke about him. This applies when one sees there will be some benefit,...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 7

We will now discuss the third condition we wrote in paragraph 2, that one must first rebuke the perpetrator. If one knows he will not listen one does not need to...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 8

If one is afraid of the perpetrator, it is possible that it may be permitted to speak of him even before one or two people.

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 9

If a person is publicly known to fear no one and it is known that whatever he tells he would say before the perpetrator, and he is known to only speak...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 10

The rules above also apply if the perpetrator did a transgression between man and God, but only if one sees that he did it many times on purpose and that the...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 11

A person must be very careful not to tell others that he did business with so and so and was cheated, robbed, shamed, distressed by him and suchlike, even if one...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 12

This applies even more if the person did not harm a person but only failed to provide some benefit he should have, such as a loan, charity, or hospitality. If one...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 13

However, I think that if he reckons that by telling people how so and so did him a wrong in money and suchlike, benefit will result, it is permitted. For example...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 14

But regarding this leniency, one must be very careful to fulfil all the conditions at the beginning of the chapter because one can easily be influenced by the evil inclination and...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 15

We see that when relying on this leniency a person is in great danger of speaking lashon hara if he does not observe all the details involved, especially nos. 2 and...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 16

All this indicates what a mistake people make. If one asks someone why he spoke lashon hara about someone else he replies, “Because he spoke about me to so and so.”...

Hilchos Lashon Hara chapter 10, section 17

Someone did a misdeed and Reuven asked Shimon: Who did it? Even if Shimon realizes that Reuven suspects him of doing the misdeed, even if he witnessed the deed himself, he...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 1, section 1 2

Chapter 1 This chapter will explain the prohibition against speaking rechilus even if it is completely true, what rechilus comprises, what to answer if someone asked what another person said about...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 1, section 3

) The prohibition of rechilus is even if one has no intent to cause hate and even one thinks that the subject spoken of acted correctly. For example, Reuven rebukes Shimon...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 1, section 4

Rechilus is forbidden even if absolutely true with no falsehood. Even one’s rechilus destroys a friendship between its subject and the person spoken to one is called a wicked person and...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 1, section 5

It makes no difference if one spoke willingly or if someone understood some of the situation himself and persuaded one to say the rest of what was spoken of him. Even...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 1, section 6

One may not speak rechilus even if this leads to a loss. For example, the people hiring him realize he knows something and order him to tell them the information, and...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 1, section 7

Rechilus is certainly forbidden if keeping silent will only lead to insults and no financial loss. A person must remind himself that this will lead in the next world to him...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 1, section 8

What should one answer? If someone asks, “What did so and so say about me?” If one give a satisfactory answer without lying one should do so, and if not, one...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 1, section 9

The following two cases are also forbidden: Even if one does not explicitly mention the name of the subject of the rechilus, but through the story the hearer will identify him...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 1, section 10

Crafty rechilus is also forbidden; such as when one knows that A did something to B leading to a controversy, the controversy quieted, and one now casually mentions the old story...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 1, section 11

Furthermore, rechilus is also through writing and applies not even if one says to B that A denigrated B, but also if says he denigrated B’s merchandise (as regarding lashon hara...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 2 , section 1

One may not speak rechilus even before a single person and how much more not before many.

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 2, section 2

Avak (dust of) Rechilus is also forbidden under all circumstances. If what one says is ambiguous and one says it in a way that makes it obvious that the first speaker...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 2, section 3

Some say that if a person denigrated someone before three people, there is no more rechilus involved in speaking of the how he denigrated the person . This...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 2 , section 4

According to this, if a partner wanted to do a certain deal without his partner because he thought others would join him in the deal but in the end they did not,...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 3, section 1

It is forbidden to speak rechilus even if it is absolutely true, even if the person spoken of is not present, and even if one knows that one would have been...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 3, section 2

It is rechilus to say to anyone that Reuven spoke against Shimon, because the story will spread and will cause enmity between Reuven and Shimon. Even if one warns the person...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 3, section 3 4

How much more is it forbidden to say that someone spoke against his sons or relatives, for the sons and relatives will naturally be extremely upset if they hear of it....

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 4, section 1

The prohibition against rechilus can apply even if one reveals nothing new, such as if the person spoken to already knew that so and so had spoken evil of him but...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 4, section 2 3

If Reuven denigrated Shimon in front of two people, and one of them informed Shimon, the second should still not speak of the episode to Shimon. This applies not even when...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 5, section 1

Regarding The Torah forbids believing rechilus.

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 5, section 2

Listening without believing is also forbidden as regarding lashon hara earlier (p. 58).

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 5, section 3

However, if one sees from the beginning of the story that listening to it may save him from bodily or financial harm, one may listen to the story and suspect it...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 5, section 4

30. Even if one saw no clear signs of such a thing but only surprising behavior that slightly indicate that something is happening, one may investigate. One should not absolutely believe...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 5, section 5

A person must keep far from asking people what a person said about him (unless there is clear benefit such as guarding oneself from him). The damages and the negative and...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 5, section 6

Even if it is true that a person did something against one, if is only a wronghood if one fails to give him the benefit of the doubt, one must give...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 5, section 7

To repent for the sin of believing rechilus, one must cease believing what one heard. If it is difficult to think that the speaker made up the whole story, one must...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 6, section 1

One may not believe the rechilus even if it was spoken in front of many people.

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 6, section 2

The same applies if he said in front of the person spoken of: “You said such and such about so and so.” Even if the person kept silent as he said...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 6, section 3

If a person’s business suffered damage, one may not suspect a Jew of causing it . Even if one heard that a certain person caused the...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 6, section 4

One may not believe rechilus even if one heard the story from two people or if there was a rumor in town, or if it is printed that so and so...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 6, section 5 6

If one heard the rechilus from a person whom one believes as much as two witnesses testifying in court, one may still not believe him. Some people believe the rechilus they...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 6, section 7

(english translation is missing) וכל זה בזמן התלמוד, אבל בימינו פסקו שאין לאדם לומר שפלוני נאמן עליו כ-2 עדים. לכן אסור בכזה מקרה לקבל, רק לחשוש. וכמה טועים האנשים שנזהרים בלשון...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 6, section 8 9

Even if the person said the rechilus incidentally while speaking of other matters (meisi’ach lefi tumo) one may still not believe him.

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 6, section 10

If there are clear signs (devarim hanikarim) that the rechilus one heard, that so and so spoke or did something against one, is true one may believe it. But this is...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 7, section 1

Rechilus is forbidden for man and woman, relative or non-relative. Even if one heard someone speaking against one’s parents and revealed to this to them because of one’s pain, this is...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 7, section 2

Rechilus applies to speaking about an ignoramus because he counts as a fellow Jew (amecha). This applies even if the ignoramus insulted someone for no reason, for we explained in chapter...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 7, section 3

It makes no difference if one tells Reuven that someone acted against him or tells Reuven’s wife or relatives, for they will certainly regard it a wrongdoing and bear a grudge....

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 7, section 4

It makes no difference if one says the rechilus to a Jew or non-Jew. In fact, the latter is even worse as it can lead to great harm and misery (besides...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 7, section 5

5. The laws of believing rechilus are the same as those of lashon hara explained in part 1 chapter 8 paragraphs 13 and 14. Therefore, one must be careful to not...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 8, section 1

Dust of Rechilus Many things are forbidden because of dust of rechilus. For example, someone asks of someone and is answered: Be quiet, I don’t want to say what happened, ...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 8, section 2 3

Another example is if one praises a person in a way that the listener resents and harm can come of it. Therefore, I think one must be careful not to praise...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 8, section 4

Dust of rechilus also includes telling Reuven that Shimon said of him something that is not derogatory, but something that people generally don’t like to be said of them.

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 8, section 5

A person must conceal information told to him confidentially even if revealing the secret involves no rechilus. Because revealing the secret causes the person and can damage his plans. It is...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 1

Cases Which are not Rechilus if the Required Conditions are Fulfilled Earlier in hilchos lashon hara chapter 10 we explained when one may speak lashon hara in cases where a person...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 2

They are as follows: a) One must be very careful to not immediately decide that harm will result but first carefully consider the matter. b) One must not exaggerate the evil...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 3

Another case where rechilus does not apply is if one heard Reuven say: If I meet Shimon in so and so place I will hit him or insult him, or if...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 4

Even though saving Shimon is a great mitzvah and leads to peace, one must be very careful to only speak to him after considering whether Shimon will avoid going to the...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 5

Another important rule is that the leniency of paragraph 1 only applies if the partnership was not finalized but only agreed on. If it was finalized (according to the various ways...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 6

Even when there are two people, Shimon would sin if he acted upon his own initiative for he may not believe them unless they testify in a beis din and the...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 7

The same applies to informing Shimon that Reuven stole from him or harmed him etc. Also, one may only warn Shimon if one already rebuked Reuven and he refused to listen...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 8 9

It makes no difference if Shimon asked one for the information or if one volunteers the information without him asking. All the conditions must be fulfilled even one tells the information...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 10

I will write one example to make things clearer; others appear at the end of the book. Shimon goes into Reuven’s shop to buy merchandise and one knows that Shimon is...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 11

All this concerns a case where one wants to warn the person so that he should not cheat. But if a person already took merchandise from someone and knows that he...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 12

One must not exaggerate the sin or the loss. b) One’s principle intent must be to further the interests of truth and help the victim, but not to gloat over the...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 13

Everything we said only applies if one knows that the cheated person will go to beis din and act according to Torah law. But if one knows he will do as...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 14

If something improper was done to Reuven and he does not know who did it, and he asks Shimon: “Who did this to me?” Even if one sees that Reuven suspects...

Hilchos Rechilus, chapter 9, section 15

Many people stumble in the case described below: A person brings merchandise to town. Someone agrees to buy it, saying he will bring the money and the seller should keep it...

Illustrations paragraphs 1, 2

1. If Levi sees that Reuven wants to make a business partnership with Shimon and Reuven does not know Shimon, and Levi well knows that due to his evil nature Shimon...

Illustrations paragraph 3

3. Furthermore, Levi must be very careful not to advise Reuven to make a partnership with Shimon if he knows that harm can result, for example, if Shimon is poor or...

Illustrations paragraph 4

If Levi sees that Reuven wants to make a marriage arrangement with Shimon and knows that the bridegroom has serious flaws which Reuven does not know of, which would lead to...

Illustrations paragraph 5

One must be very careful concerning undesirable character traits. People often denigrate someone for things that don’t exist. For example, if the bridegroom is a straight person who does not understand...

Illustrations paragraph 6

Now we will go back to explain what we permitted at the beginning of paragraph 4. If the bridegroom has great deficiencies, there is a distinction. If the deficiency is an...

Illustrations paragraph 7

The same applies to telling the bridegroom about the father-in-law. If the bride has a indiscernable internal disease and the bridegroom would not agree to the marriage if he knew of...

Illustrations paragraph 8

If he sees that the father-in-law is cheating the bridegroom regarding the dowry or support, one must be very careful before telling the bridegroom as a number of conditions must be...

Illustrations paragraph 9

If the wedding agreement was already made and one knows according to circumstances that the father-in-law will cheat the bridegroom regarding the dowry or support, it depends. If one knows that...

Illustrations paragraph 10

Sometimes one may tell, such as if one knows that the bride has an indiscernable internal disease and the bridegroom does not know. But one must be careful to fulfill all...

Illustrations paragraph 11

If one knows that the father-in-law’s home is immodest, one must tell this and one does not need to fulfill any of the above conditions. Even if one only heard it...