Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 30: 1-3
Gossip, Slander & Revenge

1. [Leviticus 19:16] states: "Do not go around as a gossiper among your people."

Who is a gossiper? One who collects information and then goes form person to person, saying: "This is what so and so said; this is what I heard about so and so." Even if the statements are true and are not necessarily disparaging, they constitute a violation of a negative commandment.

This is a grave sin and can cause the death of many Jews. Consequently, the Torah mentions it in conjunction with the commandment: "Do not stand still over your colleague's blood."

See what happened to Doeg, the Edomite, who told King Saul (see I Samuel 22:10) that Achimelech gave David bread and a sword. The matter was true and was not at all deprecating to Achimelech, for in doing so he did not perform any wrong. Furthermore, had King Saul himself asked Achimelech, he would not have denied it , for he did not intend to sin against King Saul. Nevertheless, Doeg's gossiping caused the death of many priests.

2. There is a much more serious sin than the above, and it is also included in this prohibition: slander - the relating of deprecation facts about a colleague, even if they are true.

Slander does not refer to someone who invents lies; that is referred to as defamation of character. Rather, a slanderer is someone who sits and relates: "This is what so and so has done; his parents were such and such; this is what I have heard about him," telling uncomplimentary things. Concerning this, [Psalms 12:4] states: "May G-d cut off all beguiling lips, the tongues which speak proud things..."

A person who listens to slander is worse than the one who recites it (Pesachim 118a). The judgement against our ancestors in the desert was sealed only because of slander (Arachin 15a).

3. To what extent will one's remarks be considered slander? For example, a person asked a colleague: "Where can I find fire?" and the latter replied "Where is fire? In so and so's house there is an abundance of meat and fish, and they are always cooking there."

   Gossip, Slander & Revenge
Paragraphs 4-6
Next
Table of Contents

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Location is Everything
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

Avraham Foreshadowed Self-Sacrifice To Make Aliyah
- 5768

Reaching for Perfection
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Mission Impassable
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Redefining Pleasure
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

When Things Don't Go As Planned
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

> Recognizing the Source of Our Good
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

A House or a Home?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Participating in G-ds Master Plan
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Cloudy Vision
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Out of This World
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

The Ordeal of Departure
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5771

ArtScroll

The Perfect Covenant
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

"Steps" in the Right Direction
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Suicide Moms
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

A Fuzzy Picture
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information