Lashon hara


Lashon hara

"Lashon hara" (or "Loshon hora") (Hebrew לשון הרע; "evil tongue") is the prohibition in Jewish Law of telling gossip – negative disparaging but truthful remarks about a person or party who is not present. It should not be confused with the prohibition of Motzei Shem Rah, slander, untrue remarks.

The main prohibition against "lashon hara" is derived from Leviticus 19:16 [http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0319.htm#16] : "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.". The Talmud (tractate "Erchin" 15b) lists "lashon hara" as one of the causes of the Biblical malady of "tzaraath". In Sotah 42a, the Talmud states that habitual speakers of "lashon hara" are not tolerated in God's presence. Similar strong denouncements can be found in various places in Jewish literature. [http://jsafe.org/pdfs/Lashon%20Hara%20and%20Abuse.pdf]

There are times when a person is obligated to speak out, even though the information is disparaging. Specifically, if a person’s intent in sharing the negative information is for a "to’elet", a positive, constructive, and beneficial purpose, the prohibition against "lashon hara" does not apply. "Motzi shem ra", spouting lies and spreading disinformation, is always prohibited. And if the "lashon hara" serves as a warning against the possibility of future harm, such communication is not only permissible, but, under certain conditions, compulsory.

"Lashon" is translated as "language" or "tongue". The word is generally translated as "evil speech". It is true that the concept of "lashon hara" is regarding true and correct statements. Lies and false and exaggerated information fall into a worse category called "Hotzaat Diba", or derogatory/slanderous or defamatory speech which is, in fact, worse than "lashon hara" in many ways.

The two major halakhic works on "lashon hara" are "Chafetz Chayim" and "Shmirat HaLashon" ("guarding [of] the tongue") both by Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1873). "Chafetz Chaim" lists 31 speech-related mitzvot mentioned in the Torah. The English book "Guard Your Tongue" anthologizes the teachings of these two books and provides many examples of prohibited speech.

ee also

*Yisrael Meir Kagan
*Mitzvah
*Chafetz Chaim (book)

External links

* [http://shmirashalashon.blogspot.com Translation of Sefer Shmiras HaLashon]
* [http://jsafe.org/pdfs/Lashon%20Hara%20and%20Abuse.pdf Let Them Talk: The Mitzvah to Speak Lashon Hara by Rabbi Mark Dratch, JSafe]
* [http://www.aish.com/family/mensch/Stopping_Lashon_Hara.asp A primer on how to raise our children to look at the positive and speak well about others]
* [http://www.torah.org/learning/halashon/intrcomm.html 31 mitzvot of speech]
* [http://www.torah.org/learning/halashon/ Hilchot Lashon Hara (L"H)]
* [http://www.chabad.org/search/keyword.asp?kid=8321 Negative Speech (Lashon Hora) | Chabad.org]
* [http://www.shemayisrael.com/rabbiforsythe/zivug/loshonhora.htm Finding Your Zivug or Mate Loshon Hora and Information-Seeking in Shidduchim]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lashon hara — Lachon hara Le lachon hara (hébreu לשון הרע « langage du mal », lochon hora selon la prononciation ashkénaze) est un péché particulièrement honni dans le judaïsme, tant dans la Bible hébraïque que dans la littérature rabbinique. Il… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lachon Hara — Le lachon hara (hébreu לשון הרע « langage du mal », lochon hora selon la prononciation ashkénaze) est un péché particulièrement honni dans le judaïsme, tant dans la Bible hébraïque que dans la littérature rabbinique. Il regroupe la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lachon hara — Le lachon hara (hébreu לשון הרע), « langage du mal », ou lochon hora selon la prononciation ashkénaze) est un péché particulièrement honni dans le judaïsme, tant dans la Bible hébraïque que dans la littérature rabbinique. Il regroupe la …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation — The Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation[1] (established in 1989) is a non profit Orthodox Jewish organization based in Monsey, New York, United States, dedicated to spreading the teachings of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan who was known as the Chofetz… …   Wikipedia

  • Me'il — The Me il or Robe of the Ephod is one of the sacred robes ( bigdei kehunah ) of the Kohen Gadol (Jewish High Priest). The robe is described in ). The lower hem of the garment was fringed with small golden bells alternating with pomegranate shaped …   Wikipedia

  • Gossip — This article is about the type of conversation. For other uses, see Gossip (disambiguation). Gossip is idle talk or rumour, especially about the personal or private affairs of others, It is one of the oldest and most common means of sharing facts …   Wikipedia

  • Chofetz Chaim — For other uses, see Chofetz Chaim (disambiguation). The Chofetz Chaim (or Chafetz Chaim or Hafetz Hayim) (Hebrew: חָפֵץ חַיִּים‎‎) (trans. Desirer of Life) is a book on the Jewish laws of speech written by Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan. The book is… …   Wikipedia

  • Klatsch — Klatschweiber und der Teufel (Holzschnitt von Hans Weiditz Anfang 16.Jh.) Klatsch ist eine Form der gesellschaftlichen Unterhaltung, bei der absichtsvoll Informationen über nicht anwesende Personen ausgetauscht werden. Neben der Bedeutung… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Halakha — Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • Judaism — This article is about the Jewish religion. For consideration of ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity, see Jews. Judaica (clockwise from top): Shabbat candl …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.