web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

I’m Nervous about Loshon Hora

I recently heard someone say that it would be hard for a frum Jew to be a good comedian, because most good jokes are putting others down.
Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls - Game Two

Loshon Hora (evil tongue) is lately getting me really nervous. This might have to do with the fact that I’m guilty of this grave sin myself and therefore I am self-conscious about it. Or, if you want to quote the Baal Shem Tov, “the bad one sees in others always traces itself back to oneself.”

I waited until after Tishrei – so as not to speak ill of others before the days of judgment.

It’s not the sin aspect, the aveira-transgression stuff that really worries me (Although that in itself is huge!). The part that really gets to me is the after-effects to the person or group being spoken about.

I recently heard someone say that it would be hard for a frum Jew to be a good comedian, because most good jokes are putting others down.

There is an anecdote that the Chafetz Chaim sent one of his students to the Rebbe Rashab (5th Lubavitcher Rebbe) to get a haskama-approval for his famous “Chofetz Chaim” manuscript on the laws of loshon hora. The Rebbe Rashab supposedly responded: “In Chabad we work on not even thinking loshon hora”(1).

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Now all my Chabad readers are hopefully happy. No thinking loshon hora! We love all Jews (as long as you love us back). The 32nd chapter of the Tanya, the “lev” of Chabad Chassidus (the numerology of 32 is lamed-bet, spelling “lev,” or heart) is (I’m paraphrasing): “All Jewish souls are one body and when we elevate the body over the soul, it’s easy to love every Jew like oneself [for the body that separates one from another is subservient to the soul]…”

So, while we’re working on controlling our thoughts and bodies, it might be a good idea to review a good book on the laws of loshon hora (there are hundreds to choose from).

I try really hard to keep sarcasm out of my writing, but it does sometimes sneak in. I don’t have complete mind over body control. Or mind over mouth…
(1). A similar story is told that the Chofetz Chaim asked the Rebbe Rashab why Chassidim make a big deal about not cutting their beard but not about loshon hora. The Rebbe Rashab supposedly answered that cutting a beard is a calculated act, as opposed to loshon hora, which is usually an accident.


Betzalel Bassman graduated from Rabbinical College of America in 2006 with a Rabbinic Ordination, nd has taught in Yeshivas M.M. Lubavitch Monsey from 2008-2011.
He Writes on Talmud and Chassidic Philosophy. He Lives in Pittsburgh, PA.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “I’m Nervous about Loshon Hora”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Palestinian youth hurl stones at Israel Police forces (unseen) during clashes with Police after friday prayers in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Al Amoud on February 28, 2014, Jerusalem, Israel. Police today in order to prevent riots limted the entrance for Muslim worship to men over age 50. Photo by Sliman Khader/Flash90
‘Benign Neglect’ May Be Setting Up Eastern Jerusalem Jews for Expulsion
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Miller-091914

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

Sisi:”The religious nature of the Middle East creates challenges for the governing authorities.”

More Articles from Betzalel Bassman
Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls - Game Two

I recently heard someone say that it would be hard for a frum Jew to be a good comedian, because most good jokes are putting others down.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/im-nervous-about-loshon-hora/2013/10/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: