web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

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: