Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

לא תשא שמע שוא אל תשת ידך עם רשע להיות עד חמס (כג:א)
“Though shalt not bear a false report.”

The plain meaning in the pasuk addresses Judges who are to be careful not to accept false testimony. This fits in with the next part of the verse which invalidates wicked witnesses. Rashi add that the prohibition extends even to giving preference to one litigant without his counterpart being present. Furthermore, the pasuk also prohibits accepting Lashon Hara. (Chafetz Chaim explains how this prohibition applies even to true slander, despite the simple meaning of שוא.)


The previous pasuk ends with the words לכלב תשליחון אותו. Based on this juxtaposition, the Gemara (Psachim 118a) teaches that whoever speaks Lashon Hara (לא תשא=לא תשיא), accepts Lashon Hara, or bears false testimony is fit to be cast to the dogs. As Lashon Hara is unfortunately rampant, we must be diligent in trying not to listen. If we do hear slander we are compelled not to believe it. [Isur Kabalat Lashon Hara]. (Chafetz Chaim discusses the details at length).

As we recall from Tanach, Izevel, Jezebel, was the worst of the worst. (If you don’t remember what she did review Melachim Bet).

The prophet Elisha declared:

ואת איזבל יאכלו הכלבים בחלק יזרעאל ואין קובר

“and the dogs shall eat Izevel in the portion of Yizre’el and there shall be none to bury her.” (Kings II 9:10)

None of us wishes for that fate. All of us will be more careful about Lashon Hara this week.

Shabbat Shalom


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Rav Korn is a senior Rabbi at Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh