Saturday, January 26, 2008

Daily Jewish Law - 1/27


We have been learning about harmful speech.

The prohibition against Lashon Hara is geared toward preventing me from communicating new negative information about a person, giving him a bad reputation. Conveying old information does not give him a bad reputation.

There is a separate prohibition against Tale-Bearing (Rechilut), and that prohibition is geared toward preventing me from instigating negative conversations about a person, causing people to turn against him.

The key here is instigation. If something is already public, so that the listeners are all familiar with it, then communicating it isn't Lashon Hara - the fact is already known. However, initiating such a discussion is still problematic under Tale-Bearing, because Tale-Bearing isn't really about divulging fresh information, it's about instigating negative comments about a person.

(Mekor Chaim 2:3)

Have a great day,

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