The sin of lashon hara is considered to be a very serious sin in judaism. Jewish dharma a guide to the practice of judaism and zen. The sages regard this sin as particularly offensive. Lashon hara the old testament articles learn biblical. An elderly sage was walking along a path with his student and they passed the rotting corpse of a dog. This weeks parashah, bhaalotcha, provides some answers. See more ideas about words, quotable quotes and cool words. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Traditional judaism teaches a doctrine against lashon hara lashone harah, or the evil tongue. As we continue our study of lashon hara the evil tongue, it should become apparent that a mans heart controls the tongue. Rabbi winston has authored many books on jewish philosophy hashkofa. Speaking lashon hara about the world nathan lopes cardozo.
There are countless recorded examples of the rebbe practicing lashon tov. Brenda shoshanna is a practicing psychologist with more than 25 years of experience. Recently, my daughter and i had an exchange that felt like we were enacting an ancient script between parents and teenagers. Additional resources for the stunning power of speech ii. I offer the following thoughts, largely based on joseph telushkins a code of jewish ethics. Help your children identify what is and isnt proper speech. Lashon hara the evil tongue is not slander, which means untrue statements defaming another person. Prominent jews talk about being jewish uses her former column for the forward as a launching pad to take readers on a spiritual and intellectual journey. If lashon hara is ultimately meant to tear someone down, lashon tov is meant to build them up. This book has been republished in recent years in a halachaaday over the course of a year format.
The most basic book available on the laws of lashon hara is the sefer of the chofetz chaim, called. Philo, josephus and the author of the book of wisdom of solomon were among. There are a number of excellent jewish books that can help you. One of the methods used to purify a sinner is by sparkling blood on the altar mizbeach. Listening to lashon hara is generally prohibited for two reasons. Through torah, the power of words, consulting the wise, and the recent life is now. If he were nonjewish, you would likely not need to make a protest over the. And i have accounted for the sins of jezreel upon the house of jehu.
But id like to focus our attention on chapter 12 of the book of numbers, which. It means, quite simply, speaking badly about people, and is a subset of the biblical prohibition against spreading gossip. The snake, lashon hara, moshiach and yosef hatzadik parshas vayechi. Lashon hara and the zen practice of silence finding true support. The goal is to make jewish content handson, interactive, spiritually resonant and personally relevant to young learners. Within jewish wisdom s ninety chapters the reader will find extended sections illuminating jewish perspectives on sex, romance, and marriage, what kind of belief in god a jew can have after the holocaust, how to use language ethically, the conflicting views of the bible and talmud on the death penalty, and much, much more.
However, if it is applied in some other spirit, it can be very destructive. One act of lashon hara gossip ruined lifelong friendships and impacted family relationships. This activity designed to be completed by students in chevrusa learning partnerships or as a class discussion. If he were non jewish, you would likely not need to make a protest over the lashon hora as there is no prohibition of loshon hara. Lashon harahgossip, sigmund freud leave a comment if others speak ill of you, let the worst they say seem a trifle. Lashon hara applies to newspapers, journals, magazines and other written sources, as lashon hara is not prohibited just for speech. Loljust went next door to the west side jewish center see the artscroll footnote along the lines that of course scrupulous study of the laws of lashon hara can avoid this problem at least they didnt source this in rashi. Subscribe to our classes and add jewish wisdom to your day. When jews think about lashon hara hebrew for evil tongue, we tend to focus on extreme examples such as the teenage suicide of megan meier, which her parents say was the result of a cruel myspace prank megans death provides a horrifyingly literal illustration of an early jewish teaching.
Guard your tongue by zelig pliskin the jewish comix anthology by steven m. Lashon hara is saying things that are wrong to say because they are hurtful to others one tongue instead of another. In jewish law, all things are considered to be secret unless a person specifically says otherwise. Gil student my article in this weeks issue of the jewish link of new jersey, the most important jewish newspaper in the area the classic work chafetz chaim on the laws of lashon hara, damaging language, was written well over a century ago. Lashon hara by hillel news apr 09, 2008 comments when jews think about lashon hara hebrew for evil tongue, we tend to focus on extreme examples such as the teenage suicide of megan meier, which her parents say was the result of a cruel myspace prank. But sometimes we speak lashon hara because we forget that in many cases, truth can be subjective like beauty is in the eye of the beholder or elusive. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. Gossip, rumors and lashon hara evil speech my jewish. Speaking lashon hara about the world jun 14, 2017, 9. These rules and so many more, in addition to their inherent wisdom, help us to teach our children to rule over their desires. Nathan lopes cardozo is the founder and dean of the david cardozo academy and the bet midrash of avraham avinu in jerusalem. Lashon hara should not have a place in the lives of any of yhwhs children. The emergence of religious orthodoxy and the popular jewish press.
One may have spoken lashon hara about another in the past, which is certainly bad, however that lashon hara they spoke, may have ruined the other person, many people may have looked at the victim in a much worse light, believing him to be a much worse person, in turn they may have stopped associating with him, for example not doing business. Gossip, rumors and lashon hara evil speech my jewish learning. As already mentioned in the torah studies for tazria and metzora, the sages link tzaraat i. Jun 10, 2019 lashon hara, evil speech about others, whether true or not true, is not simply slander according to the chofetz chayim, it is also a sin before god. Lashon hara differs from defamation in that lashon hara is truthful speech rather than lies lashon hara is considered to be a very serious sin in the jewish tradition. Excerpts from interviews with contemporary jewish sages frame each chapter, so the book offers a treasure of jewish wisdom and the clear sense that many gifted teachers provided directions to this wandering jew.
Lashon hara is saying something truthfully negative about a person or party without intending to improve or correct a negative situation. At dinner and at other family times, bring books to the table to discuss or talk about current events. The jewish phrase for this kind of behaviour is lashon hara, evil speech, speech about people that is negative and derogatory. Last week, as i began my annual exploration of jewish ethical wisdom on the use of speech, or lashon hara, i. For example, if your jewish coworkers are badmouthing your jewish boss even without you joining in, just listening, you might have an obligation to protest the lashon hora in some manner. This brings us to the second problem with lashon hara even when it is true. The snake, lashon hara, moshiach and yosef hatzadik.
Lashon hara also known as leshon hara or loshen horoh is scandalmongering. And so the whole question of lashon hara, how is it that we are careful with our. A man spread some negative remarks about the local rabbi. As we will see, if this doctrine is applied in a spirit of love, it can be very good. Lashon horaits not just gossip from the jewish press but there is. When you discuss what happened in each persons day, focus on what they learned that day and how they felt. The questions after the texts are thought provoking and therefore have no.
Its so refreshing to find a book on jewish law that addresses the questions and needs of society today. In one of rabbi telushkins other books, jewish wisdom, he tells a classic story. Lashon hara, evil speech about others, whether true or not true, is not simply slander according to the chofetz chayim, it is also a sin before god. The hebrew for both of these is online, and i know that many editions give sedarim that make it easy to split the learning into daily, weekly, or monthly. Lashon hara is considered to be prohibited by the bible on the basis of leviticus. The rabbi said this teaches that speaking lashon hara is practically unavoidable, as if god did all he can do, with no success. Lashon hara vanderbilts etd server vanderbilt university.
Raised in an orthodox jewish family, she is now a longterm student and practitioner of both judaism and zen buddhism. The hebrew term for speaking badly of others is called lashon hara, literally evil language. In fact, rabbi israel meir hakohen of radin wrote an entire book about these. It left me wondering where on earth this script comes from, and how i ended up with the parental role. Entire books have been written by jewish sages regarding the unwise use of our speech. Jehu, was a jewish king who fulfilled a mitzvah positive commandment by cutting off the house of ahab a. My speech to the graduates, the new york times, aug. Rabbeinu yonah, one of the great medieval rabbis, tells a brief story about this issue.
She is the author of several books including zen and the art of falling in love. Sefer chofetz chaim thats how the chofetz chaim became known by this name. The baal haturim rabbi yakov ben asher, 126943 comments on the parasha on leviticus. Lashon hara in the episode about the snake enticing adam and eve. How you can bring out the best in others chapter 9 of. Whether its the workplace, at lunch with our friends, or at a family dinner, not only is the temptation there but the. Lashon hara is considered to be a very serious sin in the jewish tradition. We are not orthodox obviously i guess, since weve been together for several years, live together, and go away on vacation together but we are somewhat traditional kosher style food, candles most friday nights, read jewish books together, care about stuff like lashon hara. Within jewish wisdoms ninety chapters the reader will find extended sections illuminating jewish perspectives on sex, romance, and marriage, what kind of belief in god a jew can have after the holocaust, how to use language ethically, the conflicting views of the bible and talmud on the death penalty, and much, much more. In the intervening years, the world has changed dramatically.
The speaking of evil does not have to be a lie in order to be lashon hara. I went from there to seeing how much pain the jews have had to dealt with throughout time and sadly is still going on. On the seventh day g d rested, which brought in to existence the spiritual universe of shabbat. Instead of spreading lashon hara to your friends and family about why an overweight person is the way they are or criticizing a gay man for acting too feminine, think about the words youre saying. Here, she explores the jewish calendar of holidays and observances including rosh hashanah, yom kippur, passover, and shabbat, combining both cultural and theological explanations with often hilarious. A soughtafter lecturer on the international stage for both jewish and nonjewish audiences, rabbi cardozo is the author of books and numerous articles in both english and hebrew. In fact, the definition of lashon hara does not reflect truth or falsehood at all, but the damage that it can inflict. Lashon hara is any derogatory or damaging statement against an individual. As such, similar to what i wrote about in my last blog, id like to provide some words of wisdom that will do just that. In the merit of me being saved from lashon hara evil speech, and that i will no longer speak any lashon hara, from now until forever, and that i wont take an interest ever again in whats happening with another person, and what. Same was spoken of the bohen the thumb that was intended to fit the mouth and block lashon hara, just as the bohen, the big toe on the feet intended to walk away from lashon hara as well. Rabbi cardozo is the author of books and numerous articles in both. Judaism is intensely aware of the power of speech and of.
Each week we reflect on more than 2000 years of jewish wisdom in just about. Jewish wisdom i bought this book because i am catholic and i wanted to know more about the 163 laws that jewish people had to follow which influenced jesus in what he taught. We find that lashon hara, negative talk, is a sin that has caused numerous tragedies for the jewish people, and indeed the world, since the very beginning of history. The spiritual effect of such lashon tov, positive speech, is to enable a persons good qualitieswhich may be hidden deep within themto come to the surface. Of course, since we receive great punishment for lashon hara, we are to blame. Talk about how improper speech can hurt others and how it hurts the person speaking lashon hara. Students will successfully interpret and answer questions from jewish texts relating to speech and lashon hara. The jewish phrase for this kind of behavior is lashon hara, evil speech, speech about people that is negative and derogatory. A soughtafter lecturer on the international stage for both jewish and non jewish audiences, rabbi cardozo is the author of books and numerous articles in both english and hebrew.
Sure, you have a juicy piece of gossip but thats lashon hara, and we cannot hurt others with our words. Speaking lashon hara about the world the jewish press. Speaking lashon hara about the world david cardozo academy. Lashon hara differs from defamation in that lashon hara is truthful speech, rather than lies, for a wrongful purpose. Morgenstern shmiras halashon section this class is based upon the chofetz chaim written by rabbi yisrael meir kagan, more commonly known as the chofetz chaim due to the popularity of his book. It has been said that lashon hara disparaging speech kills three. A good resource to clear up questions about specific lashon hara situations. Lashon hara is both a very serious sin, and one that has wide acceptance in the world around us. This curriculum will also bridge the gap between school and home. Lashon hara is considered to be prohibited by the bible on the basis of leviticus 19.255 888 260 1159 576 1517 391 848 1236 659 1056 346 1537 11 226 1191 1546 1623 979 165 451 952 209 705 1052 1156 91 277 461 259 471