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Shmiras HaLashon #20

We learned previously that even when we witness someone transgress a prohibition it is forbidden to share this information with others unless the person is acting deliberately in spite of constant warnings. That being said, there is an exception to this rule. It’s an exception that necessitates real intellectual honesty. The Chafeitz Chaim teaches us that a person’s intent in speaking negatively about others makes a big difference. Sharing information for the sake of gossiping or slandering is forbidden. However, if one uses an individual who displays a certain negative characteristic, as an example to teach one’s student, child, or anyone they can influence, the Chafeitz Chaim states that this is permitted. This type of negative speech does not fall under the category of lashon hara. Again, intellectual honesty is required and one has to make sure that they
are using this individual as an example with the right intent.

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