I took this list off of my mother’s refrigerator after she passed away. Maybe it’s the most valuable thing she left me.
Being human, I have committed Loshon Hora, otherwise known as gossip. At times, it’s come back to haunt me. I’m sure everyone has had the same experience.
However, they did not think Loshon Hora up. It’s been a part of Jewish tradition for centuries. I first learned about it when taking a class at a Reform synagogue.
The Ten rules of Loshon Hora
1. Say only positive statements. Derogatory statements, even if true, are forbidden.
2. Promote people’s well being. Any statement that can cause someone physical, financial, or emotional harm is also loshon hora.
3. Humor is great, but make sure jokes aren’t at someone else’s expense.
4.Be kind to yourself. speaking badly even about yourself is loshon hora
5.Loshon hora cannot be communicated in any manner, be it through writing, body language or verbal hints.
6. It is loshon hora to speak against a community or to make harmful remarks about children—even your own.
7.Communicate with your spouse, but not loshon hora
8, It is forbidden to listen to loshon hora
9. Always give people the benefit of the doubt.
10. Loshon hora is permitted, or even required when warning a person about potential harm, for example, a potential business or marriage partner.
At the end of the list it says, “Words can hurt. Words can heal”
Do you think these rules pertain to today’s society? Do you engage in gossip? What do you think would happen if everyone followed these rules?
Aren’t we getting more gossipy as time goes on? Turn on the Fox Channel or CNN and you will be listening to nothing but gossip! Is news gossip?
If you think the list for Loshon Hora is valuable, feel free to share it.