Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Torah precepts of proper speech
#1
Would it be a good idea for a Noahide to study the laws of lashon hara [gossip and slander] in order to bolster their observance of the prohibition against murder? If so what would be a good source for these laws?
Reply
#2
Yes. Gossip and slander are conceptually compared to murder, in the sense of "character assassination," and harming another person through speech. So it is logical that Noahides should be careful not to use their G'd-given gift of speech in a way that would harm other people. Also you would not want others to speak gossip or slander about you, so you should not speak that way about other people. This is also conceptually compared to the prohibition against blasphemy, since every person has an aspect of the image of G-d, which is the human intellect that can recognize what is good and what is evil in G-d's eyes.

Recommended books on the Jewish precepts of proper speech:

1) Chofetz Chaim: A Lesson A Day
The concepts and laws of proper speech arranged for daily study.
http://www.artscroll.com/Books/ladp.html

2) Guard Your Tongue: A Practical Guide to the Laws of Loshon Hora (Gossip and Slander)
by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
http://www.amazon.com/Guard-Tongue-Rabbi...000OFT7VO/

3) The Second Edition of "The Divine Code," by Rabbi Moshe Weiner will include those precepts of proper speech that are obligations or moral responsibilities for Noahides.
[UPDATE: the 2nd Edition was published in 2011]
Reply
#3
For a detailed answer, see "The Divine Code", Part V, chapter 8 ("The Prohibitions of Embarrassing Another Person, Evil Gossip, and Tale-bearing"). Topics 1-3 in that chapter state:

-------------
1. Just as it is forbidden to harm someone (as part of the prohibition against murder...), it is also forbidden to cause another person suffering through one’s speech. This is morally and logically binding, as Hillel said as a summary of the entire Torah, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your friend.” It is forbidden to humiliate or embarrass another person, even if only with words, or to call another person by a name that is embarrassing to him...

2. It is forbidden to go around gossiping about people, and this is described as tale-bearing – collecting information and then going [around telling it] from one person to another...

3. ... evil gossip (lashon harah in Hebrew) is telling a derogatory thing about another person, even though it may be true. What is considered evil gossip? Any informative or derogatory statement that would cause harm to another person’s body or possessions, or that would cause him anguish or distress if he heard those words, or if he knew they were heard by others...
-------------

Therefore, a pious Noahide should observe the details of the Torah Laws regarding lashon hara.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)