#12 – Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Another aseh that’s almost impossible not to violate is “וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ”. Almost every instance of speaking lashon hara is a violation of loving your neighbor as yourself.

Explains the Chafetz Chaim, the manifestation of loving your neighbor like yourself is that we have to be concerned about his money, about his reputation. We have to treat him as we would ourselves to be concerned for his good. Now obviously if someone is speaking badly about me I’m extraordinarily pained by it. And anything that I could do to mitigate it, to lessen it, I would. In fact, if I could write the play, if I could write the script and someone was speaking about me I would lessen it dramatically. If I couldn’t cut the whole thing out believe me I would change the words; it would be very different. That’s how I treat me. Yet when I’m speaking about you I’m freely critical, I’m debasing you. Clearly what I’m doing is I’m treating you differently than I treat myself. My own honor I’m very, very cautious about, but your honor I don’t care about.

Explains the Chafetz Chaim, it’s almost impossible to speak lashon hara without violating “וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ”. If I love you like myself, I treat you with the same honor, with the same regard. The minute I’m speaking derogatory words, debasing words, I’m saying I don’t really care about you and automatically I’m violating “וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ”. Besides all the lo sa’asehs, I’m mevatel this particular aseh of “וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ” .