The Laws #23

Lacking A Good Character Trait

As the Torah forbids me from saying that a person isn’t so smart, so too I’m not allowed to say that a person doesn’t have any other good character trait. Whether it be bravery, whether it be work ethic, if I say that such and such person is lazy, if I say that such and such person is disorganized, obviously that’s degrading and is going to cause that person harm. If someone is looking to hire an individual to work and they find out that that person has a reputation of being lazy, it’s less likely he’ll get a job. People hear about the fact that he’s disorganized, it’s less likely they’ll want to be involved with him.

Any personal attribute about the person, if I say he doesn’t have it, if I say he’s not really put together, organized, smart, intelligent, he’s not really talented, anything of a personal nature that takes him down a notch is lashon hara, because it damages his reputation. People look at him differently and automatically I’m harming him.

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