The Laws #48

Lashon Hara About An Apikores

All of the prohibitions of speaking lashon hara are about people בכלל עמיתך, people who are in the category of my nation. Explains the Chafetz Chaim, that means they have to be within the category of עם שאתך בתורה ובמצות, the nation that is with you in keeping Torah and mitzvos. If, however, a person is an apikores, even if they were born Jewish, but if they’re in the status of an apikores, then the issurim, the prohibitions of lashon hara, don’t apply to them.

What is an apikores? Explains the Chafetz Chaim, an apikores is one who denies any element of Torah. Whether they deny the Torah is min hashamayim, whether they deny any mitzvah in the Torah, any person who denies any aspect of Torah shebiksav or Torah sheba’al peh, any aspect of the divinity of the Torah Law, or any aspect of the Rabbinic Law brought down, he is in the category of an apikores and they’re no longer in the category of our nation. And therefore, the prohibitions of lashon hara do not apply to them. Therefore, if a person stepped outside this category, the regular issurim of lashon hara do not apply to them because they’re not in the category of עמיתך, and one is not prohibited from speaking lashon hara against them.

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