The Laws #52

Telling Lashon Hara To A Non-Jew

As it’s forbidden for me to tell a Jew a derogatory story about another Jew, and it’s lashon hara, so too, it’s forbidden for me to tell a non-Jew a story or an event about a Jewish person. The definition of lashon hara is words that hurt, words that damage whether the recipient, whether the one who is listening to those words is a Jewish person or not. And therefore, even if I’m speaking to a non-Jew, if I’m going to tell over that Reuven did this, said this, was involved in that, and it reflects badly on Reuven, then it’s fully lashon hara.

Lashon hara only applies to stories about Jewish people, but the prohibition is that I’m not allowed to malign or degrade a Jewish person. And that applies whether I’m telling that story, that event, over to a Jewish person or to a non-Jew.  And therefore it’s forbidden for me to tell lashon hara whether the person who’s listening is a Jew or a non-Jew. It’s still within the category of lashon hara and it’s forbidden to tell over to any person.

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