The Laws #94


If you reveal something to me and I divulge that, I allow people to know against your will, that’s called מגלה סוד, a violation of your trust, and it’s forbidden to do. In addition, explains the Chafetz Chaim, there will be many times when it’s directly lashon hara.

Let’s assume for a minute that you’re going to be moving out of town. And no one knows about it. But I happen to know. And I let the word out on the street. I let people know you’re going to be leaving town. And as a result of that, you lose clients, you lose business. Maybe people make a lower offer on your home. In that situation it’s directly lashon hara.

Explains the Chafetz Chaim, the way the Rambam defines lashon hara is if I tell over words that if they spread causes you harm, financial, or embarrassment, or causes you pain, or causes you damage in any way, that is lashon hara. So even though I didn’t intend to speak badly about you, even though I didn’t say a negative report, since what I told over now has caused you a loss, whether it be a loss of clients, whether it be a loss of business or a lower offer on your home, automatically those words that I’ve told are lashon hara. Because I’ve told over words that damage you, that hurt you.

Aside from the direct issue of מגלה סוד, of revealing secrets, I’ve violated a full lo sa’aseh of the Torah, and therefore one must be very careful to guard that which is not public information.

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