Question:

  1. When asking mechila for speaking loshen hora, must I tell the person what was said about him if he demands to know?
  2. Or is he mechiyev to be mochel even if I don’t say?

Answer:

  1. There is controversy if a person asking mechila for speaking lashon hora has to say what he did or not. The minhag is not to, because saying what you told the person will be onaas devorim. Therefore essentially you should ask the person a general mechila, and even if he asks what you said etc., tell him that you deeply regret what was done and you are too embarrassed to discuss it.
  2. In general the person is not mechuyuv to be mochel, unless he sees that you are indeed sincere in your request for mechila. After he sees  that you are sincerely he should be mochel, and if he isn’t then you don’t have to do any more than that. There is an exception though, someone that spoke motzei shem ra, (which happens often when a person spoke lashon hora that was a lie) the person doesn’t have to be mochel, because the damage can still be happening, as the false rumor spreads.

Sources:

Chofetz Chaim 4-12, Halichos Shlomo 3-6, Rema O:CH 606-1, M:B ibid 11,

Tags: lashon hora Teshuva

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