Question:

חפץ חיים כלל ב וְעַל כֵּן צָּרִיךְ לִזָּהֵר מְאֹד, אֲפִלּוּ אִם מְפֻרְסָם (כ) עַל אָדָם עִנְיָן אֶחָד לְרַע שֶׁעָשָׂה בְּנַעְרוּתוֹ, אַךְ מֵאָז וְעַד עַתָּה הוּא מִתְנַהֵג כַּשּׁוּרָה, אוֹ שֶׁמְּפֻרְסָם עַל אֲבוֹתָיו, שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ נוֹהֲגִים כַּשּׁוּרָה כְּלָל, וְהוּא אֵינוֹ אוֹחֵז בְּדַרְכֵיהֶם, וְכָל כְּהַאי גַּוְנָא {וכל כיוצא
בזה} בְּדָבָר שֶׁעַל פִּי אֱמֶת אֵין עַוְלָה עָלָיו,אָסוּר לְגַנּוֹת וֹ וּלְבַזּוֹתוֹ אֵצֶּל חֲבֵרָיו בָּזֶה

WHY DOES HE SAY לְגַנּוֹת וֹ וּלְבַזּוֹתוֹ, without that it would be okay to say?

Answer:

I think he means to say the following. If he is saying it in a way that is meant to praise, and the people hearing it will interpret it that way, then it is not considered saying something negative about him, and it would be permitted. But if he means to say it in a derogatory way, or if the people hearing it are going to interpret it negatively, for whatever reason, then it is not permitted for him to say this.

Sources:

Dirshu Chofetz Chaim Klal 2-ftnt. 47.

Tags: lpshon hora

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