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Public Internet speech


I have a Bein Adam l’chavero question. About a year ago there was a rabbi who posted a torah shiur on youtube. A Hasid, “Reuven”, wrote a comment about something the rabbi said (It wasn’t bad, just making a point), and this person, who appears to be a recent ba’al teshuvah “Shimon”, started ranting about what the first commenter, “Reuven” said. I started posting facts and proofs from Gedolim and Rishonim that what Shimon wrote against Reuven was totally incorrect. Shimon started using nivul peh /profanity in the public discussion and started calling these rabbis and gedolim “cowards” and other terrible names. He attacked one Rishon in particular, and pretty much any rabbi or gadol who didn’t hold like him using similar inappropriate speech, and he inappropriately said lashon hara and/or motzei shem ra against an entire community of frum jews who held similarly. I saw on another forum a moderator publicly told this person he couldn’t post what he had written because it was lashon hara too.

I pointed out publicly it is improper to use nivul peh and speak like that and that in that we shouldn’t take anyone who behaves like he does seriously and told him his rants against a particular community constituted sinat chinam publicly. On one hand I was thinking it looks like this character was causing a chilul hashem talking like that by publicly disgracing chachamim and attacking a community, but on the other hand I didn’t know if was proper to protest like that against is behavior and should have been done in a private message to avoid embarrassing him. What is the halacha in this case, and would I need to gain mechila? I’m about 80% sure this person was not using his real live name, but a pseudonym online.


It isn’t possible to answer you specifically because I don’t know anything about the story aside from the way that you are presenting it, however according to what you are saying, what you did was fine, and you don’t have to ask him mechila. This is because he was and still is causing a chillul H-shem by posting negative things about H-shem servants, and those who represent His torah, and by sticking up for them you are defending the kavod of shomayim. Besides this, by posting your objection, you are causing other to beware of this person’s negative behavior. Additionally, when a person sins in public and it makes a chillul H-shem the correct way is to rebuke him in public, as this way it will minimize the chillul H-shem.

As a side point it is not a healthy thing for ones neshoma to, read or partake in many blogs, because of the lashon hora, and chillul H-shem that transpires on them. Please see the following post.

Best Wishes


Magen Avrohom 608-3, Mishna Berura 608-10.

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