Question:

i used to not be very careful with my mouth, but now b’h I’ve got much more control, an entirely different person. however, i’m trying to do teshuva for things done in the past. two questions:
a) was it lashon hara to make a joke how old a certain person is?
b)it’s been tearing me up that I said some comments about deceased tzaddikim. is there any way of kapparah? I’ve been learning chofetz chaim, and whenever he talks about being mevazeh a talmid chacham I can barely read it from shame .
thank you

Answer:

 

It is very nice that you have improved yourself regarding speaking lashon hora. Anyone who learned the sefer Shmiras Halashon would understand what a great accomplishment this is! Regarding your questions-

  1. It depends on how it is said, if it was done in a derogatory way then it would be lashon hora, however just exaggerating how old he is, “he must be 140…” that would not be lashon hora.
  2. From what you are asking it sounds like what you said was about a tzaddik that was already deceased when you made you comment about him. Then the halacha is that you don’t have to go to the persons grave, but you can have a kapara by taking ten men in the place that you embarrassed him and say that you said something … and you want to ask mechila. Then the ten men will say mochel loch three times.

This is not an easy thing to do, but in the zechus of overcoming the difficulty, H-shem should send youi a lot of siyata dishmaya, and all the brachos that the Chofetz Chaim lists for those who are careful about not speaking lashon hora

Sources:

Mishna Berura 606-14.

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