Question:

B”H Thank you so much for your help.
My question is: is it considered lashon hara or slander to talk about behaviors of people mentioned in the Torah, for the purposes of learning what the mistake was so that it is not repeated now? So basically we can say “so and so did this negative behavior and it was wrong, and from it we learn xyz…?” Is that considered lashon hara/ slander on the person, or is it t’oles because there is not bad intent and it is saying something negative for a constructive reason (learning/ discussing Torah- and also learning Torah so that we do not sin…)Thank you so much.

Answer:

It is not considered Lashon Hora to talk about them, because the reason that the Torah mentioned their sins was only so that we can learn from it.

There is however something that we must be very careful about, that we are dealing here with tremendous spiritual giants. The proof is that H-shem saw it fit to write about them in His holy Torah. There were billions of people throughout the generations and they weren’t mentioned in H-shem’s timeless Torah, as lessons for posterity. Most of the time the people being discussed were prophets, which means that they attained a level of perfection that we can not even comprehend. For example, the sin of Moshe Rabbeinu when he hit the rock instead of talking to it, or even when the Jews worshipped the Golden Calf. All of the Jews at that time were prophets, and saw G-d at the Red Sea and at Har Sinai with a clarity that was much clearer then the Prophet Yechezkel. Therefore we have to understand that the “sins” of these great giants was very slight and only considered a sin because of their lofty spiritual level, that on that level it was considered an imperfection. (As a side point, there is a sefer called Leket Sichos Mussar, by R’ Aizik Sher zt”l, and he goes thru all of the “sins” in the Torah and explains them, so that we get the correct perspective about them.)  Nevertheless, although the people involved here were indeed giants, the Torah was still critical of them, and wrote it in order for us to learn from it on our level. Therefore it isn’t Lashon Hora, and we should learn from it, but we must still keep tings in their correct perspective.

Best wishes

Tags: lashon hora

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