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Rambam Hilchos De'os Chapter 7 - Q & A

The Laws of Gossip, Loshon Hara, Revenge, and Harboring Grudges

15 min

Class Summary:

This is the Q&A segment of class, in Rambam the Laws of De'os, chapter seven, which was presented on Wednesday Parshas Eikev, 15 Av, 5780, August 5, 2020, streaming live from Rabbi YY Jacobson's home in Monsey, NY

Please leave your comment below!

  • SM

    Sara Metzger -3 years ago

    Questions from Chapter 7



    we have great questions but no answers today. 



    - 1 month ago

    Halach mekabel more than the speaker gemara kiddushin

    The Ravs explanation can be supported by a similar idea in the gemara kiddushin



    Fine line between doing something to repair the world...

    and lashon harah. Who determines which it is?  Not so clear (in my opinion) sometimes. 



    no negative speech even if true always?

    Pedophile? Covid infected person ignoring quarantine orders going among the vulnerable? 



    Question for Rabbi YY

    In halacha 4 why does the Rambam say 'who will tell so and so to continue acting as he does now?' That could imply anything , eg neutral . Why does the Rambam not say 'who will tell so and so to stop acting as he does now? Or to continue as they were previously?' Or maybe it's hinting that even the neutrality or non negativity of comments could still be very harmful



    halacha 7 says no revenge

    Amalek and other nefarious tribes in the Chumash?

    Naziis? Did the mossad do wrong by hunting down the terrorists who murdered Israelis? 




    Kofer beikur

    The first explanation given that one denies because he doesnt see the divine in the world and the person- would apply seemingly to many averos bein adam lechavero to have hatred, machlokes, nekamah, netirah so why mention this only by lashon harah seems more correct the other explanation?



    Hashem created the world thru speech.....

    but He gathered  dust to make man.



    Lashon Harah

    Lashon hara - definately a bad thing to do. I'm not sure if Rambam addresses the exceptions. And maybe he does and you will discuss. But the exceptions convolute it all. If there are exceptions, who decides it's an exceptions. I know Chofetz Chaim wrote extensively on this where he tries to claify, but so many people think the exceptions are the rule. It becomes a crazy crazy situation in some cases. Can you address this briefly?



    Even  the exceptions for example if a person knows something about someone who is engaged to someone else, and so the intent is to save the other person from the thing that is supposedly wrong about "bad"  person, maybe they don't know the whole story. Maybe there are circumstances that made the "bad" person do something that was not really bad. But the sharing of information lacked all the truth.  It's very convoluted. It's not necessarily objective or even totally true. So maybe the best thing is to just keep quiet. And yet, what if the information is absolutely true. How can we know. And maybe if it is true, it was only true for those two people, Maybe things would be different for the new person. 



    Halacha 2

    Clarification: Even though the Rav is learning the Rambam in the simple reading, but some commentators say only if intent to start a fight or because of hate etc. not stam a yenta



    Questions about Chapter 6

    Posek 7 says “Whoever has the possibility of rebuking (sinners)) and fails to do so is considered responsible for that sin, for he had the opportunity to rebuke the sinners” Does this mean that only the person who fails to do so is responsible for the sin and not the person who sinned? Or are they both responsible? Also rebuking others can be a very difficult thing to do. It requires making a judgment about someone else’s behavior and deciding it was wrong. And even if it’s done in private, the person being rebuked is likely to become embarrassed and maybe even humiliated. Sometimes we might not know what’s behind the behavior. But the halacha according to Rambam seems pretty clear, that one has an obligation to do so?  And how does all of this relate to lashon harah?

    Posek 9 says that “it is pious behavior if a person who was wronged by a colleague would rather not admonish him or mention the matter at all … and forgive him totally without bearing any feelings of hate or admonishing him”. If nothing is said because the person who was wronged truly forgives and doesn’t harbor any ill feelings or hatred towards the other, the other might never know that he wronged someone. I guess that is a consequence of forgiving? The person doesn’t need to know? Seems counter to the mitzvah/obligation to rebuke.  I guess the point and important part is that there is truly no ill feelings or hatred in one’s heart?



    My guess: if someone does wrong in general the one in a position to rebuke effectively must do so. But, if the wrong was done  to that person himself, the highest level is to forgive. And if the wrongdoer never realizes, then it might happen again with another. So be it. The next highest level is to rebuke properly. One lower level is to just do nothing, not forgive and not rebuke.

     One rule is to rebuke.

      Another rule is not to say anything that will not be listened to 

      How to do both? 

      One must make an educated guess if he will be listened to. If not, zip it. If yes, rebuke.



    Halacha 7 advice on this halacha -Rambam, Rabenu Yonah Rav Dessler




    Hello Aliza. Ths "moshe" here is moshe Isenberg. Now in monsey. Regards 



    Chapter 7

    Halacha 1

     Daas Umachshava

    המרגלבחבירועוברבלאתעשהשנאמרלאתלךרכילבעמך. הרמב"םמנהלאואחד, והקדושה"חפץחיים" בפתיחתספרומונהשבעעשרהלאויןוארבעעשרהמצותושלשהארוריםשעלוליםלעבוראםמדבריםלשוןהרע, ומונהשםלאתלךרכילבעמיך, לאתשאשמעשוא, השמרבנגעהצרעת, לפניעורלאתתןמכשול, השמרפןתשכחאתה' אלקיך, לאתונולאתשאעליוחטאלאתחניפואתהארץוכו' ובעשיןזכוראתאשרעשהה' אלקיךלמרים, ואהבתלרעךכמוך, בצדקתשפוטעמיתך, ובותדבק, והלכתבדרכיו, אתה' אלקיךתיראוכו' וכןארורמכהרעהובסתראוארורמשגהעורבדרךוכןאיסוראשרלאיקיםאתדבריהתורההזאת, ודבריומלהיביםלהזהירכלאחדלאליכשלבאסורלשוןהרעשעונשוחמורמאד.

     Maseh Rokeach

    צאולמדמהשאירעלדואג. נראהדכוונתומבוארתדאףשאמראמתמכלמקוםנתכווןלהרעשהרישפירהיהיודעשעלידיכןתעלהחמתהמלךעלאחימלךכדמוכחיקראישהיהמתרעםשאולעלעבדיוכיקשרתםכולכםעליוכו' כיהקיםבניאתעבדיעלילאורבכיוםהזהוכתיבויעןדואגוכו' אמנםמרןז"לנראהשלאהביןכןשפי' דאףעלפישאיןבדברשוםגנותלמישנאמרעליווכו'. דאילונשאללאחימלךלאהיהמכחישדאדרבאהואחשבלעבודעבודתהמלךכמושהתנצלבדבריווכו' ע"כודברירבינונוטיםלפירושמרןבאמתודו"ק:

    Halacha 2

      aas Umachshava'

    ישעוןגדולמזהעדמאדוהואבכלללאוזהוהואלשוןהרע. הרמב"םלאביארלמהאסורלשוןהרעחמורמאסוררכילות, והרדב"ז (בלשונותסימןא') מפרששברכילותמספרומצפהלזהאיזהתגמולשסיפרלומהשמדבריםעליושהרידואגהאדומיבודאיציפהמשאולגדולהוכבודעלרכילותו, אבלבלשוןהרעאיןלושוםהנאהדמהיתרוןלבעלהלשון.

    והקדושרביחייםויטאלזצ"למפרששלשוןהרענקראהמספרומישממשיךלספרמהששמעממנוהוארכיל, ולרמב"םהראשוןהואשהתחילולכןחמור, ולראב"דהרוכלהלואהורגמיששמעממנווכןמישמדברעליוולכןחמוריותר.

    ולדרכנוהלואדבריהרמב"םמאירים, שאסוררכילותהיינוכשמספרדבריםששמעמאחרוהואלארצהלגלותהדבריםיותרולפרסמם, אבלאיןבהדבריםגנאיוכלשכןשקר, ומ"מהואכרכילשמציעלאחריםבשעהשאינואלאדבריםבעלמאועוברבלאו, אבלכלשכןהמספרלשוןהרעשמגנהחבירואףעלאמתוכ"ששקרהלואעונשוחמורמאד.

    Halacha 3

    Daas Umachshva

    אמרוחכמיםשלשעבירותנפרעיןמןהאדםבעולםהזהואיןלוחלקלעולםהבא. הכ"ממביאמקורומערכין (ט"ז.) ואיןרמזשםשאיןלוחלקלעולםהבא, אבלבירושלמיפ"אדפאהמפורשכרמב"םשלשוןהרעחמורמג' עבירות, וכפלשיטתובהלכותתשובהפ"ג (ה"ג) ושםמדמהבעלילשוןהרעלמיניםואפיקורסיםוכופריםבתחייתהמתיםוביאתהגואלומשומדיםוכו' ובעלילשוןהרעובכולםמסיקשנכרתיםואובדיןונידוניןעלגודלרשעםוחטאתםלעולםולעולמיעולמיםע"ש, הרישביארשיטתובחומרעוןלשוןהרע.

    ומפימו"רהגה"ץרבימשהשניידערזצ"לשמעתיששאלבעצמופיהקדושהחפץחייםזצ"ללמהלאמרגלאאצלובספריודבריהרמב"םשכללבעלילשוןהרעעםמיניםואפיקורסיםשנידוניםלדורידורותואיןלהםחלקלעולםהבא, וענהלושלארצהלהבהיליותרמדאי, ופירשכוונתושחשששאדםעלוללחשובכיוןשבלאוהכיקשהלולפרושלגמרימלשוןהרע, וע"כאיןלוחלקלעולםהבאכמיניםואפיקורסים, עלוללפרוקמעצמועולתורהומצותלגמרי, ולכןלאפירסםחומרהאסורכמינותואפיקורסותושנידוןלעולמיעולמיםכמוהםאףשליקטהרבהמאמריחז"לבחומרהאסורע"כ.

    והמקבלויותרמןהאומרו. לאנתבארמקורו, ובפיהמ"שפ"אדאבותמביאדבריחז"לשהמקבלויותרמןהאומרו, ומצאתיב"קריתמלך" כאןשמביאשמפורשבחופתאליהורבהפ"דסימןל"דשהמספרלשוןהרעלוקהפעםאחתוהמקבלויותרוגורםגלותלבניו, הרימפורששהמקבללשוןהרעעונשוחמוריותר.

    ומסבראהטעםפשוטשהמספרהלוארקמספרמהששמעאוראה, אבלהמקבלאיןלושוםהיתרלקבלשמועותבעלמאלרעעלחבירו, ואםקיבלהדבריםהלואגורםנזקלחבירושלאכדין, ועונשוחמוריותרמהמספרשדימהמאחרשראהאושמעומוסרהדבריםהלאהאיןהאסורחמורכ"כ.

     Rav Avigdor Miller


    How does a yeshiva bochur refrain from hearing loshon hara in his dormitory room?


    He should walk out of the room until the people go to sleep. Let him sit in the beis hamedrash until his chaveirim go to sleep. And in case they don’t go to sleep until late, he should tell them, “Chaveirim, please excuse me. I have to go to sleep and when you talk I can’t sleep; do me a favor, please.” Ask rachamim, mercy, from them, and then you go to sleep so that way you won’t hear loshon hara and you’ll also be able to get up for davening the next morning on time.

    Rabeinu Yonah gives an eitzah like this: He says that when you hear loshon hara and you’re not able to rebuke the people – for some reason you can’t give them reproof and tell them it’s loshon hara – so at least don’t show any interest. Show a sad face, he says, an uninterested and bored face, and that will discourage them. He brings a possuk: ופניםנזעמיםלשון סתר–“An unhappy face will dispel the false tongue” (Mishlei 25:23). If you show an unhappy face, that might quiet him down. But if you show an interested face – he’s talking to you and you show an interested face, a lively face – it means you’re encouraging him, “Keep on, keep on talking.” And he’ll keep on pouring loshon hora into your ear. But if he sees that you’re discouraged, you’re not interested, that will stop him from talking loshon hora. 

    So, let’s say there’s somebody in your house talking about something and you don’t want to talk. They’re wasting your time. Let’s say, it’s not even loshon hora, but it’s devorim b’teilim, idle chatter. So if it’s possible to show that you’re not interested in a way that wouldn’t insult him, then that will help to stop it.

    Sometimes however, when the person is not talking loshon hora, it’s a mitzvah to let that person talk. Many times, for some people of lower character, talking a good deal helps them to feel happy. So if you’ll lend them your ears just as a donation, in order to let them relieve themselves, it’s a mitzvah as long as there’s no loshon hora involved. The truth however is, that it’s impossible. ברובדבריםלאיחדלפשע –“When many words are spoken, you cannot avoid loshon hora, that’s for sure” (Mishlei 10:19).  So sooner or later, something will come up that’s forbidden. Therefore, it’s always better not to talk much.

    When you look at your children and see the ones that don’t talk much, it’s a ma’alah, a good quality. And your grandchildren too. I look around at my grandchildren and I admire some of them, I love some of them very much – the boys and girls who don’t talk much. It’s a very big ma’alah. They’re intelligent, but yet they don’t have the habit of opening their mouths and talking. It’s a midah tova ad me’od, an exceptionally good quality. 

    And the gemara says it’s a sign of aristocracy, of good yichus. שתיקותאדבבלהיינויחוסא –“In Bavel silence was always a sign of aristocracy” (Kiddushin 71b). If they wanted to marry into a family, and they wanted to know if it was a good family, so they couldn’t always investigate their antecedents, their ancestors. So what did they do? If they saw that it was a person who didn’t talk much, or his family didn’t talk much, so they surmised that it must be a good family, a family of good pedigree. In Bavel that’s how they judged: שתיקותאדבבלהיינויחוסא– Silence, that was their pedigree.

    And so in general, if you want to make a good impression, keep your mouth closed. I wrote a poem once: 

    In lion’s skin an ass did hide

    And none could know who was inside

    Until himself he did betray

    By opening his mouth to bray

               That’s an Aesop’s fable. A lion once left his skin on the road, and a donkey came along and found this lion-skin.  So this donkey thought, “Oh, what an opportunity! I can wear the lion-skin and now people will be afraid of me!” So he put on the lion-skin to make himself look like a lion, and everybody was afraid of him. He was so happy! He was so excited that he opened his big mouth and he brayed. And now all the animals in the forest realized: “Oh,” they said, “It’s nothing but a donkey!” So they took their sticks and beat him over the head.

    And so, you’re a good-looking young man, your face is tzelem Elokim – I’m looking at you right now and you make a good impression on me. You’re a good-looking girl, a nice decent girl. Open up your mouth however, and you bray, and now you spoiled the whole thing! That’s why silence is golden – silence makes you look better.


    (ה) ועודאפשרלומרבטעםותלמודתורהכנגדכלםכיעלידית"תמתקןעוןלשוןהרעשהואכנגדע"זג"עש"דוהןבעוןמצויהרבהועודרעהחולהשאיןאדםמרגישבוואיןשםעללבחומרוונזקווגםכתבוהמקובליםז"לכיגלותהמרהזהלתקןלשוןהרעועלידית"תישלותקוןועלכןתלמודתורהכנגדכולם:

    Kiseh rachamim on avos derav nasan



    epilogue to Chapter 4

    Did Rabbi YY give the class on the epilogue/introduction, to Hilchos De'os chapter 4 on Monday @1:30?

    I can't see it uploaded.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Anonymous

    - 1 month ago

    I also can't find that class and I did tune in at the appointed time but did not see it air.

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

Rambam Mishneh Torah Q & A

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • August 5, 2020
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  • 15 Av 5780
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