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Author:  Sarah
E-mail:  not available
Date:  12/17/2003 9:13:00 AM
Subject:  Loshon Hora
Message:  Am I obligated to prevent a philanthropist from donating to an unworthy institution? This philanthropist is naïve to the nonsense that occurs in the institutions he supports. For example, I heard first hand from two families how they had to pay an upfront extortion fee of $25,000 since it was the only way their children would be accepted into schools (different schools, same wonderful city). One of the fathers actually had to go collecting since he was penniless. The children involved are not problem children but rather are an asset to the school.

I have no doubt that if the philanthropist knew these facts he would be aghast and cut off his support immediately. Another school he supports has an acceptance policy of only accepting girls whose fathers’ wear a black hat. This particular philanthropist would go berserk if he knew this since this is a major pet peeve of his. I have studied the Sefer Chofetz Chaim, and there always seem to be so many conditions before you can bad mouth someone. I also rationalized that just because the Rabbi of the school is a sick puppy, he has many sincere wonderful teachers working for him and maybe the donation would end up paying for their salaries. How misguided am I?

   
Reply:  The Chofetz Chaim is misquoted hourly. These Loshon Harah fanatics need to be put to rest. The Chafetz Chaim has "laws of Loshon Harah, near the end of his Sefer Shemirat Halashon.
In those laws you will see that the real Lashon Harah is rare in our time. In the time of the ghettos, it was like the bungalow colonies, everyone in each other's hair. Now it is different.
Real Lashon Harah is subject to the following three prerequisites: malicious intent, the information is a secret known by 2 or less people, and that the person did Teshuvah and is not doing that again, or you're making fun of his father or something in his past. How many people do you know can be that malicious. If a Rabbi is no good, shout it from the rooftops.
This whole obsession about learning Hilchot Lashon Harah is the Yetzer Harah's way of distracting us from the real things today.
Besides, what kind of nutty concept is this thing about taking on an hour a day not to speak Lashon Harah? Have we lost our marbles? I'm looking to get a group together to each take on themselves not to kill anyone one hour each day. I hope I can hold myself back that long. This is insane.
The people are full of Gaavah (egos), Ka'as (anger), Azut (arrogance), and just pure ignorance of the Jewish Laws. Well let's go work on Lashon Harah. The whole book is about the gravity of the sin, the rewards, the affects, the abouts, but why not first look at the laws of Lashon Harah. It's near the 3/4 mark of the book. In there you'll see that not everything you say is Lashon Harah. You'll see that we can pretty easily keep those laws, and this garbage about convincing us that we'll never amount to anything, is just our dear teachers and leaders projecting their own failures and depression onto us. Get away from these Wackos!
AA

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