Lashon Hara And Asking For Forgiveness

The Daily Halacha Moment - Lashon Hara And Asking For Mechila 🗣


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

I spoke lashon Hara about my friend should I tell him that I spoke about him?

Does one need to ask for forgiveness from one's parents?


Answer:

If someone spoke disparagingly about another person, but that person is unaware of it, he should not reveal to that person that he did this to him. The reason is because if he would reveal it to him, it would probably upset or anger him. Instead, he should simply ask him to forgive him "for any wrongs he might have done to Him". [1] Likewise, if someone insults another person and that person is unaware of who perpetrated this wrong, it would be incorrect to come forward and identify himself as the perpetrator. That would certainly inflame the victim's anger. Therefore, he should not identify himself and instead he should simply ask him to forgive him "for any wrongs he might have done to him." This is what the pasuk refers to, saying ( Tehillim 32:1), "Fortunate is he who is forgiven for his crime and whose sins remains cloaked in secrecy."


Before Yom Kippur, one is obligated to ask his parents for forgiveness in case one did not show them proper respect. If one’s child did not approach him to ask forgiveness, he should verbally express that he forgives his child. Similarly, a husband and wife should ask each other for forgiveness for any wrongdoing they may have done to one another throughout the year. A student should also ask forgiveness from his rabbi in case he disrespected him in some way. [2]Furthermore, it is praiseworthy for one to verbalize that he forgives anyone who may have wronged him. [3] As Chazal taught ( Rosh HaShanah 17a) that whoever "overlooks his measures" and forgives the harm others have caused him will be rewarded that all his sins are also overlooked by Heaven.


Sources:

[1]. This is the famous Halachic disagreement between the Chofetz Chaim and Rav Yisrael Salanter. The Sefer Shalme Mo'ed p. 56 cites Rav Yisrael Salanter that one should not tell his friend that he spoke about him. Whereas the Chofetz Chaim ( Sefer Chafetz Chaim 4:12) writes that the sinner must reveal to the victim what he has done. The Halacha follows the opinion of Rav Yisrael Salanter as cited in Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 244 & Halichot Shelomo, p. 45.

[2]. Ben Ish Chai, Vayelech 1:6. See also Yechaveh Daat 5:44 and Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, pages 602–607. Yalkut Yosef, p. 608, end of footnote 12 says Chacham Ovadia Yosef would tearfully ask forgiveness from his wife, Rabbanit Margalit, every year before going to pray Arvit, and the Rabbanit would ask forgiveness from him. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 9:1, in the footnotes.

[3]. Ben Ish Chai, Vayelech 1:5; Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, pages 243–244; Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 608.

See also Yalkut Yosef, English Edition, Yamim Nora’im, p. 308.


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