Readers’ Matzav: We’re Addicted to Lashon Hara

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lashon-haraDear Editor,

Wth much effort expended towards the goal of eradicating lashon hara, the klal has made some strides, but I’ve been witness too much of it lately.

1. At an engagement party, a guest walked over to a friend of mine and said, “I’d never be meshadech with these kind of people…,” and my friend stopped her in her tracks. The person offering the lashon hara walked away shocked.

2. I asked a neighbor if she was going to another neighbor’s child’s wedding and she answered, “They’re such low-lives…”

3. Recently, someone died in an unusual manner, and everyone was whispering that it was suicide, even though I spoke to someone who was the first Hatzolah member on the scene and he tells a totally different story, proving it wasn’t suicide. People are hush-hushing and saying, “Don’t talk about the cause of death. it’s lashon hara,” which in itself is lashon hara.

Why can’t we resist the urge even after learning Sefer Chofetz Chaim, going to shiurim, and reading seforim about it?

Seems like it makes us feel higher to make another person lower.

It’s as irresistable as another cookie, potato chip, piece of gooey cake, or juicy steak to a dieter. We just never get enough.

How much longer?



  1. Welcome to human nature. We feel good when we are something that somebody else isn’t.

    It says, that is why Hashem only chose us to get the Torah, by forcing us under the Har, because, we will feel better doing the Mitsvohs, when we know that Hashem doesn’t care for his other creations, to do these Mitzvohs.

    And, although Avrohom Oveinu wanted all people in his Dorr, to do Bris Millah, this idea was completely aborted at Matan Torah, so that we feel uplifted, while they remain Areilim.

  2. Try reading the new translations of Sefer Chafetz Chaim, Shmiras Haloshon and Zecher L’Miriam (also by the Chofetz Chaim) in the edition called “Mazal Elul”. It makes one realize that a “little” loshon hara mixed in with all the mitzvosk Torah and chesed is anything BUT innocent and diluted. On the contrary, it contaminates and practically NEGATES all these mitzvos. Is this what anyone would truly want?!

  3. I would urge Matzav itself to more carefully police the loshon hora that is contained in many of the postings left by readers. There is no question that Matzav does a FAR better job than certain other well known (allegedly) frum news sites, but I believe they could do even better. Just yesterday, I felt compelled to comment on a rather vicious attack by one poster to another. Please, Matzav, either edit out the personal invective or prohibit those kinds of postings entirely.

  4. The comments (in the article) were just stupid. Why would someone make a comment like that about a newly engaged couple, where the mechutanim can overhear it. Do they *want* something to chas v’shalom happen because of their senseless (and likely untrue) comment?

    I dont think its an addiction to lashon hara exactly, but people have such low self esteem today, this is the only way they think they can repair it. I agree its a very big problem.

  5. People who have a low self image or/and no self confidence speak loshan horah in order to feel that there is someone even lower than them. Also someone who is a bal givah,(arrogant) speaks to prove he is higher up than those around him. Those who feel empty inside, inorder to fill that void, sit around to talk loshon harah about other people.

  6. Our insecurities consume us, causing us to lash out at any opportunity to put someone else down.

    Listening to or reading books by Rabbi Dr. Twersky should be required.

  7. With any case 99% of the time people have no idea what on earth happened or what is going on. It is up to news sites like this to moderate or even have opinion section closed on certain subjects as to not allow the loshon hora and lies to spread.

    As for saying you spoke to the first hatzoloh member on scene your a liar because Hatzoloh was NOT FIRST ON SCENE. Secondly hatzoloh is not allowed to speak to anyone regarding any case or they will get sued.

    Now if you want to be smart about any case where people love to yenta just do what I do and when someone says they heard such and such, just ask were you there and when they tell you “but….” just tell them case closed and close your ears.

    What makes Matzav beautiful is the good stories they put on here instead of all the negative junk people are trying to feed us all day long. Be positive.

  8. what a good title! loshon hara is more or less pear pressure. it can also be from trying to get your feelings out. i suggest people should resust talking all together. it is written ,one should not speak unless it is words of torah!,!
    how scary! remember: we all must start somewhere!


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