This topic of Lashon Hara is particularly capturing my heart and attention right now. I want to be better prepared for the High Holidays this year. I want my life to exhibit fruit, to be a good tree bearing good fruit and thus showing that Yeshua is real to me. Those who don’t want to change likely do not know the Master. Those content to remain the same may be fooling themselves if they imagine themselves to have a relationship with HaShem.
When I read about the Jewish ethical traditions surrounding Lashon Hara, I am embarrassed. I have for most of my life accepted that criticizing others is generally justified. I am a rather critical person. Mind you, being critical is not all bad. It is the sharing of critical comments with others that does harm. It is good to see the weaknesses and faults in others. It is especially good to see faulty reasoning and recognize phony ideas. And there are times when we must share our observations with others.
But guarding against Lashon Hara is a matter of valuing human beings as images of God and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.
The command of Leviticus 19:18 is the other half of the Shema. The Shema’s call to love God is complemented by the command to love our neighbor. Yeshua put the two together and a recent writer has taken to calling them