What is lashon hara? I suspect you will have never heard of it but when I explain it, you will know exactly what I am talking about.
Lashon hara is a Hebrew term for gossip! Lashon hara literally means "evil tongue" or "bad talk". This gossip may or may not be true. Either way, lashon hara is forbidden in the Jewish faith. The way I look at it, that is a pretty good way for all of us to live Jewish or not!
I am bringing up the subject of lashon hara because I have been involved in two separate instances of it this week and it is weighing heavily on my heart.
The first instance, I was the one being talked about. The person that said things about me had no idea that I would read their words. I brought it the person's attention and they were horrified. It was a tough lesson for both of us but we moved forward; both of us learning we really need to guard our tongues.
The second instance happened last night. I was at an eating establishment when I saw someone I recognized. They didn't see me because they were heavily involved in a conversation with a couple other people. I could hear snippets of what they were talking about and I was horrified! They were defaming a friend of mine (and supposedly theirs as well). I wasn't sure what to do.
After a time, I got up to walk past them on my way to the restroom thinking if they saw me, they would stop what they were doing. As I passed on my way back to my seat I could tell they were still gossiping away so I put my hand on my friend's shoulder as I passed, looked them right in the eyes and said hello. I didn't say anything else, just went and sat back down. I am not sure if that little bit helped or not but the group left shortly after. My friend never even came to say hi to me.
It has been said that lashon hara hurts three people: the
person who speaks it, the person who hears it, and the person about
whom it is told.
I am not perfect by any means but I am now learning how hurtful saying things about others can be. I know I have said things that were better left unsaid.
How do you fix gossip or lashon hara? Stay tuned for tomorrow's post when I will tell you!
Have a blessed (and gossip free) day!