Tuesday, February 12, 2008

About Jewish Laws Concerning Gossip

The Chofetz Chaim is most renowned for his work in the Jewish world in publicising the laws of Loshon Hara, or gossip. The laws are so detailed that even facial expressions that could be read as disdainful are governed in his detailed works. Making someone blush is compared to bloodshed.Having lived outside the Jewish world for the first twenty years of my life,I must note that gossip and slander are a universal problem, at home, at work and with the neighbors Sometimes it is necessary to share negative information to protect someone who might be considering a business venture or a marriage that would be ill advised. These gray areas are dealt withat length in the Chofetz Chaim's works.
Some laws of the Torah are specific to Jews, such as the Sabbath and Passover.
The laws of Loshon Hara seem to be universal. The situations described in their elucidation are common to all societies.Judaism teaches about seven universal Noahide laws, which are as follows
Do not murder.
Do not steal.
Do not worship false gods.
Do not be sexually immoral.
Do not eat a limb removed from a live animal.
Do not curse God.
Set up courts and bring offenders to justice
The manner in which the Chofetz Chaim's writings resonate in looking at the world at large make me wonder if his teachings are only for Jews. I have little doubt that the study and observance of Shmiras Haloshon(observance of proper speech) among b'nai Noach (Gentiles) would improve their lives,as it has those Jews who follow those laws. Indeed, I'm sure that very many in the world at large follow those laws instinctively.
It is my hope that these teachings be publicised in the world at large.
Copyright 2008 by Magdeburger Joe

No comments: