Sefer Chofetz Chaim chapter 5, halachos 7, 8

Today we concluded the fifth chapter of Sefer Chofetz Chaim.

Halacha 7 discusses how not only you cannot speak lashon hara about your fellow Jew but also about his objects. For example two business competitors cannot speak negative about their competitor’s products. This stems from jealousy and is a Torah level prohibition of lashon hara.

Halacha 8 teaches us that not only speaking loshon hara by yourself even if it is true is prohibited, but all the more so, two or more people speaking lasho hara about someone else is forbidden because the second person is giving credence to the first and the people listening will more likely believe what is said which cause a bigger disgrace to the one being talked about.

The Chofetz Chaim elaborates on this point in his Be’er Mayim Chaim (11) below and makes a very important point of what exactly is lashon hara. He says, not only is it lashon hara if two people are speaking at the same time but if one person speaks after the other, even though the first one already did the damage it is still lashon hara for the second one because lashon hara is speaking negatively about your fellow Jew, as we see by Miriam to Aharon who spoke lashon hara about Moshe, though it was only in private, she loved Moshe, only meant well, and Moshe wasn’t insulted one iota, still in all she got tzaraas because she spoke negatively about her fellow Jew. The insult, and damage that is caused is only a biproduct of lashon hara that just makes it worse.