Mitzvah Class: Lashon HaRa: Jewish Ethics of Speech
by Rabbi David
Date and Time
Please confirm the dates before enrolling.
Mitzvot are more than just “good deeds.” They are a 613-ingredient recipe for living a sacred life. In this series, we take a deep dive into one Mitzvah at a time, exploring the traditional teachings about that mitzvah and applying the concept to our own lives. In this series on lashon hara (the laws of speech), we will use text study, discussion, and examples from students lives to explore the Jewish ideal of lashon hara, the practice of avoiding negative speech. How does Judaism teach us to speak, what do we do with negativity, and when and how can we say things which are… not exactly positive?
- Week 1: What is lashon hara? Lashon Hara is more than just “gossip,” it is negative speech. We will explore the definition of this term, learn about some examples from the Torah, and think about examples in our own lives, and consider the impact lashon hara can have.
- Week 2: So what can you say? We are surrounded by negative speech in movies, news, and our lives. In this session we will look at some contemporary examples, both from media and our lives, and evaluate them in terms of the 7 conditions necessary for relating negative information.
- Week 3: So what can I say? In this session, we will explore Jewish teachings on what one can say in place of lashon hara, and consider how these teachings might play out in scenarios from students’ lives. This session will equip students with alternatives to saying lashon hara. We will also act out the story of “Salty Soup” (a classic chofetz chayyim story), exploring it dramatically and also discussing its lesson. This will give students a “deep dive” into one classic and memorable example of lashon hara.