LaShone Hara: Not Just Spoken, but Heard
Not only is it a sin to speak or act in such away that is defined as LaShone Hara, but it is just as equally a sin to listen to it. It is seen as being an accessory to a murder, guilty by association.
So basically, anything that is not allowed to be said is also not allowed to be heard.
The best thing to do when someone is speaking LaShone Hara privately to you is to gently and tactfully remind the speaker that such stories or information should not be relayed when one is not in the presence of the one being spoken about and then simply change the subject. In a group situation it is best to simply walk away. I realize sometime we find ourselves in situations where we cannot escape from hearing LaShone Hara by simply plug our ears or walk away. So what are we to do? We may reject what is being said about another as untrue by given that person being spoken about the benefit of the doubt by considering that the speaker may have:
· Misunderstood and misinterpreted of the circumstances surrounding the person being spoken about or simply failed to take into consideration their true intentions.
· Exaggerated the story.
· Actually for unknown or unclear reasons been justified by what they said or did.
For example, let us say person was relaying an eyewitness account of a former drunk staggering down the street with bottle in hand beside a known drunk.
From the story one could very easy assume the person being spoken about relapsed and fell back into alcoholism when in fact the truth behind the story was the former drunk saw one of his former bar buddies stumbling drunk down the street and in order to keep him from getting hit by a car or falling into a ditch stops, takes the bottle from his hand and assists him home. And because his former bar buddy is of a bigger stature with him and is leaning on the other man for steadiness, causes the former drunk to appear as if he is stumbling and is drunk too.
Recall what the Torah tells us in regards to judging our neighbor.
Lev. 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
Also remember the very words of our Messiah.
Matt. 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.