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Shulchan Aruch: Chapter 156 - Desired Pattern of Business Involvement [& Other Ethical Directives]

Shulchan Aruch: Chapter 156 - Desired Pattern of Business Involvement [& Other Ethical Directives]

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SECTION 156 The Desired Pattern of Business Involvement [and Other Ethical Directives]. (1-21)

קנו סֵדֶר מַשָּׂא וּמַתָּן וּבוֹ כ"א סְעִיפִים:

1 [The1 Sages’ license to merely] establish fixed times for Torah study was granted only to one who must be involved in business activities2 in order to sustain himself and his family. (Explained3 thus by Rashi on Tehillim 119:126: “It is a time to act for G‑d; they have abrogated Your Torah,” and in Yalkut Shimoni4 on that verse.) By contrast, anyone who does not need to do this,5 or who is supported by others, is obligated to fulfill the charge that6 “you shall meditate on it day and night,” according to its literal meaning. (See Sanhedrin, ch. 10, p. 99b. See also the passage in Menachos, ch. 11, p. 99b, that begins Tzei uvdok: [i.e., “Go out and find an hour which is neither day nor night” to delve in secular disciplines.7 This is not a mere minority opinion, for] the other Sages cited there differ only with regard to someone who must involve himself in business activities. See also: Avos DeRabbi Nasan, ch. 21, and the beginning of the Prologue to Eichah Rabbah8 and Koheles Rabbah (p. 115a9) on the Biblical phrase,10 “When the sound of the grinding grows faint....” There they comment: “Just as millstones [are never idle by day or by night, so it is written of the study of the Torah, ‘You shall meditate on it day and night.’ ”])11

Moreover, even someone who is required to take such measures12 should relate to his work not as his primary focus but as a transitory activity13 to be undertaken to the extent necessary to earn his livelihood, whereas his primary focus should be his Torah study. In this way, both will endure. By contrast, “all Torah study that is not coupled with labor will ultimately come to an end,”14 for poverty will cause a person to stray from the intent of his Creator.15 Rather, he whose soul yearns for the Torah, and whose heart inspires him to fulfill this mitzvah appropriately, should work only a little every day, enough to suffice for his livelihood, and should engage in Torah study for the remainder of the day and night.16

א לֹאא אָמְרוּ1 (וְכֵן הוּא בְּפֵרוּשׁ3 רַשִׁ"י בִּתְהִלִּים סִימָן קיט עַל פָּסוּק "עֵת לַעֲשׂוֹת לַה' הֵפֵרוּ תּוֹרָתֶךָ" וּבְיַּלְקוּט4 שָׁםב) קְבִיעַת עִתִּים לַתּוֹרָה,ג אֶלָּא בְּמִי שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לַעֲסֹק בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶרֶץ2 לְהַחֲיוֹת נַפְשׁוֹ וְנַפְשׁוֹת בֵּיתוֹ.ד אֲבָל מִי שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ לְכָךְ,5 אוֹ שֶׁמִּתְפַּרְנֵס מִשֶּׁל אֲחֵרִים – חַיָּב לְקַיֵּם6 "וְהָגִיתָ בּוֹ יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה" כְּמַשְׁמָעוֹה (וְעַיֵּן בְּסַנְהֶדְרִין פֶּרֶק חֵלֶק דַּף צ"ט ע"בו וּבִמְנָחוֹת פֶּרֶק י"א דַּף צ"ט ע"ב צֵא וּבְדֹקז כו',7 וּשְׁאָר תַּנָּאֵי שָׁם לֹא פְלִיגֵי אֶלָּא בְּמִי שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לַעֲסֹק בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶרֶץ, וּבְאָבוֹת דְּרַבִּי נָתָן פֶּרֶק כ"א וּבְמִדְרָשׁ רַבָּה רֵישׁ פְּתִיחְתָא דְּאֵיכָהח,8 וּבְקֹהֶלֶת רַבָּה פי"ב, ד דַּף קט"ו אט,9 עַל פָּסוּק10 "בִּשְׁפַל קוֹל הַטַּחֲנָה" – מַה טָחֲנָה זוֹ כו'י).11

וְאַף מִי שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְכָךְ12 – לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה מְלַאכְתּוֹ עִקָּר אֶלָּא עֲרַאייא,13 כְּדֵי פַּרְנָסָתוֹ בִּלְבַדיב וְתוֹרָתוֹ קֶבַע, וְזֶה וְזֶה יִתְקַיְּמוּ בְּיָדוֹ. אֲבָל כָּל תּוֹרָה שֶׁאֵין עִמָּהּ מְלָאכָה – סוֹפָהּ בְּטֵלָה,יג,14 כִּי הָעֹנִי יַעֲבִרֶנּוּ עַל דַּעַת קוֹנוֹ.יד,15 אֶלָּא מִי שֶׁחָשְׁקָה נַפְשׁוֹ בַּתּוֹרָה וְנָשָׂא לִבּוֹ לְקַיֵּם מִצְוָה זוֹ כָּרָאוּי – יַעֲשֶׂה מְלָאכָה מְעַט בְּכָל יוֹם כְּדֵי חַיָּיו,טו וּשְׁאָר יוֹמוֹ וְלֵילוֹ עוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה:טז,16

2 When one performs work or carries out commercial activity, his intent should solely be to earn his bodily needs so that he will be able to serve his Creator. This is [implied by] the verse, “Know Him in all your ways [and He will smooth your paths].” (Mishlei 3:6; see its interpretation in Avos DeRabbi Nasan, ch. 17[:7], and in Rambam, Shemoneh Perakim,17 ch. 5.18)

Everyone19 is obligated to teach his son a vocation or how to engage in commercial activity.20 If one does not do so, it is as if he taught him thievery, for ultimately he will steal from others for his sustenance.

One must be careful to conduct his business dealings in good faith, i.e., one must not break21 his word. [The Sages22 perceived a hint of this] in the verse,23 “You shall have a just hin.” [Playing on the similarity between hin, a Biblical liquid measure, and hein, Aramaic for Yes,] the Sages taught:24 “Your Yes shall be upright25 and your No shall be upright.” This means that “if you utter a positive commitment or a refusal, carry it out and relate to it in an upright manner.”26 (See Rambam, Hilchos Deos 5:13; his Hilchos Mechirah 7:8; his Commentary to the Mishnah, at the end of Tractate Shevi’is; the Shelah, in his Tractate Chullin, p. 114a, with regard to carrying out business dealings in good faith.27) [Conversely,] whoever breaks his word is considered as having worshiped false deities.28 [Indeed,] it is desirable for anyone who stands in fear of Heaven to honor even a resolve that he made in his heart.29 This is [implied by] the verse (in Tehillim 15[:2]) [that extols the man] “who speaks the truth in his heart.”

To what does the above apply? To matters between oneself and one’s fellowman. In contrast, [commitments] addressing one’s own needs need not be fulfilled if they do not involve a mitzvah in some way.30

One should not make a false commitment to another, even for the sake of peace. Our Sages stated31 that “one may adjust32 [the truth] for the sake of peace” only when relating past events, but not with regard to the future. (The [latter ruling] leaves room for some deliberation, because peace supersedes all the mitzvos. This is written in Bamidbar Rabbah on Parshas Chukas,33 [in the comment of the Sages] on the verse,34 “Seek peace and pursue it.” [Moreover, it was stated above that the Sages of] the Gemara31 allow one to adjust [the truth of] one’s words for the sake of peace — and the Rif, in his paraphrase of [the second chapter of Bava Metzia35], writes that to do so is not merely permitted, but a mitzvah. If so, what is the source that forbids one to adjust [the truth] with regard to the future? Perhaps this should be permitted, in the spirit of the verse, “Know Him in all your ways,” as interpreted [by the Sages] in Berachos 63a.36 See also Bereishis Rabbah 1[:5],37 Eliyah Rabbah;38 and Pri Megadim.39)

One should be careful not to mention G‑d’s name in vain,40 for wherever the Divine name is uttered freely [and without need], death or poverty abound.41 (Obviously, a distinction can be drawn between this law and the license granted by our Sages, in the Mishnah in Berachos 9[:5], to mention G‑d’s name when greeting a friend.)42

One should be careful not to take an oath even in truth, for King Yannai43 possessed 1000 villages and they were all destroyed because their [inhabitants habitually] took oaths, even though they would uphold them.44

ב וּכְשֶׁעוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה אוֹ נוֹשֵׂא וְנוֹתֵן – לֹא תִּהְיֶה כַּוָּנָתוֹ אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לִמְצֹא צָרְכֵי הַגּוּף כְּדֵי שֶׁיּוּכַל לַעֲבֹד לְבוֹרְאוֹ,יז כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "בְּכָל דְּרָכֶיךָ דָעֵהוּ וגו'" (מִשְׁלֵי סִימָן ג', ו') (וְעַיֵּן מִזֶּה בְּאָבוֹת דְּרַבִּי נָתָן פי"זיח וּבִשְׁמוֹנָה פְּרָקִים לְהָרמב"ם17 פֶּרֶק ה).18

וְחַיָּב כָּל אָדָם19 לְלַמֵּד לִבְנוֹ מְלָאכָהיט אוֹ לַעֲסֹק בִּסְחוֹרָה.כ,20 וְאִם אֵינוֹ עוֹשֶׂה כֵּן – כְּאִלּוּ מְלַמְּדוֹ לִסְטוּת, שֶׁסּוֹפוֹ לְלַסְטֵם אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת בִּשְׁבִיל פַּרְנָסָתוֹ.כא

וְיִזָּהֵר לִישָּׂא וְלִתֵּן בֶּאֱמוּנָהכב שֶׁלֹּא יַחֲלִיף אֶת דִּבּוּרוֹ,21 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:כג,22 "וְהִין צֶדֶק יִהְיֶה לָכֶם",23 שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הֵן שֶׁלְּךְ – צֶדֶק,25 וְלָאו שֶׁלְךְ – צֶדֶק,כד,24 כְּלוֹמַר כְּשֶׁאַתָּה מְדַבֵּר הֵן אוֹ לָאו – קַיֵּם דְּבָרֶיךָ וְהַצְדֵּק אוֹתָםכה,26 (וְעַיֵּן בְהָרמב"ם פֶּרֶק ה' מֵהִלְכוֹת דֵּעוֹת הֲלָכָה י"גכו וּפֶרֶק ז' מֵהִלְכוֹת מְכִירָה הֲלָכָה ח' וּבְפֵרוּשׁ הַמִּשְׁנָיוֹת סוֹף שְׁבִיעִית וּבְשׁל"ה בְּמַסֶּכֶת חֻלִּין שֶׁלּוֹ דַּף קי"ד ע"אכז גַּבֵּי עִנְיַן מַשָּׂא וּמַתָּן בֶּאֱמוּנָה).27 וְכָל הַמַּחֲלִיף אֶת דִּבּוּרוֹ – כְּאִלּוּ עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת.כח,28 וַאֲפִלּוּ מַחֲשָׁבָה שֶׁנִּגְמְרָה בְּלִבּוֹכט,29 – טוֹב לְקַיְּמָהּ כָּל מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיָדוֹ יִרְאַת שָׁמַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "וְדֹבֵר אֱמֶת בִּלְבָבוֹ" (תְּהִלִּים סִימָן טו). בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בְּדָבָר שֶׁבֵּינוֹ לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֲבָל (אִם) דִּבְרֵי עַצְמוֹ מִצְּרָכָיו אִם אֵין בָּהֶן סְמַךְ מִצְוָהל,30 – אֵין צָרִיךְ לְקַיְּמָן.לא

וַאֲפִלּוּ מִפְּנֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם לֹא יַבְטִיחַ שֶׁקֶר לַחֲבֵרוֹ.לב וְלֹא אָמְרוּ31 "מֻתָּר לְשַׁנּוֹת32 מִפְּנֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם", אֶלָּא בְּסִפּוּר דְּבָרִים שֶׁכְּבָר עָבְרוּ (וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם צָרִיךְ עִיּוּן קְצָת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהַשָּׁלוֹם גָּדוֹל מִכָּל הַמִּצְווֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּמִדְרָשׁ רַבָּה פָּרָשַׁת חֻקַּתלג,33 עַל פָּסוּקלד,34 "בַּקֵּשׁ שָׁלוֹם וְרָדְפֵהוּ", וּבַגְּמָרָאלה,31 הִתִּיר לְשַׁנּוֹת דִּבּוּרוֹ מִפְּנֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם, והרי"ף פֶּרֶק אֵלּוּ מְצִיאוֹתלו כָּתַב דְּלָאו הֶתֵּר הוּא אֶלָּא מִצְוָה, אִם כֵּן מִנָּלָן דִּלְשַׁנּוֹת בִּלְהַבָּא אָסוּר, שֶׁמָּא יֵשׁ לְהַתִּיר, עַל דֶּרֶךְ "בְּכָל דְּרָכֶיךָ דָעֵהוּ"לז פ"ט דִּבְרָכוֹת דַּף ס"ג ע"א,36 וְעַיֵּן בְּמִדְרָשׁ רַבָּה פָּרָשַׁת בְּרֵאשִׁית פֶּרֶק א',37 וְעַיֵּן בְּאֵלִיָה רַבָּהלח,38 מִזֶּה וּבִפְרִי מְגָדִיםלט),39 וְלֹא בְּדָבָר שֶׁלְּהַבָּא.

וְיִזָּהֵר מִלְּהַזְכִּיר שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם לְבַטָּלָה,מ,40 שֶׁבְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁהַזְכָּרַת הַשֵּׁם מְצוּיָה – מִיתָה אוֹ עֲנִיּוּת מְצוּיָהמא,41 (וּפָשׁוּט לְחַלֵּק בֵּין דִּין זֶה וּבֵין שְׁאֵלַת שְׁלוֹם חֲבֵרוֹ בַּשֵּׁם שֶׁהִתִּירוּ חֲכָמִים בְּמִשְׁנָה פֶּרֶק ט' דִּבְרָכוֹתמב).42

וְיִזָּהֵר מִלִּשָּׁבֵעַ אֲפִלּוּ בָּאֱמֶת,מג שֶׁאֶלֶף עֲיָרוֹת הָיוּ לוֹ לְיַנַּאי הַמֶּלֶךְ43 וְכֻלָּם נֶחְרְבוּ, לְפִי שֶׁהָיוּ נִשְׁבָּעִים שְׁבוּעוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיוּ מְקַיְּמִים אוֹתָם:מד,44

3 It is a positive commandment of Scriptural origin to walk in the paths of G‑d,45 as it is written, “You shall walk in His paths” (Devarim 28:9). [The Sages] taught46 [the following] interpretation of this mitzvah: “Just as He is described as gracious,47 so too, should you be gracious, acting kindly to the undeserving. Just as He is described as compassionate, so too, should you be compassionate. Just as He is described as longsuffering, so too, should you be longsuffering.” The same principle applies to all of a man’s other character traits: in them, too, one must make himself resemble his Creator, loathing the evil in them and choosing the good.

How should one habituate himself [to follow] good character traits until they are rooted in his [personality]? He should repeat his actions — once, twice, three times — in conformity to these character traits, doing this continually until such acts are easy for him and these traits become rooted within his soul. If, for example, he was miserly, he should liberally distribute large amounts of money to the poor and also perform acts of kindness48 to the rich. He should do so repeatedly until the attribute of “abounding kindness” with which G‑d is praised49 is firmly established within His soul.

After this quality is established within his soul, he should not make excessive donations, for this, too, is not a good path. (See Arachin 28a and Kesubbos 50a, and note Rashi on Beitzah 16a and Chullin 84a.)50 [Indeed,] the Sages ordained51 that one should donate extravagantly no more than a fifth [of his resources for charitable purposes].52 Rather, one should follow an intermediate path.

This is the desirable and upright path [with regard to all character traits] — except for humility, [of which it is said],53 “Be exceedingly humble,” for “Whoever is haughty of heart is an abomination unto G‑d” (Mishlei 16:5). One should therefore distance himself from this trait to the furthest extreme. Whoever lifts his heart up in pride is considered as if he denied G‑d,54 as it is written, “Lest your heart grow haughty and you forget the L‑rd [your G‑d]” (Devarim 8:14). [Moreover,] whoever is possessed of arrogance55 is likened to a tree worshiped idolatrously,56 and the dust [to which his body is reduced] will not be stirred at the time of the Resurrection.57

Similarly, anger is a very base quality and it derives from arrogance.58 One should therefore distance himself from this trait, too, to the furthest extreme. Even if one finds it necessary to [display] anger in order to distance people from sin and inspire them to return to desirable [conduct], he should make it appear that he is angry, but within himself, his mind should be composed. Our Sages declared: “Whoever is in a rage is considered as if he worshiped false deities”;59 [moreover,] “his soul departs from him,”60 as it is written, “You who tear your soul apart in anger” (Iyov 18:4). [The Sages] therefore commanded that one distance himself from anger to the extent that he conducts himself as if entirely oblivious to the words of those who seek to anger [him].

For this is the path of the righteous: “They bear humiliation, but do not humiliate others; they hear [others] shame them, but do not respond; they act out of love and are joyous in their sufferings.”61 Of them it is written, “Those who love Him will be like the sun coming out in its might” (Shoftim 5[:31]).

If62 one is a Torah scholar and he was insulted and disgraced by one of the common people, he should not respond to this embarrassment. All the same, [the scoffer] will be punished for disgracing the Torah. If someone steps forward to justly argue [the scholar’s] case on his behalf, [the scholar] should remain silent and not protest. For it was concerning such a case63 that [the Sages] said: “Any Torah scholar who is not vengeful [for the honor due to the Torah] and who does not bear a grudge [for this honor] like a snake is not a Torah scholar,” for [his conduct shows] that his Torah [knowledge] is [so] unimportant to him that its disgrace does not concern him. Nevertheless, if efforts are made to appease him, he should accept the appeasement immediately, for the appeasement already rectified [the damage done to] the honor of the Torah. Concerning this, [the Sages] taught: “Whoever overlooks64 his instinctive emotions, and forgives one who seeks to appease him, has his sins overlooked.”

All the above applies to personal aggravation. In financial matters, by contrast, even a Torah scholar is forbidden to bear a grudge in his heart. Needless to say, he may not seek revenge.62

One who takes revenge or bears a grudge against one of his fellowmen transgresses a prohibitive commandment,65 as it is written, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against the members of your people” (Vayikra 19:18).

What is meant by seeking revenge? One man asks his neighbor: “Lend me your hatchet,” and the neighbor refuses — but on the morrow, he comes and asks to borrow his sickle. If the first man says, “I will not lend you just as you did not lend me,” that is taking revenge. If he says, “I will lend you; I’m not like you,” that is bearing a grudge. Instead, he should erase the matter from his heart, not mention it, and never bring it to mind at all. Everyone must be careful about this matter.

ג מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה מִן הַתּוֹרָה לֵילֵךְ בְּדַרְכֵי ה',מה,45 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "וְהָלַכְתָּ בִּדְרָכָיו" (בְּפָרָשַׁת תָּבוֹא כח, ט). וְכָךְ לָמְדוּ46 בְּפֵרוּשׁ מִצְוָה זוֹ:מו מַה הוּא נִקְרָא "חַנּוּן"47 – אַף אַתָּה הֱיֵה חַנּוּן וְעוֹשֶׂה מַתְּנַת חִנָּם, מַה הוּא נִקְרָא "רַחוּם" – אַף אַתָּה הֱיֵה רַחוּם, מַה הוּא נִקְרָא "אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם" – אַף אַתָּה הֱיֵה אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם.מז וְכֵן שְׁאָר כָּל הַמִּדּוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּאָדָם – צָרִיךְ לְהַדְמוֹת עַצְמוֹ בָּהֶם לְבוֹרְאוֹ,מח וְלִמְאֹס בָּרַע שֶׁבָּהֶם וְלִבְחֹר בַּטּוֹב.מט

וְכֵיצַד יַרְגִּיל אָדָם עַצְמוֹ בְּמִדּוֹת טוֹבוֹת עַד שֶׁיִּקָּבְעוּ בּוֹ?נ יַעֲשֶׂה וְיִשְׁנֶה וִישַׁלֵּשׁ בַּמַּעֲשִׂים שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה עַל פִּי הַמִּדּוֹת הָאֵלּוּ, וְיַחֲזֹר בָּהֶם תָּמִיד עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה עֲשִׂיָּתָן קַלָּה בְּעֵינָיו וְיִקָּבְעוּ הַמִּדּוֹת בְּנַפְשׁוֹ, כְּגוֹן אִם הָיָה כִּילַי – יְפַזֵּרנא וְיִתֵּן מָמוֹן הַרְבֵּה לָעֲנִיִּים וְיִגְמֹל חֶסֶד48 גַּם לָעֲשִׁירִים,נב וְיַחֲזֹר וְיִתֵּן עַד שֶׁתִּקָּבַע בְּנַפְשׁוֹ מִדַּת "וְרַב חֶסֶד"נג שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּבֵּחַ בָּהּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא.49

וְאַחַר שֶׁתִּקָּבַע בְּנַפְשׁוֹ מִדָּה זוֹ (בַּעֲרָכִין פֶּרֶק הַמַּקְדִּישׁ שָׂדֵהוּ דַּף כ"ח ע"א בַּמִּשְׁנָה וּגְמָרָא שָׁם וּבִכְתֻבּוֹת פֶּרֶק נַעֲרָה דַּף נ' ע"א, וְעַיֵּן בְּפֵרוּשׁ רַשִׁ"י פֶּרֶק ב' דְּבֵיצָה דַּף ט"ז ע"אנד וּבְפֶרֶק ו' דְּחֻלִּין דַּף פ"ד ע"אנה)50 – לֹא יְפַזֵּר יוֹתֵר מִדַּאי, שֶׁזּוֹ אֵינָהּ דֶּרֶךְ טוֹבָה,נו וְתַקָּנַת חֲכָמִים51 שֶׁלֹּא יְבַזְבֵּז52 יוֹתֵר מֵחֹמֶשׁ,נז אֶלָּא יִנְהַג בְּדֶרֶךְ הַמִּצּוּעַ הוּא דֶּרֶךְ הַטּוֹבָה וְהַיְשָׁרָה.

חוּץ מִשִּׁפְלוּת הָרוּחַ,נח,53 שֶׁ"מְאֹד מְאֹד הֱוֵי שְׁפַל רוּחַ",נט כִּי "תּוֹעֲבַת ה' כָּל גְּבַהּ לֵב" (מִשְׁלֵי סִימָן טז, ה'), לָכֵן יִתְרַחֵק מִזֶּה עַד קָצֶה הָאַחֲרוֹן. וְכָל הַמַּגְבִּיהַּ לְבָבוֹ – כְּאִלּוּ כָּפַר בָּעִקָּר,ס,54 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "וְרָם לְבָבֶךָ וְשָׁכַחְתָּ אֶת ה' וגו'" (בְּפָרָשַׁת עֵקֶב ח', י"ד). וְכָל מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיָדוֹ גַּסּוּת הָרוּחַ55 – הוּא כַּאֲשֵׁרָה,56 וְאֵין עֲפָרוֹ נִנְעָר בִּתְחִיַּת הַמֵּתִים.סא,57

וְכֵן הַכַּעַס מִדָּה רָעָה מְאֹדסב וּמִגַּסּוּת הָרוּחַ הִיא בָּאָה,סג,58 לָכֵן יִתְרַחֵק מִזֶּה גַּם כֵּן עַד קָצֶה אַחֲרוֹן.סד וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם צָרִיךְ לִכְעֹס עַל הָעָם לְהַפְרִישָׁם מִדְּבַר עֲבֵרָה וּלְהַחֲזִירָם לַמּוּטָב – יַרְאֶה עַצְמוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא כּוֹעֵס,סה וְתִהְיֶה דַּעְתּוֹ מְיֻשֶּׁבֶת עָלָיו בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין עַצְמוֹ. וְאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים:סו כָּל הַכּוֹעֵס – כְּאִלּוּ עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת,59 וְנִשְׁמָתוֹ מִסְתַּלֶּקֶת מִמֶּנּוּ,סז,60 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "טֹרֵף נַפְשׁוֹ בְּאַפּוֹ" (בְּאִיּוֹב סִימָן י"ח, ד). לְפִיכָךְ צִוּוּ לְהִתְרַחֵק מִן הַכַּעַס, עַד שֶׁיַּנְהִיג עַצְמוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יַרְגִּישׁ כְּלָל לְדִבְרֵי הַמַּכְעִיסִים.סח וְזוֹ דֶּרֶךְ צַדִּיקִים: עֲלוּבִים וְאֵינָם עוֹלְבִים, שׁוֹמְעִים חֶרְפָּתָם וְאֵינָם מְשִׁיבִים, עוֹשִׂים מֵאַהֲבָה וּשְׂמֵחִים בַּיִּסּוּרִים,סט,61 וַעֲלֵיהֶם הַכָּתוּב אוֹמֵר: "וְאֹהֲבָיו כְּצֵאת הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ בִּגְבֻרָתוֹ" (בְּסֵפֶר שׁוֹפְטִים סוֹף סִימָן ה').

וְאִם62 הוּא תַּלְמִיד חָכָם וְחֵרְפוֹ וּבִזָּהוּ אֶחָד מֵהָעָם – הוּא לֹא יָשִׁיב עַל חֶרְפָּתוֹ,ע וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם יִהְיֶה לוֹ עֹנֶשׁ עַל בִּזְיוֹן הַתּוֹרָה. וְאִם יָבוֹא אַחֵר לִנְקֹם נִקְמָתוֹ בְּקִיּוּם הַמִּשְׁפָּט – יִשְׁתֹּק וְלֹא יִמְחֶה בְּיָדוֹ.עא וְעַל זֶה אָמְרוּ:עב,63 כָּל תַּלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁאֵינוֹ נוֹקֵם וְנוֹטֵר כְּנָחָשׁ – אֵינוֹ תַּלְמִיד חָכָם, הוֹאִיל וְאֵין תּוֹרָתוֹ חֲשׁוּבָה בְּעֵינָיו וְאֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד עַל בִּזְיוֹנָהּ. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם מְפַיְּסִים אוֹתוֹ – צָרִיךְ לְהִתְפַּיֵּס מִיָּד,עג שֶׁבְּפִיּוּס זֶה כְּבָר נִתְקַן כְּבוֹד הַתּוֹרָה. וְעַל זֶה אָמְרוּ: כָּל הַמַּעֲבִיר64 עַל מִדּוֹתָיו וּמוֹחֵל לְמִי שֶׁמְּפַיְּסוֹ – מַעֲבִירִין לוֹ עַל כָּל פְּשָׁעָיו.

וְכָל זֶה בְּצַעַר הַגּוּף,עד אֲבָל בְּדָבָר שֶׁבְּמָמוֹן – אַף תַּלְמִיד חָכָם אָסוּר לִטֹר בְּלִבּוֹ, וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר לִנְקֹם.62

וְהַנּוֹקֵם מֵחֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ הַנּוֹטֵר – עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂהעה,65 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "לֹא תִקֹם וְלֹא תִטֹּר אֶת בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ" (בְּפָרָשַׁת קְדוֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּעו). אֵיזֶהוּ נְקִימָה? אָמַר לוֹ "הַשְׁאִילֵנִי קַרְדֻּמְּךָ" וְלֹא הִשְׁאִילוֹ, וּלְמָחָר בָּא חֲבֵרוֹ אֶצְלוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ "הַשְׁאִילֵנִי מַגָּלְךָ", וְאָמַר לוֹ "אֵינִי מַשְׁאִילְךָ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁלֹּא הִשְׁאַלְתַּנִי" – זוֹ הִיא נְקִימָה. וְאִם אָמַר לוֹ "הֲרֵינִי מַשְׁאִילְךָ וְאֵינִי כְּמוֹתְךָ" – זוֹ הִיא נְטִירָה. אֶלָּא יִמְחֶה הַדָּבָר מִלִּבּוֹ, וְלֹא יַזְכִּרֶנוּ,עז וְלֹא יַעֲלֶה עַל לֵב לְעוֹלָם. וְצָרִיךְ כָּל הָאָדָם לִזָּהֵר בְּזֶה:

4 It is a positive commandment to cleave to those who know G‑d and His Torah, as it is written, “And you shall cleave to Him” (Devarim 10:20). (Rambam writes thus in Sefer HaMitzvos, positive commandment 6. Ramban in his Hasagos to [that work, in positive commandment] 7, [sec. 2,] also accepts this view. [It should certainly be acknowledged], because Megillas Esther, [a defense of Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos,] states that the version [of the derush66] cited by Ramban is incorrect.67 That statement is borne out by the teachings of the Sages in Temurah 3b and Rashi there.68 See also Sefer Mitzvos Gadol, positive commandment 8.) This commandment is repeated elsewhere: “And to cleave to Him” (ibid. 30:2). On this the Sages ask:69 “Is it possible for a mortal to cleave to the Divine Presence?!” Hence, they explained this mitzvah as follows:70 Cleave to the Sages and their students in order to learn from their deeds. In this spirit the Sages directed:71 “Sit in the dust of their feet and drink in their words thirstily.”

For this reason, one ought to endeavor to marry the daughter of a Torah scholar, to marry his daughter to a Torah scholar, to eat and drink with Torah scholars, to conduct business for Torah scholars,72 and to associate with them in every way possible,71 thereby fulfilling the verse, “To cleave to Him.” Furthermore, whoever participates in a feast attended by a Torah scholar is considered as if he had basked in the radiance of the Divine Presence.73

In the Sifri,70 [the Sages] also interpreted [the charge] “to cleave to Him” as [an instruction] to study the words of Aggadah,74 “because by doing so you will come to recognize Him Who spoke and [brought] the world into existence.” (See Avos DeRabbi Nassan 29[:7].75 See also Yoma 75a, [which gives a non-literal interpretation, on the level of derush,] of the verse,76 “And the manna was like gad seed.”77 That interpretation is based on the Mechilta.)

ד (רמב"ם בְּסֵפֶר הַמִצְוֹת בַּעֲשָׂיִין סִימָן ו', וְגַם הָרמב"ן בַּהַשָּׂגוֹת שָׁם סִימָן ז' מוֹדֶה לְזֶה, וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן שֶׁהַ"מְּגִלַּת אֶסְתֵּר" שָׁם סק"ב כָּתַב66 שֶׁאֵין הַגִּרְסָא כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתַב הָרמב"ן.67 וְכֵן הוּא בְּפֶרֶק קַמָּא דִּתְמוּרָה דַּף ג' סוֹף ע"ב כִּדְבָרָיו, וְכֵן פרש"י שָׁם.עח,68 סמ"ג עֲשָׂיִין סִימָן ח') מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לִדָּבֵק בְּיוֹדְעֵי ה'עט וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ,פ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "וּבוֹ תִדְבָּק" (בְּפָרָשַׁת עֵקֶב יו"ד, כ'). וְנִכְפַּל הַצִּוּוּיפא בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "וּלְדָבְקָהּ בוֹ" (סוֹף פָּרָשַׁת נִצָּבִים). וְאָמְרוּ רז"ל:פב,69וְכִי אֶפְשָׁר לָאָדָם לִדָּבֵק בַּשְּׁכִינָה? אֶלָּא כָּךְ אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִיםפג,70 בְּפֵרוּשׁ מִצְוָה זוֹ: הִדָּבֵק בַּחֲכָמִים וּבְתַלְמִידֵיהֶם כְּדֵי לִלְמֹד מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם. וְכֵן צִוּוּ חֲכָמִיםפד וְאָמְרוּ:71 הֱוֵי מִתְאַבֵּק בַּעֲפַר רַגְלֵיהֶם וֶהֱוֵי שׁוֹתֶה בַּצָּמָא אֶת דִּבְרֵיהֶם. לְפִיכָךְ, צָרִיךְ כָּל אָדָם לְהִשְׁתַּדֵּל לִשָּׂא בַּת תַּלְמִיד חָכָם, וּלְהַשִּׂיא בִּתּוֹ לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם,פה וְלֶאֱכֹל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת עִם תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים, וְלַעֲשׂוֹת פְּרַקְמַטְיָא לְתַלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים,72 וּלְהִתְחַבֵּר לָהֶם בְּכָל מִינֵי חִבּוּר,פו,71 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "וּלְדָבְקָה בוֹ". וְכָל הַנֶּהֱנֶה מִסְּעוּדָה שֶׁתַּלְמִיד חָכָם שָׁרוּי בְּתוֹכָהּ – כְּאִלּוּ נֶהֱנֶה מִזִּיו הַשְּׁכִינָה.פז,73

וְעוֹד דָּרְשׁוּ בְּסִפְרֵי שָׁם:פח,70 "וּלְדָבְקָה בוֹ" – לְמַד דִּבְרֵי אַגָּדָה,74 שֶׁמִּתּוֹךְ כָּךְ אַתָּה מַכִּיר אֶת מִי שֶׁאָמַר וְהָיָה הָעוֹלָם (וְעַיֵּן בְּאָבוֹת דְּרַבִּי נָתָן פֶּרֶק כ"ט.פט,75 וְעַיֵּן בַּגְּמָרָא פֶּרֶק בַּתְרָא דְּיוֹמָא דַּף ע"ה ע"א עַל פָּסוּק76 "וְהַמָּן כִּזְרַע גַּד הוּא",77 וְהוּא מֵהַמְּכִילְתָּאצ):

5 It is a positive commandment incumbent on everyone to love every other individual as his own person,78 as it is written,79 “Love your fellowman as yourself.” One must therefore be concerned for the honor and property of one’s fellow as he is concerned for his own honor and property.80

Whoever aggrandizes himself at the expense of his fellow’s repute will not be granted a portion in the World to Come.81

ה מִצְוָה עַל כָּל אָדָם לֶאֱהֹב אֶת כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד כְּגוּפוֹ,צא,78 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:צב,79 "וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ". לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ לָחוּס עַל כְּבוֹדוֹ וְעַל מָמוֹנוֹ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁחָס עַל כָּבוֹד וּמָמוֹן שֶׁלּוֹ.צג,80 וְהַמִּתְכַּבֵּד בִּקְלוֹן חֲבֵרוֹ – אֵין לוֹ חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא:צד,81

6 If one person wrongs another, the latter should not hate him and remain silent. Instead, it is a mitzvah that he should inform him by saying, “Why did you do this-and-this to me?”82 — as it is written, “You shall surely admonish83 your fellow.”84 If [the wronged party] is willing to forgive the other and not admonish him, this is pious conduct.85 The Torah was concerned only with [forbidding] feelings of hate.

ו כְּשֶׁיֶּחֱטָא אִישׁ לְאִישׁ לֹא יִשְׂטְמֶנּוּ וְיִשְׁתֹּק,צה אֶלָּא מִצְוָה עָלָיו לְהוֹדִיעוֹ וְלוֹמַר "לָמָּה עָשִׂיתָ לִי כָּךְ וְכָךְ",82 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:צו "הוֹכֵחַ תּוֹכִיחַ83 אֶת עֲמִיתֶךָ".84 וְאִם רוֹצֶה לִמְחֹל לוֹ וְלֹא לְהוֹכִיחוֹ – הֲרֵי זֶה מִדַּת חֲסִידוּת,85 וְלֹא הִקְפִּידָה הַתּוֹרָה אֶלָּא עַל הַמַּשְׂטֵמָה:צז

7 If one sees that his fellowman is sinning or is following an undesirable path, it is a mitzvah to guide him back to the good, and to inform him that he is wronging his soul through his evil deeds, as it is written,85 “You shall surely admonish your fellow.”86

If [the wrongdoer] does not take heed, one should admonish him again87 — as implied by [the dual form of the verb] hocheiach tochiach88 — even 100 times, until the wrongdoer strikes him or curses him.

One is obligated to admonish only a comrade, a colleague with whom he is familiar; one is not required to admonish another person who will hate him and seek revenge if he admonishes him, for such a person will certainly not listen to him. With regard to his friend, by contrast, even if one knows that he will not listen to him, one is obligated to admonish him, unless the sinner is transgressing unknowingly.89 In such an instance, we [follow the principle],90 “Better that he [transgress] unknowingly91 than knowingly.”92

When many people transgress even intentionally, they should not be admonished more than once if one knows that his words will not be heeded. With regard to such matters [the Sages] said,93 “Just as it is a mitzvah to say something that will be heeded, so is it a mitzvah to refrain from saying something that will not be heeded.” And if they are transgressing unknowingly, they should not be admonished at all, for it is “better that they [transgress] unknowingly than knowingly.”90

To whom does the above apply? To a private individual who is admonishing others. The rabbinical court,94 by contrast, is obligated to admonish and rebuke [transgressors] so that they themselves will not be held accountable for that sin.95 [This applies] even if the prohibition is a matter of doubt96 and even if there are many who transgress unknowingly. [The court] should not evade responsibility by saying, “Better that they [transgress] unknowingly than knowingly.”90 An exception is a prohibition that is not explicit in the Torah that has been violated by many people because they do not believe that it is prohibited — for then it is very difficult to protest their conduct since the court cannot station a policeman in everyone’s home. It was concerning such cases that [the Sages] said,90 “Desist from being wrathful and rebuking97 the Jewish people; better that they [transgress] unknowingly than knowingly.”

ז הָרוֹאֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁחָטָא אוֹ שֶׁהָלַךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ לֹא טוֹבָה – מִצְוָה עָלָיו לְהַחֲזִירוֹ לַמּוּטָב, וּלְהוֹדִיעוֹ שֶׁהוּא חוֹטֵא עַל נַפְשׁוֹ בְּמַעֲשָׂיו הָרָעִים,צח שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:צט,85 "הוֹכֵחַ תּוֹכִיחַ אֶת עֲמִיתֶךָ".86 וְאִם לֹא קִבֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ – יַחֲזֹר וְיוֹכִיחֶנּוּ,ק,87 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "הוֹכֵחַ תּוֹכִיחַ"88– אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה פְּעָמִים,קא עַד שֶׁיַּכֶּנּוּ הַחוֹטֵאקב אוֹ יְקַלְּלֶנּוּ.קג

וְאֵינוֹ מְחֻיָּב לְהוֹכִיחַ אֶלָּא עֲמִיתוֹ שֶׁהוּא חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁהוּא גַּס בּוֹ, אֲבָל אִישׁ אַחֵר שֶׁאִם יוֹכִיחֶנּוּ יִשְׂנָאֶנּוּ וְיִנְקֹם מִמֶּנּוּ – אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהוֹכִיחוֹ,קד כֵּיוָן שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי לֹא יִשְׁמַע לוֹ.קהאֲבָל חֲבֵרוֹ אֲפִלּוּ אִם יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁמַע לוֹ – חַיָּב לְהוֹכִיחוֹ,קו אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוּא חוֹטֵא בְּשׁוֹגֵג,89 שֶׁאָז אָנוּ אוֹמְרִים:90 מוּטָב שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שׁוֹגֵג91 וְאַל יִהְיֶה מֵזִיד.קז,92

וְרַבִּים אֲפִלּוּ הֵם מְזִידִין – אֵין לְהוֹכִיחָם יוֹתֵר מִפַּעַם אַחַת אִם יָדוּעַ לוֹ שֶׁדְּבָרָיו אֵינָם נִשְׁמָעִים.קח וְעַל זֶה אָמְרוּ:קט,93 כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמִּצְוָה לוֹמַר דָבָר הַנִּשְׁמָע – כָּךְ מִצְוָה שֶׁלֹּא לוֹמַר דָּבָר שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁמָע. וְאִם הֵם שׁוֹגְגִים – אֵין לְהוֹכִיחָם כְּלָל, שֶׁמּוּטָב שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שׁוֹגְגִים וְאַל יִהְיוּ מֵזִידִים.קי,90

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בַּיָּחִיד הַמּוֹכִיחַ, אֲבָל עַל הַבֵּית דִּין94 מֻטָּל לְהוֹכִיחָם וְלִגְעֹר בָּם, שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ נִתְפָּשִׂים בְּאוֹתוֹ עָוֹן.קיא,95 וַאֲפִלּוּ הוּא דָּבָר שֶׁאִסּוּרוֹ אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא מִסָּפֵק,קיב,96 וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם רַבִּים הֵם הַשּׁוֹגְגִים. וְאֵין לָהֶם לְהִשָּׁמֵט וְלוֹמַר: מוּטָב שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שׁוֹגְגִין וְאַל יִהְיוּ מְזִידִים,90 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוּא אִסּוּר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְפֹרָשׁ בַּתּוֹרָהקיג וּפָרְצוּ בּוֹ רַבִּים מִפְּנֵי חֶסְרוֹן אֱמוּנָתָם בָּאִסּוּר, שֶׁאָז קָשֶׁה מְאֹד לִמְחוֹת בְּיָדָם,קיד שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לְבֵית דִּין לְהַעֲמִיד שׁוֹטְרִים בְּבֵית כָּל אֶחָד.קטו וְעַל זֶה אָמְרוּ:קטז,90 הַנַּח לָהֶם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל מִקְּצֹף עֲלֵיהֶם וּמִגְּעֹר בָּם,קיז,97 מוּטָב שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שׁוֹגְגִין וְאַל יִהְיוּ מְזִידִים:

8 Whoever admonishes his fellow, whether with regard to personal matters between them or matters between himself and G‑d, should admonish him in private, speak to him calmly and gently,98 and tell him that he is speaking to him only for his own good. If one speaks to him harshly and embarrasses him, he violates a prohibitive commandment,99 as it is written,100 “Do not bear a sin because of him.” The Sages taught:101 “Lest you think that you should admonish someone and [cause] his face to change [color in shame], [know that] it is written, ‘Do not bear a sin because of him.’ ” (Although Rashi, commenting on the verse, interprets this command as meaning that one should not admonish a person publicly and thereby embarrass him, Sefer Mitzvos Gadol and Rambam understand that the above prohibition — that one should not admonish another with harsh words until his face changes color — implies that it is forbidden to do so even in private.) From [this verse] we learn that it is forbidden to embarrass a fellowman even in private, and, needless to say, in public. For this reason one should not call another a name that causes him embarrassment,102 nor relate embarrassing matters in his presence. Indeed, [the Sages taught that] “whoever shames his fellowman103 in public will not be granted a portion in the World to Come.”104

When does the above105 apply? With regard to matters between one man and another. With regard to matters [between man and] G‑d, by contrast, if [the transgressor] does not repent,106 he should be admonished in public until he returns to a good path, as was the practice of all the prophets of Israel. All of the above applies with regard to a transgression committed in private. If, however, one committed a transgression overtly,107 he must be admonished immediately so that G‑d’s name will not be desecrated.108

A student who sees his Torah teacher commit a transgression should tell him: “Teacher, you taught me such-and-such,” in order to remind him, for perhaps he is acting out of forgetfulness. If he does not heed him, he should not admonish him again.109 This [restriction] does not apply with regard to a peer, as was explained above.110

ח כָּל הַמּוֹכִיחַ אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ, בֵּין בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁבֵּינוֹ לְבֵינוֹ בֵּין בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁבֵּינוֹ לְבֵין הַמָּקוֹם – צָרִיךְ לְהוֹכִיחוֹ בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין עַצְמוֹ, וִידַבֵּר לוֹ בְּנַחַת וּבְלָשׁוֹן רַכָּה,98 וְיוֹדִיעוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר לוֹ אֶלָּא לְטוֹבָתוֹ.קיח וְאִם דִּבֵּר אִתּוֹ קָשׁוֹת וְהִכְלִימוֹ – עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה,קיט,99 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:קכ,100 "וְלֹא תִשָּׂא עָלָיו חֵטְא". כָּךְ אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים:קכא,101 יָכוֹל אַתָּה מוֹכִיחוֹ וּפָנָיו מִשְׁתַּנּוֹת – תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר "וְלֹא תִשָּׂא עָלָיו חֵטְא" (וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרַשִׁ"י שָׁםקכב פֵּרֵשׁ דְּהַיְנוּ כְּשֶׁיּוֹכִיחֵנוּ בָּרַבִּים לְהַלְבִּין פָּנָיו, הִנֵּה הַסמ"ג וְהָרמב"ם פֵּרְשׁוּ שֶׁלֹּא יוֹכִיחֶנּו בִּדְבָרִים קָשִׁים עַד שֶׁפָּנָיו נִשְׁתַּנּוֹת וְהַיְנוּ אֲפִלּוּ בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינוֹ). מִכָּאן שֶׁאָסוּר לְאָדָם לְהַכְלִים אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינוֹ, וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר בָּרַבִּים.קכג לְפִיכָךְ לֹא יִקְרָאֶנּוּ בְּשֵׁם שֶׁהוּא בּוֹשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ,102 וְלֹא מְסַפֵּר לְפָנָיו דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא בּוֹשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ.קכד וְכָל הַמַּלְבִּין פְּנֵי חֲבֵרוֹ103 בָּרַבִּים – אֵין לוֹ חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא.קכה,104

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים?105 בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֲבָל בְּדִבְרֵי שָׁמַיִם אִם לֹא חָזַר בּוֹ106 – צָרִיךְ לְהוֹכִיחוֹ בָּרַבִּים עַד שֶׁיַחֲזֹר לַמּוּטָב, כְּמוֹ שֶׁעָשׂוּ כָּל הַנְּבִיאִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל.קכו וְכָל זֶה בַּעֲבֵרָה שֶׁבַּסֵּתֶר, אֲבָל אִם עָבַר עֲבֵרָה בְּגָלוּי107 – יוֹכִיחֶנוּ מִיָּד, שֶׁלֹּא יִתְחַלֵּל שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם.קכז,108 וְתַלְמִיד שֶׁרָאָה אֶת רַבּוֹ עוֹבֵר עֲבֵרָה – יֹאמַר לוֹ "לִמַּדְתַּנִי רַבֵּינוּ כָּךְ וְכָךְ",קכח לְהַזְכִּירוֹ אוּלַי שׁוֹגֵג הוּא. וְאִם אֵינוֹ שׁוֹמֵעַ לוֹ – לֹא יוֹכִיחֶנּוּ עוֹד,קכט,109 מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן בַּחֲבֵרוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר:קל,110

9 One must be mindful [in his relationship] with orphans and widows, even if they are very wealthy.111 Anyone who vexes them, angers them, hurts their feelings, oppresses them, or causes them financial loss, violates a prohibitive commandment,112 as it is written,113 “Do not afflict any widow or orphan.” Certainly, [the above applies to one] who beats them or curses them.

When does the above apply? When one treats them harshly for his own purposes. If, by contrast, a teacher chastises [orphans] in order to teach them Torah or a vocation or to lead them along a path of upright conduct, this is permitted. Nevertheless, one should not treat them as he treats others, but differently, guiding them with patience and great compassion, whether they are orphaned from a father or a mother.

Until when is one considered an orphan in this regard? Until he does not need to be supported, brought up and taken care of, but takes care of all his own needs as other adults do.

ט חַיָּב אָדָם לִזָּהֵר בִּיתוֹמִים וְאַלְמָנוֹת אֲפִלּוּ הֵם עֲשִׁירִים גְּדוֹלִים.111 וְכָל הַמַּקְנִיטָן, אוֹ הִכְעִיסָן, אוֹ הִכְאִיב לִבָּם, אוֹ רָדָה בָּהֶן, אוֹ אִבֵּד מָמוֹנָן – הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה,קלא,112 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:קלב,113 "כָּל אַלְמָנָה וְיָתוֹם לֹא תְעַנּוּן". וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן הַמַּכֶּה אוֹתָן אוֹ הַמְקַלְלָן.

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בִּזְמַן שֶׁעִנָּה אוֹתָן לְצֹרֶךְ עַצְמוֹ, אֲבָל אִם עִנָּה אוֹתָן רַבָּן כְּדֵי לְלַמְּדָן תּוֹרָה אוֹ אֻמָּנוּת אוֹ לְהוֹלִיכָן בְּדֶרֶךְ יְשָׁרָה – הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר.קלג וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן לֹא יִנְהַג בָּהֶן מִנְהָג כָּל אָדָם, אֶלָּא יַעֲשֶׂה לָהֶם הֶפְרֵשׁ, וִינַהֲלֵם בְּנַחַת וּבְרַחֲמִים גְּדוֹלִים, אֶחָד יָתוֹם מֵאָב וְאֶחָד יָתוֹם מֵאֵם.קלד

וְעַד אֵימַת נִקְרָאִים יְתוֹמִים לְעִנְיָן זֶה? עַד שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ צְרִיכִין לְאָדָם לְהִסָּמֵךְ עָלָיו וּלְאָמְנָן וּלְהִטָּפֵל בָּהֶן, אֶלָּא יִהְיֶה עוֹשֶׂה כָּל צָרְכֵי עַצְמוֹ לְעַצְמוֹ כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הַגְּדוֹלִים:

10 One who relates gossip about his fellowman violates a prohibitive commandment,114 as it is written, “Do not go gossiping among your people” (Vayikra 19:16).

What is meant by a gossiper? One who collects115 information and goes from person to person saying: “So-and-so said this-and-this”; “This-and-this is what I heard about so-and-so.”116 Even if the things he says are true and they impute no disgrace and the individual who is spoken of does not dispute them at all, such a person destroys the world, for [such conduct] can sometimes lead to bloodshed, as [the Sages] said concerning the episode of Doeg and Achimelech.117 (The commentary entitled Kessef Mishneh118 describes a gossiper as one who says, “So-and-so and so-and-so said this-and-this about you” or “did this-and-this to you.” The author of Smag (Sefer Mitzvos Gadol) [prohibitive commandment 9] states: “Who is a gossiper? One who reveals to a friend matters which another person related about him confidentially.” He supports his statement by citing the Mishnah (Sanhedrin 3:7) and the Gemara (Sanhedrin 31a).119 His approach is apparently accepted by the Aruch as well, which states at the end of s.v. lashon: “The phrase ‘Do not go gossiping’ is paraphrased [in Aramaic] by the Targum Yerushalmi as lishna tlisai” [lit., “a third tongue”; explained below]. This phrase is also used in Arachin 15b,120 where it is explained by Rashi.121 Tosafos there offers a different interpretation. Raavad, in his gloss to Hilchos Deos, beginning of ch. 7, appears to agree with Rashi, and the same is true of Midrash Rabbah on the beginning of Parshas Emor.122)

A listener who accepts gossip123 is punished more severely than the one who relates it, unless he sees evidence of its truth.124

Included in this prohibition is [speaking] slander,125 i.e., making degrading comments about one’s fellowman even though they are true.126 Even if one says: “Where can fire be found continually if not in the house of So-and-so, where there is always meat and fish?” This constitutes lashon hara127 if it was spoken in a derogatory manner, with the intent of belittling that person by implying that he is “a glutton for meat.”128

If, by contrast, one tells [derogatory] lies about his fellowman, he is called a defamer.129 (See Kesubbos, ch. 4, p. 46a.)130

י הַמְרַגֵּל בַּחֲבֵרוֹ – עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה,קלה,114 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "לֹא תֵלֵךְ רָכִיל בְּעַמֶּךָ" (קְדֹשִׁים י"ט, ט"ז). אֵיזֶהוּ רָכִיל?קלו זֶה שֶׁטּוֹעֵן115 דְּבָרִים וְהוֹלֵךְ מִזֶּה לָזֶה וְאוֹמֵר: כָּךְ וְכָךְ אָמַר פְּלוֹנִי, כָּךְ וְכָךְ שָׁמַעְתִּי עַל פְּלוֹנִי,116 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא אֱמֶת וְאֵינָן דְּבָרִים שֶׁל גְּנַאי כְּלָל, וְגַם אוֹתוֹ פְּלוֹנִי לֹא מַכְחִישָׁם כְּלָלקלז – הֲרֵי זֶה מַחֲרִיב אֶת הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁמִּזֶּה יוּכַל לָבוֹא לִפְעָמִים לִידֵי שְׁפִיכַת דָּמִים, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרוּ בְּמַעֲשֵׂה דּוֹאֵג עִם אֲחִימֶלֶךְקלח,117 (וּלְשׁוֹן הַכֶּסֶף מִשְׁנֶה118 כָּךְ הוּא, שֶׁרָכִיל הַיְנוּ: הָאוֹמֵר פְּלוֹנִי וּפְלוֹנִי אָמַר עָלֶיךָ כָּךְ וְכָךְ אוֹ עָשָׂה לְךָ כָּךְ וְכָךְ כו'. וְזֶה לְשׁוֹן הַסמ"ג שָׁם: אֵיזֶהוּ רָכִיל? הַמְגַלֶּה לַחֲבֵרוֹ דְּבָרִים שֶׁדִּבֵּר מִמֶּנּוּ אָדָם בַּסֵּתֶר, וְהֵבִיא רְאָיָה מֵהַמִּשְׁנָה פֶּרֶק ג' דְסַנְהֶדְרִין וְהַגְּמָרָא שָׁם דַּף ל"א, א'.119 וְכֵן מַשְׁמַע בְּעָרוּךְ סוֹף עֶרֶךְ לָשׁוֹן, וְזֶה לְשׁוֹנוֹ: "לֹא תֵלֵךְ רָכִיל" – תַּרְגּוּם יְרוּשַׁלְמִי "לִשָּׁנָא תְּלִיתָאִי". וְעַיֵּן פֶּרֶק ג' [דַּעֲרָכִין] דַּף ט"ו ע"ב120 בַּגְּמָרָא וּפרש"י120 ד"ה לִשָּׁנָא תְּלִיתָאִי,קלט וְהַתּוֹסָפוֹת שָׁם פֵּרְשׁוּ בְּעִנְיָן אַחֵר, וּבהראב"ד בְּהִלְכוֹת דֵּעוֹת רֵישׁ פֶּרֶק ז' מַשְׁמָע כְּפֵרוּשׁ רַשִׁ"י. וְכֵן מַשְׁמָע בְּמִדְרָשׁ רַבָּה רֵישׁ פָּרָשַׁת אֱמֹרקמ).122

וְהַמְקַבְּלוֹ123 נֶעֱנָשׁ יוֹתֵר מִן הָאוֹמְרוֹ, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוּא רוֹאֶה דְּבָרִים הַנִּכָּרִים.קמא,124

וּבִכְלַל לָאו זֶה הוּא לָשׁוֹן הָרָע,125 וְהוּא הַמְסַפֵּר בִּגְנוּת חֲבֵרוֹקמב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָמַר אֱמֶת.126 וַאֲפִלּוּ אָמַר: הֵיכָן מָצוּי אוּר תָּדִיר אִם לֹא בְּבֵית פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁמָּצוּי אֶצְלוֹ בָּשָׂר וְדָגִים – הֲרֵי זֶה לָשׁוֹן הָרָעקמג,127 אִם הוֹצִיאוֹ בְּדֶרֶךְ לָשׁוֹן הָרָע, שֶׁנִּתְכַּוֵּן לְגַנּוֹת שֶׁהוּא בְּזוֹלְלֵי בָּשָׂר לָמוֹ.128

אֲבָל הָאוֹמֵר שֶׁקֶר עַל חֲבֵרוֹ – נִקְרָא מוֹצִיא שֵׁם רַע.קמד,129 וְעַיֵּן פֶּרֶק ד' דִּכְתֻבּוֹת דַּף מ"ו ע"א:קמה,130

11 Whether one speaks lashon hara in the presence of [the person concerned] or in his absence, this is lashon hara. [Similarly, one commits this transgression if] he makes statements that — if spread from person to person — will harm someone physically or financially, or will cause him to suffer pain or fear, even though they are not uncomplimentary statements.

If such statements were made in the presence of three people, it [can be considered that] the matter was already taken notice of and has become known. [Hence,] if one of the three relates it a second time, this is not considered lashon hara,131 provided his intent was not to spread the report and publicize it further. If the person who [originally] made the statement warned [his listeners] not to repeat it, [spreading it further] is considered as lashon hara, even if the original speaker was addressing a number of people.

When is speaking in the presence of one’s fellowman132 or in the presence of three people considered lashon hara? When one says something reproachful or derogatory, or something that could cause injury or pain. If, however, one makes a statement that is plausibly without any negative intent — for example, “Where can fire be found if not in the house of So-and-so, where there is always meat?”133 — this is not considered lashon hara if the remark was made in his presence or in the presence of three people. In the latter case, the remark is considered as if made in the presence of the person concerned, because it is impossible that it will not reach his ears.

יא אֶחָד הַמְסַפֵּר בְּלָשׁוֹן הָרָע בִּפְנֵי חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו, וְהַמְסַפֵּר דְּבָרִים שֶׁגּוֹרְמִים, אִם נִשְׁמְעוּ אִישׁ מִפִּי אִישׁ, לְהַזִּיק חֲבֵרוֹ בְּגוּפוֹ אוֹ בְּמָמוֹנוֹ, אוֹ לְצַעֲרוֹ, אוֹ לְהַפְחִידוֹ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָן דְּבָרִים שֶׁל גְּנַאי עַל חֲבֵרוֹ – הֲרֵי זֶה לָשׁוֹן הָרָע.קמו

וְאִם נֶאֶמְרוּ דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ בִּפְנֵי שְׁלֹשָׁה – כְּבָר נִשְׁמַע הַדָּבָר וְנוֹדַע. וְאִם סִפֵּר הַדָּבָר אֶחָד מִן הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה פַּעַם אַחֶרֶת – אֵין בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם לָשׁוֹן הָרָע.קמז,131 וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִתְכַּוֵּן לְהַעֲבִיר הַקּוֹל וּלְגַלּוֹתוֹ יוֹתֵר.קמח וְאִם הָאוֹמֵר מַזְהִיר שֶׁלֹּא לְאָמְרוֹ, אֲפִלּוּ אָמַר בִּפְנֵי רַבִּים – יֵשׁ בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם לָשׁוֹן הָרָע.קמט בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁמְּסַפֵּר בִּפְנֵי חֲבֵרוֹ132 אוֹ בִּפְנֵי שְׁלֹשָׁה יֵשׁ בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם לָשׁוֹן הָרָע לְהָאוֹמֵר, כְּשֶׁאוֹמֵר דָּבָר שֶׁל קִנְטוּר וּגְנַאי, אוֹ דָּבָר שֶׁיָּכוֹל לִגְרֹם לוֹ נֶזֶק אוֹ צַעַר. אֲבָל דָּבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹמַר שֶׁאֵין כַּוָּנָתוֹ לְלָשׁוֹן הָרָע, כְּגוֹן הֵיכָן מָצוּי אוּר בְּבֵית פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁמָּצוּי לוֹ בָּשָׂר133 – אֵין בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם לָשׁוֹן הָרָע אִם אוֹמֵר כֵּן בְּפָנָיו, וְכֵן אִם אָמַר בִּפְנֵי שְׁלֹשָׁה,קנ שֶׁהֲרֵי זֶה כְּאוֹמֵר בְּפָנָיו, שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁלֹּא יַגִּיעַ הַדָּבָר בְּאָזְנָיו:קנא

12 What is meant by “a trace of lashon hara”?134 Statements such as, “Who would ever have said about So-and-so that he would be in the state he’s in now?”135 Or, “Best to say nothing about so-and-so. I’d rather not say what happened and what took place,”136 and the like.137

Also counted as a trace of lashon hara is speaking favorably of a person138 in the presence of his enemies or in the presence of many people among whom it may be assumed that there is one of his enemies, for this will incite the enemy to speak of him derogatively. By contrast, it is permitted to speak favorably in the presence of his friends, as long as one is not overly elaborate in his praises, for relating and recounting his [positive] attributes [at length] will inevitably lead to [someone speaking about him] disparagingly.

Likewise [to be censured] is one who speaks lashon hara slyly, [pretending] to be speaking innocently as if he did not know that what he said was lashon hara or that So-and-so did what was described.

See also139 the gloss of Hagahos Maimoniyos, loc. cit., sec. 3, [based on] Talmud Yerushalmi,140 [which makes a further point concerning lashon hara] — that it is permitted [concerning those who foment controversy]. This is also stated in Yalkut [Shimoni], Vol. 2, sec. 166. See also Magen Avraham [in sec. 156, which], based on Hagahos Smak,141 [qualifies that statement as applying only when reporting to a just king, as in the case of the prophet Nasan reporting to King David].142 See also what I have written in Hilchos Nizkei Mammon, subsection 7, and in the Shulchan Aruch [of R. Yosef Caro,] Choshen Mishpat 421:13, [which speak about the action to be taken in order to restrain informers and other people who are habitually violent], for that is the subject of the discussion in the Talmud Yerushalmi.

יב אֲבַק לָשׁוֹן הָרָע כֵּיצַד?קנב,134 מִי יֹאמַר לִפְלוֹנִי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁהוּא עַתָּה,135 אוֹ שֶׁיֹּאמַר: שִׁתְקוּ מִפְּלוֹנִי אֵינִי רוֹצֶה לְהוֹדִיעַ מָה אֵרַע וּמֶה הָיָה,136 וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ.137 וְכָל הַמְסַפֵּר בְּטוֹבָתוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹקנג בִּפְנֵי שׂוֹנְאָיו,קנד אוֹ בִּפְנֵי רַבִּים מֵהָעָם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָחוּשׁ שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶם אֶחָד מִשּׂוֹנְאָיוקנה – הֲרֵי זֶה אֲבַק לָשׁוֹן הָרָע,138 שֶׁהוּא גּוֹרֵם שֶׁשּׂוֹנְאוֹ יְסַפֵּר בִּגְנוּתוֹ. אֲבָל בִּפְנֵי אוֹהֲבָיו מֻתָּר לְסַפֵּר בִּשְׁבָחָיו,קנו וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יַרְבֶּה יוֹתֵר מִדַּאי, מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁמְּסַפֵּר וּמוֹנֶה מִדּוֹתָיו אִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא לִידֵי גְּנוּת.קנז

וְכֵן הַמְסַפֵּר לָשׁוֹן הָרָע דֶּרֶךְ רַמָּאוּת, וְהוּא שֶׁמְּסַפֵּר לְתֻמּוֹ כְּאִלּוּ אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה שֶׁדִּבֵּר לָשׁוֹן הָרָע הוּא אוֹ שֶׁזֶּה עָשָׂה פְּלוֹנִי.

וְעַיֵּן עוֹד139 מַה שֶּׁכָּתַב הַגָּהוֹת מַיְמוֹנִיּוֹת שָׁם סק"ג בַּיְרוּשַׁלְמִיקנח,140 מֻתָּרקנט כו', וְהוּא גַּם כֵּן בְּיַלְקוּט חֵלֶק ב רֶמֶז קס"ו. וְעַיֵּן מָגֵן אַבְרָהָם בְּשֵׁם הַגָּהַת סמ"ק.קס,141,142 וְעַיֵּן מַה שֶּׁכָּתַבְתִּי בְּהִלְכוֹת נִזְקֵי מָמוֹן סָעִיף זקסא וּבְשֻׁלְחָן עָרוּךְ חֹשֶׁן מִשְׁפָּט סִימָן תכ"א סוֹף סָעִיף י"גקסב דְּבִכְהַאי גַּוְנָא דְּהָתָם מַיְירֵי בַּיְּרוּשַׁלְמִי:

13 A guest is not permitted to praise his host as being generous,138 lest this bring him numerous guests who will consume everything he possesses. Concerning this it was said: “If one blesses his friend loudly early in the morning, it will be considered as a curse to him.” (Mishlei 27:14.) See also the interpretation of this verse in Avos deRabbi Nasan, end of ch. 11.143

יג אוֹרֵחַ אֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְשַׁבֵּחַ אֶת בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שֶׁהוּא טוֹב עַיִן,קסג,138 שֶׁמָּא יִרְבּוּ עָלָיו אוֹרְחִים וְיֹאכְלוּ כָּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ. וְעַל זֶה נֶאֱמַר: "מְבָרֵךְ רֵעֵהוּ בְּקוֹל גָּדוֹל בַּבֹּקֶר הַשְׁכֵּים – קְלָלָה תֵּחָשֶׁב לוֹ" (בְּמִשְׁלֵי סִימָן כ"ז, י"ד). וְעַיֵּן עוֹד מִפָּסוּק זֶה בְּאָבוֹת דְּרַבִּי נָתָן סוֹף פֶּרֶק י"א:קסד,143

14 Any statement that a person makes to a friend should not be relayed further unless [the speaker] tells him to do so.144

יד כָּל הָאוֹמֵר דָּבָר לַחֲבֵרוֹ הוּא בְּ"בַל יֹאמַר", עַד שֶׁיֹּאמַר לוֹ "לֵךְ אֱמֹר":קסה,144

15 It is forbidden to count Jews even if one’s intention is merely to make a lottery for a particular sum or number.145 This is forbidden even for the sake of a mitzvah.146 Instead, they should stick out their fingers and one should count their fingers.147

At the end of Koheles148 it is written: “[G‑d] will bring to judgment every [deed] that is hidden.” This includes even killing a louse in the presence of a friend.149

טו אָסוּר לִמְנוֹת אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּין רַק לְהָטִיל גּוֹרָל עַל אֵיזֶה סְכוּם וּמִסְפָּר,145 וַאֲפִלּוּ לִדְבַר מִצְוָה,146 אֶלָּא מוֹצִיאִים אֶצְבְּעוֹתֵיהֶם וּמוֹנִים הָאֶצְבָּעוֹת.קסו,147

כְּתִיב:קסז "יָבִא בְּמִשְׁפָּט עַל כָּל נֶעְלָם" בְּסוֹף קֹהֶלֶת,148 לְרַבּוֹת אֲפִלּוּ הַהוֹרֵג כִּנָּה בִּפְנֵי חֲבֵרוֹ:קסח,149

16 A person who engages in inconsequential discussion150 — childish and frivolous talk — violates a positive commandment, as it is written,151 “And you shall speak of them.” [Implied is that one should speak only] “of them,” [i.e., of Torah matters,] and not of other matters.152

Even if one has established fixed times for Torah study, during the remainder of the day he should occupy himself only with necessary matters, not with childish and lightheaded conversation. Instead, [if free time avails itself,] he should return to his studies. Establishing fixed times for Torah study [does not release one from the obligation to study throughout the day, but] is a stringency, so that one will not be drawn to spend his entire day on his business affairs, as explained in subsection1 above.

טז הַשָּׂח שִׂיחַת חֻלִּין,קסט,150 וְהוּא שִׂיחַת הַיַלְדוּת וְקַלּוּת רֹאשׁקע – עוֹבֵר בְּעֲשֵׂה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:קעא,151 "וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם", "בָּם" – וְלֹא בִּדְבָרִים אֲחֵרִים.קעב,152 וְאַף אִם קָבַע עִתִּים לַתּוֹרָה – לֹא יַעֲסֹק בִּשְׁאָר הַיּוֹם אֶלָּא בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶם צֹרֶךְ,קעג אֲבָל לֹא בְּשִׂיחַת הַיַלְדוּת וְקַלּוּת רֹאשׁ, אֶלָּא יַחֲזֹר לְלִמּוּדוֹ. וּקְבִיעַת הָעֵת אֵינָהּ אֶלָּא לְהַחְמִיר, שֶׁלֹּא יִמְשֹׁךְ כָּל הַיּוֹם בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶרֶץ כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְעֵיל סְעִיף א':

17 Those who are eager hasten to [perform] mitzvos early.153 However, one is not required to hurry any earlier than dawn.154

יז זְרִיזִים מַקְדִּימִים לְמִצְווֹת,153 וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַקְדִּים יוֹתֵר מֵעַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר:קעד,154

18 Whoever speaks flatteringly about a transgression because of his fear of the transgressor, and is not concerned over the fear of G‑d, is liable for severe punishment.155 Nevertheless, if one fears that the transgressor will kill him, it is permitted say, “You did well,” even if it is a severe transgression. The prohibition applies only when there is no danger. See Sefer Yere’im, sec. 55; Kad HaKemach, sec. 8; Reishis Chochmah, Shaar HaKedushah, ch. 12.

יח כָּל הַמַּחֲנִיף בִּדְבַר עֲבֵרָהקעה מֵחֲמַת יִרְאָתוֹ מִפְּנֵי בַּעַל עֲבֵרָה וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ עַל יִרְאַת הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא – עָנְשׁוֹ גָּדוֹל.155 אַךְ אִם מִתְיָרֵא שֶׁלֹּא יַהַרְגֶנּוּ – מֻתָּר לוֹמַר לוֹ "יָפֶה עָשִׂיתָ" אֲפִלּוּ עָבַר עֲבֵרָה גְּדוֹלָה. וְלֹא אָסְרוּ לַחֲנֹף אֶלָּא שֶׁלֹּא בִּמְקוֹם סַכָּנָה.קעו וְעַיֵּן בְּסֵפֶר יְרֵאִים סִימָן נ"הקעז וּבְכַד הַקֶּמַח אוֹת ח' וּבְרֵאשִׁית חָכְמָה שַׁעַר הַקְּדֻּשָּׁה פֶּרֶק י"ב:

19 One may not stand in a dangerous place156 and say that a miracle will be performed on his behalf, for perhaps a miracle will not be performed for him. And if a miracle is performed on his behalf, his merits will be reduced. One of the Sages would refrain from crossing [a river] in a ferry together with utterly wicked people lest judgment be executed against them and he would be ensnared with them. Another one of the Sages would seek to cross [a river] on a ferry that carried both Jews and non-Jews, for he would say that Satan does not have dominion over two nations [simultaneously]. See Magen Avraham at the end of this section.

יט אַל יַעֲמֹד אָדָם בִּמְקוֹם סַכָּנָהקעח,156 וְיֹאמַר שֶׁעוֹשִׂין לוֹ נֵס, שֶׁמָּא אֵין עוֹשִׂין לוֹ נֵס. וְאִם עוֹשִׂין לוֹ נֵס – מְנַכִּין לוֹ מִזְּכֻיּוֹתָיו. וְיֵשׁ מֵהַחֲכָמִים שֶׁהָיָה נִמְנָע לַעֲבֹר בִּסְפִינָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ רְשָׁעִים גְּמוּרִים, שֶׁמָּא נִפְקַד דִּין עֲלֵיהֶם וְיִתָּפֵס עִמָּהֶם. וְיֵשׁ מֵהַחֲכָמִים שֶׁהָיָה מַחֲזִיר לַעֲבֹר בִּסְפִינָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ יְהוּדִים וְאֵינָם יְהוּדִים, אָמַר שֶׁהַשָּׂטָן אֵינוֹ שׁוֹלֵט בִּשְׁתֵּי אֻמּוֹת. וְעַיֵּן מָגֵן אַבְרָהָם סוֹף סִימָן זֶה:

20 The Sages157 gave this advice to anyone who let blood and does not have the financial means to fortify himself. He should take a dinar coin that is not readily acceptable as currency158 and go to a grocery and ask to taste wine to see if it is worth buying.159 When he would come to buy it, the storekeeper would not accept the dinar. He should then go to another storekeeper and repeat the same thing, until he has tasted a revi’is.160 Though there is no such serious concern with regard to the bloodletting practiced today, we can extrapolate from this with regard to [cures for] other illnesses.

כ כָּל מִי שֶׁהִקִּיז דָּם וְאֵין לוֹ בְּמַה לְהַבְרוֹת נַפְשׁוֹ – נָתְנוּ לוֹ חֲכָמִים157 עֵצָה שֶׁיִּטֹּל בְּיָדוֹ דִּינָר רַע158 וְיֵלֵךְ אֵצֶל הַחֶנְוָנִי וְיִטְעֹם יַיִן אִם טוֹב הוּא לִקְנוֹתוֹ,159 וְאַחַר כָּךְ כְּשֶׁיִּרְצֶה לִקְנוֹת לֹא יִקַּח הַחֶנְוָנִי אֶת הַדִּינָר, וְיֵלֵךְ לוֹ אֵצֶל חֶנְוָנִי אַחֵר וְיַעֲשֶׂה כֵּן עַד שֶׁיִּטְעֹם רְבִיעִית.קעט,160 וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבַּהַקָּזָה שֶׁלָּנוּ אֵין חֲשָׁשׁ כָּל כָּךְ, מִכָּל מָקוֹם יֵשׁ לִלְמֹד מִזֶּה לִשְׁאָר חֹלִי:קפ

21 With regard to the words of Torah, “Answer a fool according to his foolishness, lest he be wise in his own eyes.” With regard to worldly matters, “Do not answer a fool according to his foolishness, lest you come to resemble him” (Mishlei 26[:4-5]).161

כא בְּדִבְרֵי תּוֹרָה – "עֲנֵה כְסִיל כְּאִוַּלְתּוֹ, פֶּן יִהְיֶה חָכָם בְּעֵינָיו".קפא אֲבָל בְּדִבְרֵי הָעוֹלָם – "אַל תַּעַן כְּסִיל כְּאִוַּלְתּוֹ, פֶּן תִּשְׁוֶה לּוֹ" (בְּמִשְׁלֵי סִימָן כ"וקפב):161

Footnotes
1.
The present section, before proceeding to deal with directives on a variety of ethical issues, opens by continuing the briefly-stated theme of sec. 155 above — on the ongoing obligation to study Torah — particularly as it relates to the conflicting demands of making a living.

The Alter Rebbe deals with this theme in considerable detail in the self-contained scholarly work entitled Hilchos Talmud Torah (“The Laws of Torah Study”), which appears as an independent volume in the present Bilingual Edition of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch (Kehot, N.Y., 5764/2004). In the footnotes to the present section, all the references to Hilchos Talmud Torah relate to that volume.

On the conspicuous stylistic differences that distinguish sec. 155 and 156 from the bulk of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, see paragraphs 3 and 4 in sec. 155, footnote 1 above.
2.
In the original, derech eretz — lit., “the way of the world.”
3.
Some of the marginal source references that appeared in past editions of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch were evidently written by the author himself, and many others were definitely supplied by his brother, R. Yehudah Leib (see Vol. 1 of the present Bilingual Edition, pp. 20-21). In the present section, the notes and sources that appear in smaller font within the body of the text — such as the above note — were written by the Alter Rebbe himself as part of his original text. (See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 14, p. 24, footnote 28.)
4.
As interpreted by the Shelah (in Maseches Shavuos, p. 181a), sec. 878 of Yalkut Shimoni understands the above-quoted verse as meaning that for a person who is not bound by other responsibilities, merely setting aside “time[s] to act for G‑d” — i.e., fixed times for Torah study — is an abrogation of the Torah, for once one has established these fixed times, he will tend to remain content and study only then. See Hilchos Talmud Torah, ch. 3:2 and 3:5.
5.
Because he is wealthy.
7.
Such an hour obviously does not exist. The above is a paraphrase of the answer R. Yishmael gave to his nephew who had asked him: “I have studied the entire Torah; may I now study Greek wisdom?”
8.
Sec. 2 there extols the scholars whose assiduity preserves the Torah by day and by night, and sec. 23 cites the metaphor of the millstones.
9.
I.e., sec. 12:8.
11.
On the above issues, see also subsection 16 below, and Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:5-6.
12.
I.e., merely to set aside fixed times for Torah study and to devote blocks of time to business activities.
13.
Berachos 35b.
14.
Avos 2:2.
15.
Eruvin 41b.
16.
In Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:2, the Alter Rebbe states that a person capable of succeeding in his studies should devote approximately half of his day and part of his night to Torah study, and only a minor part of his day to business activities. While obviously the socio-economic conditions of every generation and the needs and potentials of every individual must be taken into consideration when establishing such guidelines, the Alter Rebbe’s ruling defines a clear perspective on how this issue should be approached.
17.
Lit., “Eight Chapters” — the popular name for the introduction by Rambam to Tractate Avos, in his Commentary on the Mishnah.
18.
There Rambam speaks of how one should direct all the powers of his soul to G‑d, and how he should weigh and evaluate whether each of his actions will contribute to that purpose. See also his Hilchos Deos, ch. 3.
19.
This is specifically the father’s obligation.
20.
Kiddushin 29a and Rashi there (s.v. Ke’ilu); loc. cit., 30b.
21.
Lit., “alter.”
22.
Bava Metzia 49a.
24.
On the non-literal level of Scriptural interpretation known as derush.
25.
See also the Alter Rebbe’s Hilchos Mechirah U’Matanah, sec. 1, 2.
26.
Rashi on Bava Metzia, loc. cit.
27.
Rambam states that one should keep his word even when he is not obligated to do so by Jewish law. (See his Hilchos Mechirah and his Commentary to the Mishnah.) The Shelah writes likewise.
28.
Sanhedrin 92a.
29.
Bava Basra 88a.
30.
This applies equally to a resolve in one’s heart and to a resolve that had been actually uttered. (See Hilchos Mechirah U’Matanah, sec. 1, in a later volume of the present work.)
31.
Yevamos 65b.
32.
In the original, leshanos — lit., “alter.”
33.
Sec. 19:27.
35.
Page 23b.
36.
As stated in subsection 1, the quoted verse continues, “...and He will smooth your paths.” In the Gemara cited, the Sages teach that the above permission applies “even for a sinful matter,” and Rashi explains: “In all your ways, even for a forbidden matter, know Him — examine carefully whether [what needs to be said] is for the sake of a mitzvah.”
37.
There, the lips of those who utter a truth that should not be divulged are referred to as “the lips of falsehood,” while those who suppress that truth are referred to as “those who fear You.”
38.
Subsection 2.
39.
Eshel Avraham, subsection 2, s.v. U’Mah SheKasav SheMutar LeShanos.
40.
Indeed, in the original of this sentence in the Holy Tongue, “G‑d’s name” reads Shem Shamayim — lit., “the name of Heaven.”

The Shulchan Aruch raises this subject in the present section, for in the course of business dealings people commonly mention — and even swear by — the Divine name in support of their claims. Moreover, as mentioned in sec. 85:3, it is forbidden to use G‑d’s name in vain even when speaking in other languages. For that reason, rather than use the term G‑d, people often use other appellations, such as (in the Holy Tongue) HaShem — lit., “the [Divine] name,” and (in Yiddish) der Eibershter — lit., “the One Above,” or der Bashefer — lit., “the Creator.”
41.
Nedarim 7b.
42.
This license was granted in order to promote feelings of brotherhood. No such rationale applies in the instance at hand.
43.
Alexander Yannai, Hasmonean king of Judea (c. 126-76 B.C.E.).
44.
Bamidbar Rabbah 22:1; see also Midrash Tanchuma, Parshos Mattos, sec. 1. (These sources, however, speak of 2000 villages.)
45.
This is not considered as being merely a directive of a general nature, but is counted as one of the Torah’s 613 mitzvos, both in Sefer HaMitzvos (positive commandment 8) and in Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 610). This classification is explained by the Rebbe in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 34, p. 153ff., which is translated in A Knowing Heart (Sichos In English, N.Y., 5762/2002), p. 179ff.
46.
Sifri, sec. 49, on Devarim 11:22; Mechilta on Shmos 14:2; Shabbos 133b; et al. See also: Sotah 14a; Rambam, Hilchos Deos 1-2.
47.
All three epithets mentioned here appear in Tehillim 145:8.
48.
Sukkah 49b. The verb used in the original relates to the noun gemilus chesed, which often serves specifically as a synonym for an interest-free loan.
50.
The first two sources speak of limiting one’s charitable donations to a fifth of one’s resources. The first source adds that one should likewise be moderate in his personal expenditure, and the two passages cited from Rashi teach likewise.
51.
Kesubbos 50a, et al.
52.
The literal meaning of the verb that appears in the original is “squander.” Elsewhere, however, the Alter Rebbe points out that the above restriction applies only to one whose spiritual record is impeccable. As for a person who is in need of atonement, and who therefore exceeds this proportion “in order to redeem himself from fasting and affliction, this is no less necessary than healing his body or his other needs” — and for such purposes, people do not restrict themselves to spending only a fifth of their means. (See Tanya — Iggeres HaTeshuvah, ch. 3.)
53.
Avos 4:4.
54.
In the original (Sotah 4a), ke’ilu kafar ba’ikar — lit., “as if he denied the basic principle [of the faith].”
55.
In the original, gasus haruach — lit., “coarseness of spirit.”
56.
In the original, asherah.
57.
Ibid. 5a.
58.
Reishis Chochmah, Shaar HaAnavah, sec. 2.
59.
Cf. Shabbos 105b; Zohar, Vol. I, p. 27; III, 179a; Rambam, Hilchos Deos 2:3. See the explanation of this teaching in Tanya — Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 25.
60.
Zohar, Vol. II, p. 182a.
61.
Shabbos 88b, which includes the following verse.
62.
The source for this paragraph is Yoma 22b-23a.
63.
In which a scholar should not silence someone who seeks on his behalf to defend the honor due to the Torah.
64.
I.e., rises above.
65.
Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvos, prohibitive commandments 304-305) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvos 241-242) count these prohibitions among the 613 mitzvos of the Torah.
66.
I.e., of the non-literal interpretation of the verse about to be quoted.
67.
A number of derushim urge one to cleave to G‑d, e.g., by means of cultivating a connection with Torah scholars or by swearing to observe particular commandments. Ramban holds that all these interpretations count as a single mitzvah.
68.
The phrase “and in His name shall you swear” appears twice (Devarim 6:13 and 10:20). The Gemara (in Temurah 3b) concludes that one of them allows a person to take an oath to observe a commandment and the other allows a defendant to swear in order to placate a plaintiff. The question arises: Which of these two subjects is learned from the latter verse (which is the source for the current law), namely, “You shall cleave to Him and in His name shall you swear”? Ramban holds that this verse relates to swearing to observe commandments. Hence, because of the context, he perceives that the mitzvah of cleaving to G‑d is fulfilled by taking such an oath. The author of Megillas Esther objects, arguing that a close reading of the above-quoted Gemara and of Rashi there proves that the commandment regarding such an oath is derived from the former verse, whereas the latter verse permits one to take an oath to placate a plaintiff.

Accordingly, the beginning of the latter verse (“you shall cleave to Him”) expresses quite a separate obligation — to attach oneself to G‑d, and this is fulfilled by cultivating a connection with Torah scholars, as the Alter Rebbe quotes at the beginning of the present subsection.
69.
Kesubbos 111b.
70.
Sifri to Devarim 10:20. See also the interpretation of this commandment in Tanya, ch. 2.
71.
Avos 1:4.
72.
I.e., invest the scholar’s money and manage the venture on his behalf (Rashi on Kesubbos, loc. cit.).
73.
Berachos 64a.
74.
I.e., the area of Torah scholarship that includes ethical teachings mainly based on the non-literal interpretation of Scriptural texts, and also includes instructive narratives. The Midrashim are collections of such passages. Many other passages, as well as some of the same ones, appear in the non-halachic parts of the Talmud, where this genre (and any particular instance of it) is called Aggadeta. Most of the passages of this kind that appear throughout the Talmud were collated by R. Yaakov ibn Chaviv in Ein Yaakov (Salonika, 1515).

Elsewhere, the Alter Rebbe warmly urged chassidim to maintain a widespread custom — that every weekday, between Minchah and Maariv, they should “study in groups of [at least] ten the innermost dimension of the Torah [in the original: pnimiyus haTorah], i.e., the Aggadah to be found in Ein Yaakov, for most of the secrets of the Torah are concealed in [the Aggadah].” (See Tanya — Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 23.)

Continuing this theme, in a comment on the above quotation from Sifri (“because by [studying the words of Aggadah] you will come to recognize Him Who spoke and [brought] the world into existence”), the Rebbe adds: “...for radiating and manifest within Aggadah (pnimiyus haTorah), is the hidden and innermost dimension of the Holy One, blessed be He.” (See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 10, p. 168.)
75.
That source states that “one who has studied laws but not Midrash has not tasted the fear of sin.”
77.
The Gemara in Yoma teaches that the manna was likened to the seed called gad (coriander), because its name recalls the Aggadah, whose teachings, like the appetizing food from Heaven, draw a person’s heart toward them.
78.
Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvos, positive commandment 206) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 243) consider this charge as one of the 613 mitzvos of the Torah.

Subsection 5-9 of the Alter Rebbe’s text are based largely on the rulings of Rambam in Hilchos Deos, ch. 6.
80.
Cf.: Avos 2:10, 2:12, 4:12; Shabbos 31a. Selected chassidic teachings on this subject have been anthologized in Kuntreis Ahavas Yisrael (Kehot, Melbourne Branch, 5737/1977).
81.
Talmud Yerushalmi, Chagigah 2:1; Bereishis Rabbah 1:5.
82.
Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvos, positive commandment 205) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 239) consider this charge as one of the 613 mitzvos of the Torah.
83.
The phrase in the original (Vayikra 19:17) is hocheiach tochiach, which is universally translated as “You shall surely rebuke.” Once, when shown a paper that was being written on this subject, the Rebbe took exception to this translation. The Rebbe suggested that preference should be given to a verb that indicates that the person offering admonishment is not addressing his listener’s faults, but his good intentions.

It this spirit, Rashi points out (on Bereishis 20:16, et al.) that the verb lehochiach sometimes means to clarify a subject and prove its truth. Thus the cognate noun vikuach means not only an argument in the sense of a dispute, but also an argument in the sense of a disputation in which one argues a case. In the present context, this could mean arguing the case with the offender in an endeavor to win him over to a recognition of his need to modify his lifestyle.

Sometimes, however, the verb lehochiach plainly refers to an argument that also serves to admonish. Yet even in such cases, the Sages teach that one should aim at — and anticipate — an amicable outcome. Thus we see that Avraham admonished Avimelech over the well that the king’s servants had stolen — “and soon thereafter we read, ‘The two of them made a covenant.’ From this we learn that admonishment brings about peace.” (Sifri on Devarim, ch. 1, referring to an episode in Bereishis 21:25-27.)
84.
The sequence of the commandments in this passage in Vayikra is worthy of note. The above-quoted verse (v. 17) states: “Do not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely admonish your fellow, but do not bear a sin because of him.” Verse 18 then states: “Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against the members of your people. Love your fellow as yourself.”

Each of the clauses in these two verses is halachically significant.

Verse 17 first prohibits hatred; it then directs that if negative feelings arise one should respond by admonition (subsection 6 above); and then it teaches that negative feelings must be expressed in a manner that does not embarrass one’s fellow (subsection 8). Thus, the verse can be freely paraphrased thus: “Do not bear hate in your heart. Instead, inform your fellow of your complaint, but do so in a manner that is not sinful.” (See the commentary of Ramban on this verse; see also the footnotes on subsection 8 below.) Following on from verse 17, verse 18 prohibits taking vengeance or bearing a grudge (subsection 3), and then obligates us to love our fellows (subsection 5).

This sequence implies that admonishing a friend serves to prevent one from seeking vengeance and enables shared feelings of love to continue.
85.
In the original, middas Chassidus.
86.
This obligation (in subsection 7: to admonish a friend who has strayed from the path) and the previous obligation (in subsection 6: to admonish a friend who has wronged one) are derived from the same verse and included in the same mitzvah by Rambam, Sefer HaChinuch, et al.

The connection between the two obligations can be explained as follows. In both instances, the admonishment is a means to avert hatred, whether it arises from a relationship between man and man (as in subsection 6) or between man and G‑d (as in subsection 7). True, there is an obligation to hate a sinner (Pesachim 113a). Nevertheless, as a preventive measure, the Torah offers us an alternative — admonishing him, which hopefully will cause him to amend his conduct and thus do away with the need for such hatred. (See Sefer Yere’im 195:2 and Sefer HaChinuch, sec. 239.)
87.
Shabbos 54b-55a; Shevuos 39a. The Alter Rebbe also discusses this obligation in sec. 608:4-6 of the present work; in Choshen Mishpat, Hilchos Onaah; in the study entitled Seder Hachnasas Shabbos in his Siddur; and in Tanya, ch. 32. His varying approaches in these sources are analyzed in the Miluim (Appendices) to Siddur Rabeinu Hazaken Im Tziyunim Mekoros V’Heoros, p. 699ff.
88.
Arachin 16b. This implication is perceptible only from the non-literal perspective of interpretation known as derush. From the perspective of pshat, which looks at the plain meaning of the words, the dual form is simply the Biblical style of placing emphasis: “You shall surely admonish your fellow.”
89.
I.e., he is sinning unknowingly and one knows that he will not accept the rebuke. Obviously, if he is sinning unknowingly and would modify his conduct if informed, it is a mitzvah to admonish him. See sec. 608:4.
90.
Beitzah 30a; Yevamos 49b. This principle is also applied in sec. 276:8, 17; 338:6; 339:2.
91.
In the original, shogeg.
92.
In the original, meizid; i.e., after having been informed and admonished.
93.
Yevamos 65b.
94.
In the original, beis din.
95.
Shabbos 54b. The rationale is that all Jews are responsible for one another, and by admonishing a transgressor one frees oneself of this liability (sec. 608:5 in the present work).
96.
E.g., the prohibition against performing forbidden labor after sunset on Friday evening, even though the status of that twilight time as Shabbos is not definitely established.
98.
The following modest sampling of the wealth of chassidic traditions on this subject is culled from the teachings of the Rebbe Rayatz (R. Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe):

(a) The Torah first commands, “Do not hate your brother in your heart, “ and only then commands, “You shall surely admonish your fellow.” Hence, fulfilling the first command is a precondition to fulfilling the second. (See the continuation of this teaching in HaYom Yom, entry for 26 Iyar, based on a letter of the Rebbe Rayatz in his Igros Kodesh (Kehot, N.Y., 5745/1985), Vol. 2, pp. 475-476. See also footnote 1584 above.)

(b) The same letter advises its zealous recipient that when relating to his fellow Jews, he should moderate his biting criticisms and keep them dispassionate — just as a physician, before embarking on any kind of surgical intervention, chills the spot to be treated in order to minimize the pain.

(c) The Rebbe Rayatz once sought to alert a similarly over-eager moralist to the counterproductive outcome of rebuke that misfires. Accordingly, in the days before disposable hypodermic needles were invented, he wrote that before a physician administers an injection, he takes great pains to disinfect the needle.

(d) The teachings of Chassidus demand that before reproving another, one must (so to speak) pare one’s fingernails, so that the listener’s feelings will not be scratched. (See the Kabbalistic underpinning of this teaching in HaYom Yom, entry for 22 Elul.)
99.
Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvos, prohibitive commandment 203) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 240) count the prohibition against embarrassing one’s fellowman as one of the 613 mitzvos of the Torah. See also Hilchos Onaah, subsection 30.
101.
Sifra to the above verse; Arachin 16b.
102.
See Hilchos Onaah, subsection 29.
103.
Lit., “causes his fellowman’s face to blanch [with shame].”
104.
Bava Metzia 59a; Avos 3:11.
105.
The limitation against admonishing in public.
106.
This wording implies that the transgressor should first be admonished privately. See Rambam, Hilchos Deos 6:8.
107.
As to transgressions between man and man: If the wronged party cannot fend for himself (as in the classic episode of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza related in Gittin 55b), one is obligated to intervene, in fulfillment of the command that “you shall not stand impassively by the blood of your fellowman” (Vayikra 19:16). The application of this principle to bodily harm is discussed in Choshen Mishpat, Nizkei Guf VeNefesh, sec. 7; and the returning of lost property is discussed in Choshen Mishpat, Hilchos Metziah U’Fikadon, sec. 33ff.
108.
The public violation of a sin is considered a desecration of G‑d’s name (chillul HaShem), and to refrain from responding when one witnesses such a desecration implies that one condones it. The delicate question of how this responsibility should be discharged in a desirable manner was discussed in a talk by the Rebbe on Asarah BeTeves, 5751 (1990). This talk was adapted in an English essay entitled “Every Jew Has a Silver Lining” that appears in a booklet entitled I Will Show You Wonders (Sichos In English, N.Y., 5763/2003). See the sources noted there.
109.
Bava Metzia 31a. The dual verb hocheiach tochiach teaches that though a peer should be admonished even if he does not take heed the first time, one’s mentor may be admonished once only. See Sefer Yere’im (sec. 195), as quoted in Hagahos Maimoniyos (sec. 4, on Rambam, Hilchos Deos 6:7) and Magen Avraham (sec. 156:2).
110.
In subsection 7.
111.
Rambam, in Hilchos Deos 6:10, the source for this ruling, spells out its rationale: “Their morale is low and their spirits are depressed.”
112.
Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvos, prohibitive commandment 256) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 65) consider this prohibition as one of the 613 mitzvos of the Torah.
114.
Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvos, prohibitive commandment 301) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 236) count this prohibition as one of the 613 mitzvos of the Torah.

Subsections 10-12 of the Alter Rebbe’s text condense the main points of Rambam, Hilchos Deos, ch. 7. The opening passage there speaks of evil and undesirable speech in general under the comprehensive heading of gossip (rechilus); the later laws particularize the various kinds and degrees of evil speech. So, too, in our text and in the other classical sources that it cites, the terms lashon hara and holech rachil are sometimes used in their specific meanings of slander and gossiping, respectively; sometimes they are used interchangeably; and sometimes they signify evil speech in broader terms, including (e.g.) remarks that are painful, defamatory, threatening, seemingly innocent, or ostensibly complimentary.
115.
In the picturesque original (Talmud Yerushalmi, Peah 1:1), the verb is toen — lit., “loads himself up with....”
116.
In his commentary to the above-quoted verse, Rashi notes that רכיל (“gossiper”) shares a root with the words meaning “spy” and “peddler,” for the gossiper walks about from one place to another, spying out bits of information and then peddling his wares. It also shares a root with the word meaning “foot,” for the letter chaf in רכיל and the letter gimmel in רגל (“foot”) are grammatically interchangeable. Hence, throughout the Tanach, as in our verse, a gossiper is described as הולך רכיל (“one who walks and gossips”).
117.
King David, fleeing from King Shaul, visited Achimelech at the priestly sanctuary of Nov, and received from him bread and a sword. Doeg, one of Shaul’s counselors, observed this and conveyed his information to Shaul, who thereupon ordered Achimelech and the other kohanim slain. Thus, although Doeg told the truth, his words led to manslaughter. (See I Shmuel, chs. 21-22.)
118.
In a gloss to Hilchos Deos 7:1.
119.
The sources cited relate to information that is confidential but not necessarily malicious. The sources in Sanhedrin, for example, speak of a judge who reveals which of his colleagues argued in favor of incriminating the accused.
120.
The context there in fact discusses lashon hara, signifying evil speech in general. See footnote 1614 above.
121.
S.v. lishna tlisai: “I.e., the tongue of a third party — the gossiper who is an intermediary, passing on a secret from one man to another.”
122.
Vayikra Rabbah 26:2: “Why is lashon hara (‘evil speech’) called a tripartite [i.e., three-forked] tongue? Because it kills three — the speaker who relays it, the listener who accepts it, and the person who is spoken of.” (See footnote 1614 above.)

Commenting on Arachin, loc. cit., Rabbeinu Gershom understands that — apart from the speaker and the listener — the other victim is the person who first invented the story. This interpretation is apparently the source for the Baal Shem Tov’s similar teaching. (See HaYom Yom, entry for 13 MarCheshvan; Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 5, p. 44, footnote 47, and Vol. 15, p. 32, footnote 28.)
123.
I.e., gives it credence.
124.
Shabbos 56a.
125.
In the original, lashon hara — lit., “the evil tongue.” (See footnote 1614 above.)
126.
See also Hilchos Onaah, sec. 28-29.
127.
Arachin 15b.
129.
In the original, motzi shem ra (cf. Devarim 22:19) — lit., “one who gives out a bad name.”
130.
The Gemara there states that defamation is also included in the prohibition against gossip. (See footnote 1614 above.)
131.
Arachin 16a; Bava Basra 39a.
132.
Who is the subject of the other person’s remarks.
133.
See the end of subsection 10.
134.
In the original, avak lashon hara — lit., “the [mere] dust of lashon hara.” (See Rashi on Sukkah 40b, s.v. DeRabbi Yosi bar Chanina.)
135.
Unlike explicit lashon hara, this rhetorical question does its damage by suggestive ambiguity.
136.
This sanctimonious disclaimer, unlike explicit lashon hara, does its damage by leaving the really interesting gossip to the listener’s imagination.
137.
Chafetz Chayim 1:8 states that even hinting at undesirable qualities is not considered merely as “a trace of lashon hara,” but as actual lashon hara. Nevertheless, in the above instances, since no details are given and the hints are vague, they are considered as merely “a trace of lashon hara.”
138.
Arachin, loc. cit.
139.
Despite the manner in which the Alter Rebbe introduces the following references (lit., “See also...”), they do not support the preceding law, but themselves constitute in effect an additional law. Its sensitive content apparently explains why its author chose to abbreviate it so drastically that it reads as if it were encoded.
140.
Peah 1:1.
141.
Sec. 8:24.
142.
On Adoniyahu’s assumption of the kingship (I Melachim 1:24ff.).
143.
I.e., praising a person’s wealth is undesirable because it invites thieves.
144.
Yoma 4b.
145.
As was done in the Beis HaMikdash when assigning the tasks involved in offering the daily sacrifices (Yoma 2:1).
146.
For that reason, the people making up a minyan are not counted by number, but by the words of a verse. Common practice is to count them by the ten words of the verse beginning Hoshiah es amecha... (Tehillim 28:9; see Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 15:3). This custom is discussed in depth in Shaarei Halachah U’Minhag, Vol. 1, p. 137.
147.
Yoma 22b.
148.
12:14.
149.
Doing so might cause him revulsion (Chagigah 5a).
150.
The phrase in the original (Yoma 19b) is sichas chullin — lit., “mundane talk.” The above definition of inconsequential discussion as “childish and frivolous talk” is borrowed from the commentary of Rashi (loc. cit.)
152.
See the volume in the present Bilingual Edition of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch entitled Hilchos Talmud Torah, sec. 3:5.
153.
In the original, zerizin makdimin lemitzvos (Rosh HaShanah 32b).
154.
Pesachim 4a. For a halachic definition of dawn, see sec. 58, note 7 above. This principle is applied with regard to holding circumcisions, the Redemption of the Firstborn, and various other mitzvos. Nevertheless, the observance of a mitzvah may be delayed to a certain extent if there are valid reasons for doing so. (See Shaarei Halachah U’Minhag, Vol. 3, p. 288ff.)
155.
Sotah 41a.
156.
Shabbos 32a; Hilchos Shemiras Guf VeNefesh, subsection 6.
157.
Shabbos 129a.
158.
Hilchos Onaah (subsections 9-10) discusses the use of coins that are underweight but are still acceptable as legal tender in financial transactions.
159.
Wine was used as a curative after bloodletting.
160.
86cc, according to Shiurei Torah. This deception was permitted because the patient’s health was at stake.
161.
Since the two quotations, which are consecutive verses in Mishlei, appear to be contradictory, the Gemara (Shabbos 30b) applies them to two different frames of reference. With regard to words of Torah, a fool who mocks its teachings should be put in his place, lest he continue to do so. With regard to worldly matters, it is wiser not to respond.
Sources
א.
לכללות ס"א וס"ב ראה "הלכות ת"ת משו"ע אדה"ז עם הערות וציונים" (קה"ת תשנ"ח).
ב.
רמז תתעח. הובא גם בהל' ת"ת פ"ג ס"ה. ושל"ה מס' שבועות (ענינים מת"ת בתחלתו).
ג.
לעיל סי' קנה ס"א.
ד.
מ"א סוף סי' זה, מפירש"י בשבת דף לא, א ד"ה קבעת.
ה.
ראה גם הל' ת"ת פ"ג ס"ה־ו. לקמן סט"ז.
ו.
וראה שם צט, א. הובא בהל' ת"ת פ"ג ה"ו. תניא פ"א.
ז.
שעה שאינה לא מן היום ולא מן הלילה ולמוד בה חכמת יונית. הובא גם בהל' ת"ת פ"ג ה"ו.
ח.
אות ב: סופרים ומשנים שהם הוגים ומשנים ומשמרים את התורה ביום ובלילה. ושם אות כג מובא מארז"ל דלקמן.
ט.
פי"ב, ח.
י.
אינה בטילה לא ביום ולא בלילה כך דברי תורה נאמר בה והגית בה יומם ולילה. וראה גם בהמצויין בהעו"צ 6/א.
יא.
רפ"ו דברכות דל"ה ע"ב. טור ושו"ע ס"א. וראה גם הל' ת"ת פ"ג ס"ב. קו"א שם סוף ס"ק א. לקו"ש חכ"ה ע' 305.
יב.
מ"א ס"ק א.
יג.
פ"ב דאבות מ"ב. טור ושו"ע ס"א. ועי' בהגהות מיימוניות פ"ג מהל' ת"ת ס"ק ב בשם רבינו אלחנן.
יד.
רפ"ד דעירובין דף מא ע"ב. טור ושו"ע ס"א.
טו.
ראה לקמן סי' שדמ ס"א.
טז.
רמב"ם פ"ג מהל' ת"ת ה"ט. רמ"א יו"ד סי' רמו סכ"א. וראה גם הל' ת"ת פ"ג ה"ג.
יז.
רמב"ם פ"ג מהל' דיעות הל' ב־ג. טור ושו"ע סי' רלא. וראה אגה"ק סי' ט.
יח.
הלכה ז: וכל מעשיך יהיו לשם שמים לשם תורה שנאמר בכל דרכיך דעהו גו'. וראה לקו"ש ח"ג ע' 907. ח"כ ע' 552. חכ"ה ע' 135. חל"א ע' 20.
יט.
פ"ק דקידושין דף כט ע"א ודף ל ע"ב. וראה גם לקמן סי' שו סי"ג. וראה המצויין בהעו"צ 8/א.
כ.
ריא"ז בשלטי גבורים שם. וראה רש"י שם ל, ב ד"ה עיסקא. העו"צ 11/א.
כא.
עי' רש"י שם כט, א ד"ה כאילו.
כב.
טור ושו"ע.
כג.
קדושים יט, לו.
כד.
ב"מ פרק הזהב דף מט ע"א. טור ושו"ע חו"מ סי' רד ס"ז־ח. סמ"ע שם ס"ק יב. ועי' הל' מכירה ומתנה ס"א־ב שלומד זאת מפסוק שארית ישראל וגו', ולא הוי מן התורה, ופסוק שלפנינו מפרש כאביי שם. וראה יגדי"ת (נ.י.) חוב' סח ע' לז.
כה.
רש"י שם ד"ה אלא.
כו.
אינו מחייב עצמו בדברי מקח וממכר במקום שלא חייבה אותו תורה כדי שיעמוד בדבורו ולא ישנהו.
כז.
דפוס אמשטרדם תנ"ח, ומפרש שהוא מן התורה.
כח.
סנהדרין פרק חלק דף צב ע"א.
כט.
סוף פ"ה דב"ב דף פח ע"א ועי' שם בהגהות אשר"י סי' כא. וכ"ה בהל' מכירה ומתנה ה"א.
ל.
שאז אפילו רק גמר בלבו צריך לקיים. עי' ביו"ד סוף סי' רנח ובמ"א או"ח סי' תקס"ב סו ס"ק יא. וכ"ה בהל' מכירה ומתנה ה"א (ושם: סרך מצוה). וראה גם שם ס"ד וש"נ. קו"א שם ס"ק א.
לא.
אפילו מוצא שפתיו (הל' מכירה ומתנה ס"א).
לב.
מ"א ס"ק א, בשם ס' חסידים סי' תכו.
לג.
פי"ט, כז. וראה גם ויק"ר פ"ט, ט.
לד.
תהלים לד, טו.
לה.
יבמות סה, ב.
לו.
בסוגיא (כג, ב) תלת מילי עבידי רבנן דמשנו במילייהו.
לז.
והוא יישר ארחותיך אמר רבא אפילו לדבר עבירה (בכל דרכיך אפילו לעבור עבירה דעהו, תן לב אם צורך מצוה הוא – רש"י).
לח.
ס"ק ב.
לט.
אשל אברהם ס"ק ב ד"ה ומ"ש דמותר לשנות.
מ.
טור ושו"ע.
מא.
פ"ק דנדרים דף ז ע"ב. ועי' ברמב"ם פ"ו מהל' ת"ת הל' יד. ובשו"ע יו"ד סי' שלד סעיף מג. ושם סעיף לז.
מב.
נד, א. וראה גם לקמן סי' קפח סי"ב. רטו ס"ג. ועי' סדר ברה"נ פי"ג ה"ד.
מג.
ראה גם הל' הלואה סכ"ח.
מד.
תנחומא ומדרש רבה ריש מטות (כב, א). טור ושו"ע.
מה.
רמב"ם בס' המצות מצוה ח. ובפ"א מהל' דעות ה"ה. מהגמ' ספ"ק דסוטה דף יד ע"א.
מו.
ספרי עקב פיסקא מט. הובא בילקוט ס"פ עקב רמז תתעג. רמב"ם שם ה"ו. וראה גם שבת קלג, ב.
מז.
עי' במשנה רפ"ד דאבות. ובאבות דרבי נתן פכ"ג ה"א. ובמסכת שבת פרק במה מדליקין דף לא, א. ובראשית חכמה שער הענוה פ"א.
מח.
עי' ילקוט שם. רמב"ם שם.
מט.
ראה לקו"ש חל"ד ע' 157.
נ.
הרמב"ם שם ה"ז. ובשמונה פרקים פ"ד.
נא.
רמב"ם הל' ערכין וחרמין פ"ח הי"ב. וראה גם לעיל סי' קנה ס"ב.
נב.
סוף פ"ד דסוכה דף מט ע"ב. ועי' בפרק איזהו נשך דף עא א.
נג.
תשא לד, ו.
נד.
ד"ה כל מזונותיו של אדם: ויש לו ליזהר מלעשות יציאה מרובה, שלא יוסיפו לו שכר למזונות אלא מה שפסקו לו. וראה גם הל' ת"ת פ"א ה"ז.
נה.
למדה תורה דרך ארץ שלא יאכל אדם בשר אלא בהזמנה הזאת (כלומר לא יאכל בשר תדיר שלא יעני).
נו.
רמב"ם הל' דעות פ"א ה"ד. פ"ה הי"ב. הל' ערכין וחרמין פ"ח הי"ג. רמ"א יו"ד סי' רמט ס"א.
נז.
עי' אגה"ת ספ"ג. אגה"ק סי' י. לקו"ש חכ"ז ע' 217 ואילך.
נח.
עי' לעיל סי' קנה סוף ס"א וש"נ.
נט.
אבות פ"ד מ"ד.
ס.
פ"ק דסוטה דף ד ע"ב.
סא.
סוטה ה, א. ועי' פ"ה דברכות דף לב ע"א. ובילקוט פ' עקב רמז תתסה. ובפר' האזינו רמז תתקמה. מספרי האזינו פיסקא שיח.
סב.
רמב"ם פ"ב מהל' דעות ה"ג.
סג.
ראשית חכמה שער הענווה פ"ב. וראה אגה"ק סכ"ח (קלח, ב). תניא פ"א.
סד.
ראה לקו"ש חכ"ב ע' 162. אג"ק ח"א ע' רעח וע' שב.
סה.
רמב"ם שם. וראה לקמן הל' ת"ת פ"ד הי"ט. חו"מ הל' שמירת גו"נ סי"ד. תניא אגה"ק שם (קמא, א). לקו"ש חכ"ו ע' 57 הע' 64. ליקוט פירושים וכו' לאגה"ת ע' קנא בהערה. שלחן המלך ח"ג ע' ער.
סו.
בשבת פרק האורג דף קה ע"ב. רמב"ם שם.
סז.
זהר ח"ב פר' תצוה דף קפב. ועי' בשל"ה שער האותיות אות הרי"ש רצון.
סח.
רמב"ם שם.
סט.
פ"ט דשבת דף פח ע"ב.
ע.
פ"ב דיומא דף כג ע"א.
עא.
רש"י שם ד"ה דנקיט.
עב.
גמרא שם דף כב סע"ב. וראה רמב"ם הל' ת"ת פ"ז הי"ג.
עג.
גמרא שם דף כג ע"א. וראה גם לקמן סי' תרו ס"ד.
עד.
גמרא שם. עי' הל' עוברי דרכים וצער בע"ח ס"י.
עה.
רמב"ם הל' דעות פ"ז ה"ז־ח.
עו.
יט, יח.
עז.
ראה הר המלך ח"ג ע' רח.
עח.
שגורס כהרמב"ם, אלא שמפרש דמיירי ברשות. ועי' לב שמח שם ד"ה עין.
עט.
רמב"ם סוף הל' דעות פ"ו ה"ב. וראה גם תניא פ"ב.
פ.
ראה לקמן סוף הסעיף.
פא.
רמב"ם שם. ס' המצות עשין ו.
פב.
פרק בתרא דכתובות דף קיא ע"ב.
.
ספרי עקב פיסקא מט.
פג.
משנה פ"ק דאבות מ"ד.
פד.
גמרא כתובות שם.
פה.
רמב"ם פ"ו מהל' דעות ה"ב.
פו.
ברכות דף סד, א.
פז.
עקב פיסקא מט. ס' החנוך פ' עקב סי' תלד. הרמב"ן בס' המצות סי' ז. וראה גם הל' ת"ת פ"ב ה"ב וה"ט.
פח.
ה"ז: כל מי שיש בידו הלכות ואין בידו מדרש לא טעם טעם של יראת חטא. וראה גם לקו"ת צו ה, ד.
פט.
בשלח פרשת ויסע פ"ו ב. וראה גם ספרי האזינו פיסקא שיז. שבת פז, א. חגיגה יד, א. וראה גם לקמן סי' רצ ס"ג.
צ.
רמב"ם בס' המצות מ"ע סי' רו. פ"ו מהל' דעות ה"ג. ספר החנוך פ' קדושים סי' רמג. גמרא שבת פרק במה מדליקין דף לא ע"א. מדרש רבה פ' בראשית ס"פ כד. וראה גם תניא פל"ב. לקו"ש חי"ז ע' 217.
צא.
קדושים יט, יח.
צב.
פ"ב דאבות משנה י' וי"ב. ופ"ד משנה יב. וראה לקו"ש חכ"ז ע' 161. וראה שלחן המלך ח"א ע' קמב.
צג.
רמב"ם שם. ירושלמי פ"ב דחגיגה ה"א. מד"ר ר"פ בראשית (פ"א, ה).
צד.
ערכין טז, ב. רמב"ם הל' דעות פ"ו ה"ו. ועי' לעיל בהגהות מיימוניות שם רפ"ו ובס' החנוך סוס"י רלח. ועי' בשו"ע חו"מ סי' ערב סי"א. ועי' עוד בהרמב"ם פ"ו מהל' דעות ה"ה.
צה.
קדושים יט, יז.
צו.
רמב"ם שם ה"ט.
צז.
רמב"ם פ"ו מהל' דעות ה"ז. סמ"ג עשין יא.
צח.
קדושים יט, יז.
צט.
גמרא פ"ה דשבת דף נד סע"ב ודף נה ע"א. רפ"ו דשבועות דף לט סע"א. הביאו בהגהות מיימוניות שם אות ג.
ק.
גמרא ס"פ יש בערכין דף טז ע"ב. תורת כהנים קדושים פ"ד ה"ח. הובא בס' החנוך פר' קדושים סי' רלט. וראה רמב"ם ס' המצות מ"ע רה. ועי' גמ' פ' אלו מציאות דף לא סוף ע"א. ובשיטה מקובצת שם.
קא.
רמב"ם שם ה"ז, מהש"ס דערכין שם, כרב. הגהות מיימוניות אות ה. והתנחומא תזריע ט המובא בהג"מ שם.
קב.
נמוקי יוסף יבמות סה, ב כשמואל בערכין שם. רמ"א סי' תרח סוף ס"ב. ועי' פר"ח שם ס"ק ב. ולקמן סי' תרח ס"ה־ו פסק עד נזיפה כר' יוחנן בערכין שם (כמ"א שם ס"ק ג). וראה העו"ב תשכט ע' 54. תשל ע' 57. 61. תשלז ע' 64. תשדמ ע' 80 תשמה ע' 18. תשמו ע' 99. 101. תשמח ע' 75. תשמט ע' 53. תשנב ע' 50.
קג.
מ"א סי' תר"ח ס"ק ג בשם ס' חסידים סי' תיג. ולקמן סי' תרח ס"ה לא חילק בזה.
קד.
עי' תוס' ס"פ חזקת הבתים דף ס סע"ב ד"ה מוטב. ובפרק במה בהמה דף נה ע"א ד"ה ואע"ג. ע"ז ד, א ד"ה שהיה.
קה.
מ"א כאן סי' קנו בשם הגהות מיימוניות ס"ק ד, בשם היראים סי' קצה וסי' רכג. וסי' תרח ריש ס"ק ג, בשם סמ"ק סי' קיב.
קו.
פ"ד דביצה דף ל ע"א. ועי' ר"ן שם. ומרדכי שם סי' תרפט. יבמות ס"פ החולץ דף מט ע"ב.
קז.
נמוקי יוסף ס"פ הבא על יבמתו. רמ"א סי' תרח ס"ב. ולקמן סי' תרח ס"ה אינו מחלק בין יחיד לרבים כ"א בין מוכיחו ביחיד למוכיחו ברבים (כמשמעות הרמ"א שם).
קח.
יבמות ס"פ הבא על יבמתו דף סה ע"ב.
קט.
פ"ד דביצה שם. וראה גם לקמן סי' רעו ס"ח וסי"ז. סי' שלח ס"ו. סי' שלט ס"ב. סי' תרח ס"ד. סדר הכנסת שבת.
קי.
שבת פרק במה בהמה דף נד סע"ב. רש"י שם ד"ה בכל.
קיא.
מ"א שם ס"ק ב בשם ים של שלמה פ"ד דביצה סי' ב. וראה סדר הכנסת שבת, שמביא ב' שיטות בזה, ומסיים: וכן עיקר להחמיר בשל תורה [אפילו בספיקו].
קיב.
הרא"ש פ"ד דביצה. אות ב בשם העיטור הל' יו"ט סי"ג. ר"ן ביצה שם. רמ"א סי' תרח ס"ב. ולקמן סי' תרח ס"ד לא חילק בזה בין יחיד לב"ד. וראה גם סדר הכנסת שבת.
קיג.
של"ה בהקדמה. ראה מרדכי ביצה סי' תרפט. תשו' ריב"ש סי' עה.
קיד.
רמב"ם הל' שביתת עשור פ"א ה"ז.
קטו.
ביצה ל, א.
קטז.
ע"פ ישעי' נד, ט.
קיז.
רמב"ם הל' דעות פ"ו ה"ז. וראה גם הל' אונאה ה"ל. ומציין שם לרעיא מהימנא ח"ג קדושים פה, ב.
קיח.
רמב"ם שם ה"ח. ובס' המצות לאוין סי' שג. סמ"ג לאוין ו.
קיט.
קדושים יט, יז.
קכ.
תורת כהנים קדושים פ"ד ה"ח. פ"ג דערכין דף טז, ב.
קכא.
ד"ה ופניו.
קכב.
רמב"ם שם.
קכג.
בהזהב דף נח סע"ב ודף נט סע"ב.
קכד.
שם. ובמשנה פ"ג דאבות מי"א.
קכה.
רמב"ם וסמ"ג שם. וראה גם לקמן סי' תרח ס"ה. הל' אונאה ס"ל.
קכו.
סמ"ק סי' קיב. רש"ל. מ"א סי' תרח ס"ק ב. וראה גם לקמן שם ס"ה.
קכז.
רמב"ם הל' ת"ת פ"ה ה"ט. שו"ע יו"ד סי' רמב סכ"ב.
קכח.
ב"מ לא, א. יראים סי' קצה. הגהות מיימוניות הל' דיעות פ"ו ה"ז אות ד. מ"א סי' קנו ס"ק ב.
קכט.
בסעיף ז.
קל.
רמב"ם שם הל' י. ובס' המצות לאוין סי' רנו. והרמב"ן שם. סמ"ג לאוין סי' ח.
קלא.
משפטים כב, כא.
קלב.
ראה גם הל' נזקי גו"נ ס"ד.
קלג.
מדרש הגדול על הפסוק. רמב"ם וסמ"ג שם.
קלד.
רמב"ם שם רפ"ז. סמ"ג לאוין ט.
קלה.
רמב"ם שם ה"ב.
קלו.
כסף משנה שם.
קלז.
שמואל א כב, ט ואילך.
קלח.
זה לשון הרכיל שהיא שלישית בין אדם לבירו לגלות לו סוד.
קלט.
סי' ב: ולמה קורא שלישי שהוא הורג שלשה האומרו והמקבלו והנאמר עליו.
קמ.
שבת נו, א. יראים סי' קצב. סמ"ג שם. הגהות מיימוניות שם אות ד.
קמא.
ראה גם הל' אונאה סכ"ח־ט.
קמב.
ערכין דף טו סע"ב. הגהות מיימוניות ס"ק א.
קמג.
רמב"ם שם.
קמד.
שגם מוציא שם רע עובר על לא תלך רכיל.
קמה.
רמב"ם שם הלכה ה.
קמו.
ערכין שם טז, א. ובפרק חזקת הבתים דף לט סע"א. והביאם הרי"ף פרק במה מדליקין (יד, א). הרמב"ם שם.
קמז.
רמב"ם שם.
קמח.
סמ"ג שם. הגהות מיימוניות אות ז.
קמט.
עי' תוס' בערכין שם ד"ה כל מילתא.
קנ.
ועי' תוס' פרק חזקת הבתים דף לט ע"ב ד"ה לית בי' יש לפרשו ג"כ כהתוס' דערכין. וראה העו"ב תקצו־ז ע' 37. תרנח ע' 14.
קנא.
רמב"ם שם ה"ד.
קנב.
ערכין שם דף טז ע"א.
קנג.
רמב"ם שם.
קנד.
רמב"ם בפי' המשנה ספ"ק דאבות סד"ה החלק הה' דבכה"ג מיירי בב"ב דף קסד סע"ב.
קנה.
סמ"ג. הגהות מיימוניות ס"ק ה. וראה לקו"ש חכ"ז ע' 161.
קנו.
רשב"ם בב"ב שם.
קנז.
פאה פ"א ה"א.
קנח.
לומר לה"ר על בעלי המחלוקת.
קנט.
סי' ח אות כד: ודוקא למלך כשר כמו נתן לדוד.
קס.
מסור או הרגיל להכות הבריות.
קסא.
המכה את חבירו.
קסב.
ערכין פ"ג דף טז ע"א כפי' הב' ברש"י שם ד"ה ושמעין. ראשית חכמה פרק דרך ארץ שער ג. מ"א ד"ה אורח.
קסג.
ה"ג, כשמספר שהוא עשיר גורם שלסטים יאנסוהו, כפי' הא' ברש"י דלעיל.
קסד.
יומא דף ד ע"ב. סמ"ג לאוין ט. הגהות מיימוניות סוף הל' דעות. מ"א ד"ה פרק קמא.
קסה.
פ"ב דיומא דף כב ע"ב. רמב"ם פ"ד מהל' תמידין ה"ד. מ"א ד"ה אסור למנות. רש"י בשמואל א סי' טו ד.
קסו.
קהלת יב, יד.
קסז.
חגיגה דף ה סע"א.
קסח.
ספ"ק דיומא דף יט ע"ב.
קסט.
רש"י שם. וראה גם סוכה כח, א ד"ה שיחת חולין.
קע.
ואתחנן ו, ז.
קעא.
ראה גם הל' ת"ת פ"ג ס"ה. לקו"ש ח"ז ע' 268. חי"ח ע' 405 הע' 50. אג"ק חי"ג ע' תנב.
קעב.
עיין רמב"ם ספ"ק דאבות בענין הדבור בד"ה החלק הג' ובד"ה החלק הה'.
קעג.
פ"ק דפסחים דף ד ע"א. ובפרש"י שם ד"ה נבדוק. מ"א ד"ה זריזין. ועי' לעיל רס"י א.
קעד.
סוטה מא, ב. מ"א ד"ה סוטה.
קעה.
תוס' שם ד"ה כל המחניף. וראה גם מנורת המאור כלל ג פ"ב.
קעו.
ובס' יראים השלם סי' רמח.
קעז.
פרק במה מדליקין דף לב ע"א. ועי' הל' שמירת גו"נ ה"ו.
קעח.
שבת קכט, א.
קעט.
מ"א ד"ה שבת.
קפ.
פ"ב דשבת דף ל ע"ב. תנא דבי אליהו ס"פ יד.
קפא.
פסוקים ד־ה.
Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger and Uri Kaploun.
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