Monday, October 25, 2010


Over the past couple of weeks I have come in contact with, via the internet, painful and deeply disturbing gossip about an organization and people that I care deeply about. In Judaism gossip is referred to as lashon hara, and is considered to be a major offense. I confess, there have been times when I have gladly and eagerly partaken in tearing down another person through malicious gossip, afterwards feeling my heart and mind stained by the power and sheer ugliness of the harmful words that I have spoken. Not only do I feel dirty after having spoken lashon hara, I feel the same way after listening to it or reading it. Having witnessed the ways in which gossip has ravaged and divided a once loving community that I was and still am a part of, I feel that I must make a concerted effort to clean up my own mind and speech. It really is true that gossip reveals more about the inner state of the one speaking it then about the person or group being attacked.


  1. I love that your response to the ugliness of gossip is to make a concerted effort to clean up your own mind and speech. I will remember that and share it with others when I hear how they are feeling oppressed by gossip. I know that many people who posted hateful statements online deeply regret it because these statements never go away. It is like posting a nude photo of yourself that takes on a life of its own in the internet world. One way of cleaning up the mind is to see the gossiper with some generosity and to know that their gossip does not represent their highest understanding.

    Joe Jenkins

  2. Joe, thanks for your beautiful response. I hope other people read your comment, because it holds a great deal of wisdom for all of us to gain from. I have to say, that I find it comforting to know that the people that made the hateful statements online feel a sense of regret. It sickens me to think of us being divided, and yet I also realize that my perception of division is my own limited understanding, and that there is more going on here than meets the eye.