In Parshas Tazria, we are introduced to the prohibition of Lashon HaRa (Evil Speech) along with many of its details. What exactly is the nature of lashon ha’ra? There is a common misconception that lashon ha’ra refers only to sharing false information about another person. People claim that if something is true, however, there is nothing wrong with sharing it. You’ll therefore often hear people say: “But it’s true,” as if this is a good defense, exonerating themselves from any possible wrongdoing. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a separate prohibition of lying. The Torah prohibition of lashon ha’ra refers specifically to sharing true information about someone in order to harm him. In order to understand the prohibition against lashon ha’ra, we must clarify why we may not say something hurtful about another person, even if it is true.

“Yisro, the minister of Midian, the father-in-law of Moshe, heard all that G-d did to Moshe and to Yisrael, His people – that Hashem took Yisrael out of Egypt.”

And Hashem said to Avram, “Go for yourself from your land, from your birth place, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

B’reishis 12:1

“You shall count for yourselves – from the morrow of the rest day (Pesach), from the day when you bring the omer (a measure of volume) of the waving – seven weeks, they shall be complete. Until the morrow of the seventh week you shall count, fifty days…” (Leviticus 23:15-16)