Introduction to the Laws of the Prohibition of Lashon Hara and Rechilut
Part One, The Prohibition Against Lashon Hara
Part Two, The Prohibition Against Rechilut
IllustrationsResponsa of the Chavot YairResponsa of the MaharikResponsa of the Maharik Siman 129Aliyot d'Rabeinu Yonah, from the Shitah Mekubetzet
About This Text
The Chafetz Chaim (“Desirer of Life,” a reference to Psalms 34:19) is the first legal work that comprehensively organizes the laws of proper speech, authored in the 20th century by Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaKohen Kagan (who later became known as the Chafetz Chaim). It draws on sources from the Torah, Talmud, and early commentators to address the details of lashon hara (evil speech) and rechilut (gossip), and is considered the authoritative work on these subjects. The text consists of two parts: Mekor Chaim (Source of Life), the legal text, and Be’er Mayim Chaim (Well of Living Water), footnotes containing elaborations and legal arguments. It is commonly printed together with Shemirat HaLashon (Guarding of the Tongue), an ethical treatise on proper speech.
Author: Israel Meir Kagan
Composed: Raduń, 1873 CE