OUTLINES OF HALACHOS FROM THE DAF
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
1) LASHON HA'RA SAID IN FRONT OF THREE PEOPLE
1. (R. Chiya bar Aba): Macha'ah must be in front of
2. (R. Avahu): Macha'ah must be in front of three.
3. Suggestion: R. Chiya bar Aba and R. Avahu argue
about Rabah bar Rav Huna's law;
i. (Rabah bar Rav Huna): Lashon ha'Ra does not
apply to anything said in front of three
4. Rejection: No, all agree with Rabah. R. Avahu allows
Macha'ah not in front of the Machazik. Three are
needed to spread the word everywhere. R. Chiya
require Macha'ah to be in front of the Machazik.
Surely the Machazik will hear, so it suffices to
ii. R. Chiya bar Aba says that two suffice for
Macha'ah, for he argues with Rabah. R. Avahu
holds like Rabah, therefore, he requires three.
5. Erchin 15b (Rabah): It is Lashon ha'Ra to say "there
is fire in Ploni's house." (This implies that they
are gluttonous, and are always cooking.)
6. Objection (Abaye): One may tell people where to find
fire! To say offensively 'where will you find fire,
if not in Ploni's house?!' is Lashon ha'Ra.
7. .(Rabah): Anything said in front of the party
discussed is not Lashon ha'Ra. This is like R. Yosi;
i. (R. Yosi): I never said something and turned
around to see if the one I spoke about was
8. (Rabah bar Rav Huna): Lashon ha'Ra does not apply to
anything said in front of three people.
9. This is because your friend has a friend, and he has
10. Sanhedrin 31a: Once, a matter was said in the Beis
Medrash, and it became known that a certain Talmid
revealed it 22 years later. R. Ami expelled him from
the Beis Medrash, and announced 'this person reveals
1. The Rif (Shabbos 14a) brings the Gemara in Erchin.
i. Ran (DH Leis): One who repeats it does not
transgress, for the teller showed that he does
not care if Ploni finds out, for in the end it
will be revealed.
2. Rambam (Hilchos De'os 7:5): One may not speak Lashon
ha'Ra about Ploni in front of him or in his absence.
Lashon ha'Ra is saying things that, if they are
heard through gossip, can cause bodily or monetary
harm or anguish or fear. If they were said in front
of three, it is already known, and if one of the
three retells it, it is not Lashon ha'Ra, provided
that he did not intend to reveal it more.
i. Kesef Mishneh: The Heter is only if he happened
to mention the matter. He may not intend to
spread it. The Rambam did not need to say that
if the one who said it told the listeners not
to reveal it that they may not do so, for we
cannot say that word will spread.
3. She'altos (Va'Yeshev 28, b'Sof): Normally, one needs
permission to repeat anything he was told. Rabah bar
Rav Huna teaches that if it was told in front of
three, this is like permission.
ii. Hagahos Maimoniyos (7): We learn from Sanhedrin
that if the teller said not to reveal a matter,
one may not reveal it even if was said in front
iii. Question: Perhaps R. Ami expelled the Talmid
because the Talmid intended to spread the word!
iv. Answer (Maharshal on Semag, Sof Lav 9): The
Gemara says 'he revealed'. This does not
connote intent to spread the matter.
v. Chafetz Chayim (Hilchos Lashon ha'Ra, Be'er
Mayim Chayim 2:3): Perhaps the Rambam learns
the Isur to intend to spread the matter from
this case. Alternatively, he learns from the
Yerushalmi. It proves that one may speak Lashon
ha'Ra about those who make controversy.from
Noson's directions to Bas Sheva to tell David
about Adoniyahu. Even though it was famous and
David was sure to find out, it would have been
forbidden to intend to spread the word, if not
for the Heter to speak about those who make
i. Ha'Emek She'elah: Rashi (Erchin Reish 16a)
4. Tosfos (Erchin 15b DH Kol): Rabah bar Rav Huna
refers to statements like 'where will you find
fire...,' which can be said in a positive or
negative way. Derogatory remarks are Lashon ha'Ra
even in front of three.
i. Magen Avraham (156:2): This is because what is
said in front of three is as if it was said in
front of Ploni. (Surely, he says it in a
positive way, for Ploni will find out.)
5. Hagahos Ashri (3:30): If one talks about Ploni in
front of three, Lashon ha'Ra does not apply, for
presumably he is not concerned if Ploni hears. One
who hears may tell Ploni.
6. Rashbam (39b DH u'Man): My Rebbeyim say that
Macha'ah is Lashon ha'Ra, to say that Ploni is
stealing the land. This is why (in the Hava Amina)
Rabah requires it to be in front of three, to permit
telling others. This is wrong. Macha'ah is meant to
reach the Machazik, so he will be careful with his
document! It is a Mitzvah to tell others!
7. Tosfos (39b DH Leis (1)): We say that a loan without
a document does not become known even if it was in
front of many witnesses. This is because people
borrow covertly. Also, the witnesses do not know who
will buy from the borrower and needs to know about
the loan. People know that the Machazik must hear
about the Macha'ah.
8. Tosfos (39b DH Leis (2)): Something said in front of
three is not Lashon ha'Ra for the one who said it,
like it says in Erchin.
1. Magen Avraham (156:2): If something derogatory was
said in front of three, it is already known, and if
one of the three tells it again, Lashon ha'Ra does
not apply. This is if he does not intend to spread
2. Chafetz Chayim (2:3): Some say that if Reuven spoke
detriment about Shimon in front of three people,
even though he surely transgressed Lashon ha'Ra, if
one of the three who heard later tells others, he
did not transgress, for surely the matter will
become known, for your friend has a friend... and
the Torah did not forbid something destined to be
revealed. If he intends to spread it, even if he
does not say from whom he heard it, just that he
heard so about Shimon, he transgresses Lashon ha'Ra.
3. Chafetz Chayim (4): The Heter when he does not
intend to spread it is only for those who heard it
firsthand in front of three, but not for one
(Yehudah) who heard from Levi, who heard from Reuven
in front of three, even if he does not mention
Reuven or Levi, It is permitted only if it is
already know to everyone. This is not only if
Yehudah does not know whether Reuven really said so,
in which case he may not believe Levi that Reuven
transgressed Lashon ha'Ra. Rather, even if he knows
that Reuven spoke bad about Shimon, but he does not
know whether it was in front of three, and Levi says
that it was, Yehudah may not rely on Levi. Perhaps
it was not said in front of three, and it is not
prone to become known. Therefore, Yehudah may not
4. Chafetz Chaim (5): If a matter was told to three
people who fear Hash-m and are careful about Lashon
ha'Ra, the matter is not prone to be revealed, so
one may not repeat it. The same applies if even one
of them fears Hash-m, for then there are not three
who will publicize it.
5. Chafetz Chayim (6): It seems that this Heter is only
in the city in which iit was heard in front of
three, but not in another city, even if caravans are
frequent between them.
6. Chafetz Chaim (7): If Reuven told the listeners not
to repeat the matter, even if it was told to many,
Lashon ha'Ra applies even if one just happens to
reveal it. This is even if he sees that one or two
of the listeners did not obey and repeated it.
7. Chafetz Chayim (9,10): Surely, one may not retell
more than he heard or embellish the matter, for this
debases Shimon more than the initial story, and it
shows that he accepted that the matter is true. All
agree that one may not do so (he may only be
concerned lest it is true). One may never tell bad
things to one who will accept that it is true, and
possibly retell it and add things, due to Lifnei
Iver. One must stay far from this leniency, for it
hardly ever applies, and also it requires
investigation if the Halachah follows this opinion,
for many Poskim hold that it has no source in the
REVEALING SECRETS (Yoma 4)
Index to Halachah Outlines for Maseches Bava Basra