Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Did you ever feel that the concept of Lashon Hara was used to Silence Survivors of Sexual Violence?

Lashon hara: Derogatory speech that is true.

Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of they neighbor (Leviticus 19:16)


I always wondered how many times sex offenders got away with victimizing adults and children, because survivors were told it was lashon hara to discuss?

I know things are starting to change, but without survivors speaking out and saying -- this happened to me, and saying letting the world know how they were silenced nothing will every really change.

I'm hoping those who have been sexually violated will speak out. This blog is just one option for you to do that.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really don't understand the "concept of Lashon Hara". Is this just an orthodox thing?

I looked it up on the web, and it seems that the idea is a good one, if it's not carried out to far.

I've found a lot of healing by speaking my mind. Sharing my thoughts and feelings. I know some times things I say maybe hurtful to someone. But at least I'm being honest about my feelings. I like direct communications. Being open and honest, with myself and with others.

This Lashon Hara thing confuses me. Maybe I'm misunderstanding it, but it doesn't sound like it promotes good mental health.

March 02, 2005 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my experience, the shouts of "Lashon Hara" were the perfect clubs to try and silence and discredit the truth.

Would someone kindly explain to me why Lashon Hara, in Jewish law, would be held in higher regard than the truth?

March 02, 2005 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Yosef Blau said...

Avoiding speaking Lashon Hara is a basic halakhic principle. It is balanced by other principles such as the second half of the biblical verse. Tragically, abusers and their supporters routinely throw out accusations of lashon hara to cover up and to intimidate victims. Protecting life, which includes mental health, especially one's own life has priority.
Truth is clearly important but it is also not an absolute. Trying to hurt someone, which can be done verbally, is not permitted even when the information is true. Telling the truth to protect potential victims from abuse is the right thing to do.
(Rabbi) Yosef Blau

March 02, 2005 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Blau wrote:

" Protecting life, which includes mental health, especially one's own life has priority.
Truth is clearly important but it is also not an absolute. Trying to hurt someone, which can be done verbally, is not permitted even when the information is true. Telling the truth to protect potential victims from abuse is the right thing to do."

Thank you, Rabbi Blau.

I suppose that is why it is advisable for a survivor to write and speak after they have healed from the rage, so that it is the facts that are looked at, rather than the rage.....

March 02, 2005 10:29 AM  
Blogger Naomi said...

I got a letter from my sister about a year ago telling me that she so badley wants to have a relationship with me but alas, because she is a torah jew, she must obey her rabbi who told her that she can't speak to me until I stop slandering my father by saying he abused me. I say that my siblings who says that nothing happened to me are slandering me. They are basically saying that I'm crazy.

March 02, 2005 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naomi,
I'm so sorry you have to go through this. My bet is that some time in the future, your sister's eyes will open. When they do she will contact you.

I have a questions, when someone slanders someone, does that mean they are lying? or they are saying the true? What's the definition of slander?

March 02, 2005 9:50 PM  

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