Evil Speech & Murder


Yosef Roth



In this weekís Torah reading of Kedoshim, we learn a deep insight into the psychology of people. The Torah tells us that we cannot speak Loshon Hora (evil speech) and that we cannot stand idly while our friendís blood is being shed. Why are these two points mentioned in the same sentence?

The reason I believe is that when we speak Loshon Hora, we are actually attempting to destroy that person. We canít bring ourselves to actually kill him, so we speak Loshon Hora about him instead. We therefore see the reason why these prohibitions are in the same sentence. The Torah is teaching us that if you say Loshon Hora about someone, it is really an attempt to destroy him or her.