Like Any Other Prohibition

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As with any Torah prohibition, one cannot justify speaking loshon hora on the basis of personal need or practicality. A Jew must be prepared to forego his comfort, social status, and even livelihood rather than transgress Torah Law. Needless to say, it is forbidden to speak loshon hora to gain popularity or win friendship.

One must not succumb to social pressure and engage in gossip, in the same way that one would not compromise his kashrus standards due to social pressure.

It is forbidden to comply with an employer’s demand that one reveal information which is loshon hora – even if such failure means the loss of one’s job.

Similarly, the commandment to honor one’s father and mother does not justify speaking loshon hora. One must respectfully refuse a parent’s request that derogatory or harmful information be related.

Sefer Chofetz Chaim, 9 Cheshvan, page 126

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