Other Forms of Negativity

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While the Scriptural prohibition against loshon hara applies only to speaking about the living, our Sages prohibit making slanderous remarks about the deceased.

It is also forbidden to speak negatively of our beloved land, Eretz Yisrael. As the Torah relates, the generation that merited to be liberated from Egypt spent forty years in the Wilderness and died there because of evil speech concerning the Land (See Bamidbar chs. 13-14).

In truth, it is proper to avoid focusing on the negative unnecessarily even when discussing non-sacred objects. The early commentators tell of the wise man and his students who came upon the carcass of an animal. When the students commented on its foul odor, the wise man responded, “But see how white are its teeth!”

Sefer Chofetz Chaim, 15 Tishrei, page 78

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