Q: My friend mentioned something negative about new neighbors in our building and I believed what she said. Later, I realized that it was lashon hara and regretted what I did. What should I do to correct my wrong?
A: If you’ve already listened to lashon hara, it is forbidden to believe it. In order to eradicate the negative impression you have of your neighbors, you must try to find ways to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the story isn’t true or the subject wasn’t at fault. Maybe there were missing details or there was a misunderstanding. In any case, you may not believe her words, and must work at eradicating the negative thoughts from your mind. You must do teshuvah, through charatah, viduy, and accepting upon yourself not to listen or believe lashon hara in the future.
The questions and answers above were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-2 5379160.
The views expressed are of the individual author. Readers are encouraged to consult their own posek for guidance.