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“As a rule, most people seem to think that there is nothing morally wrong in spreading negative information about others as long as the information is true. Jewish law takes a very different view. Perhaps that is why the Hebrew term lashon ha-ra has no precise equivalent in English. For unlike slander, which is universally condemned as immoral because it is false, lashon ha-ra is by definition true. It is the dissemination of accurate information that will lower the status of the person to whom it refers: I translate it as ‘negative truths.’ Jewish law forbids spreading negative truths about anyone unless the person to whom you are speaking needs the information… It is a very serious offense, one that has been addressed by many non- Jewish ethicists as well. Two centuries ago Jonathan K Lavater, a Swiss theologian and poet, offered a still apt guideline concerning the spreading of such news: ‘Never tell evil of a man if you do not know it for certainty, and if you know it for a certainty, then ask yourself, ‘ why should I tell it?'” (Joseph Telushkin, Words that Hurt, 1996. P. 21-22)

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