Thursday, May 13, 2010

LASHON HARA Gossip and revealing secrets

Today is the 29th of Iyar, 5770 (44 days of Omer. 6 weeks, 2 days)

Any information revealed in confidence should not be repeated.

The reason for this is obvious. Revealing a secret can have the same negative effects as Lashon haRa or gossip. If a person tells you, "I have a great business idea" and you pass this information on to others, someone may come along and make use of the idea. So harmful are such leaks that large cor­porations spend heavily on security to protect their private information.

Another potential fallout of divulging secrets is the risk of creating bad feelings. For example: Your sister informs you confidentially that she is planning to buy a house. A few days later, you casually mention this to your brother. What you did not anticipate is that your brother feels insulted because your sister did not tell him this piece of news. Just as with gossip, information which is related in confidence can cause animosity when passed on to another party.

Generally speaking, when someone is told per­sonal information, he should not repeat it even if the speaker did not mention that it is confiden­tial. This is the only sure way to avoid potential damage. What is seemingly a harmless piece of information may be explosive when repeated to someone else.