Chafetz Chaim Chapter Summaries – Peticha Part 2 – Assin

These chapter summaries of Sefer Chafetz Chaim are best used as a study aid in conjunction with the sefer itself. They are obviously not a substitute to the in-depth and all encompassing work of the Chafetz Chaim. 

General Summary Key

ChCh = Chafetz Chaim, LHR = Lashon Hara, BMCh = Be’er Mayim Chaim, ChB = Chelkas Binyamin (commentary on ChCh)

Summary Of Peticha – Assin

In the last summary we covered the 17 Lavin that a person may transgress when they speak or listen to Lashon Hara and Rechilut.

ChCh then brings 14 Assin (positive commandments) that a person may transgress. They don’t all apply to all situations (but if one speaks LHR regularly they are bound to cover them all at one time or another) and no one Rishon will agree to all.

There are 8 variables which will apply to some Assin and not to others. ChCh details in each Aseh which variables do/don’t apply.

8 Variables Key:

LHR = Lashon Hara, R = Rechilut, E = Emet, Sh = Sheker,                               F = B’Fanav. LF = Shelo B’Fanav, S = Speaker, L = Listener


1) (זכור את אשר עשה ה’ אלקיך למרים (דברים כד’ ט – Remember What Hashem Did To Miriam

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, LF, S

The mitzva is to (verbally) remember daily the punishment that Miriam received for speaking LHR and thereby keep away from LHR ourselves. (In Lavin (3) ChCh is unsure whether or not to include L. Here he says not L. See ChB for suggested explanation)

2) (ואהבת לרעך כמוך (ויקרא יט’ יח – Love Your Fellow As Yourself

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, LF, S, L (All 8)

Since you wouldn’t like people speaking in a derogatory way about you, don’t do it to others!

3) (בצדק תשפוט עמיתך (ויקרא יט’ טו – Judge Your Fellow With Righteousness

This is the Mitzva of דן לכף זכות – judging favorably if there is an alternative positive explanation for the apparently negative behavior being reported.

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, LF, S, L (All 8) (but L only transgresses if he believes the negative viewpoint he is hearing)

If the person being spoken about is a Beinoni (average – tries hard but sometimes fails) and the action could be explained positively or negatively, one must assume the positive explanation. If the person is righteous then even if the positive explanation is unlikely one must still assume the positive explanation to be correct.

4) (וחי אחיך עמך (ויקרא כה’ לו – Ensure Your Fellow Has A Livelihood

Transgresses if the comment damages the person’s livelihood

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, LF, S

5) (הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך (ויקרא יט’ יז – You Shall Rebuke Your Fellow

Didn’t rebuke the speaker to halt the LHR. Applies if there is a possibility that the speaker will listen to him.

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, LF, L

It is not good enough to intend to rebuke the speaker after they have finished speaking.

6) (ובו תדבק (דברים י’ כ – To Cleave To Hashem And To Talmidei Chachamim

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, LF, S, L (All 8)

If joining a group of Baalei LHR in order to speak or listen to LHR instead of spending one’s time with Talmidei Chachamim.

7) (ומקדשי תיראו (ויקרא יט’ ל – Have Awe Of Holy Places

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, LF, S

If in Shul/Beit Hamedrash. (Possibly even L for if he had real fear/awe of Hashem he wouldn’t allow the person to say LHR to him in Shul).

8) (והדרת פני זקן (ויקרא יט’ לב – Honor Old And Wise People (Especially With Your Words)

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, S

If speaking about an old person or Talmid Chacham (and if he is both then he has transgressed twice). Possibly even L as he shows he doesn’t have respect. If speaking about a talmid chacham may also transgress if LF too.

9) (וקדשתו (ויקרא כא’ ח – Give Precedent To, And Honor, Kohanim

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, S

If speaking about a Kohen. (Possibly also L and LF)

10) (כבד את אביך ואת אמך (שמות כ’ יב – Honor Your Parents (And Older Brother & Stepparent)

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, S

If speaking about parents, older brother or stepparent. Possibly also L. Parents definitely also LF. The other relatives maybe LF as well.

(ChB asks why ChCh doesn’t also include (איש אמו ואביו תיראו (ויקרא יט’ ג – Have Fear/Awe Of Your Parents which he clearly is transgressing when he speaks LHR about them)

11) (את ה’ אלקיך תירא (דברים י’ כ – Have Fear/Awe Of Hashem

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, LF, S, L (All 8)

One of the 6 Constant Mitzvos – One should always realize that Hashem is there watching you, that there are consequences to our actions and thereby hold back from transgressing any of the Mitzvot.

12) (ודברת בם (דברים ו’ ז – To Learn Torah

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, LF, S, L (All 8)

The Mitzva of learning Torah applies all the time, unless he is busy with essential needs like earning a living and other pressing matters. Since every word of Torah is a separate mitzva, one statement of LHR may cause one to abandon many many mitzvot of learning Torah.

13) (מדבר שקר תרחק (שמות כג’ ז – Distance Yourself From Lying

LHR, R, Sh, F, LF, S

If a lie or even if just contains some untruth or exaggeration.

14) (והלכת בדרכיו (דברים כח’ ט – Follow In The Ways Of Hashem

LHR, R, E, Sh, F, LF, S, L (All 8)

Hashem only wants the best for everyone, we should too!

לע’נ יונה חממה בת שלמה

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